Hurricane Earl Loses Strength, But Town Officials Still Cautious
By: Laura M. Reckford
Town officials involved in emergency management are now predicting that Hurricane Earl, a Category 1 storm that may be downgraded to a Tropical Storm, will affect Cape Cod from 8 PM tonight to 2 AM Saturday morning.
Winds of 35 to 45 miles per hour are expected in this region, with gusts as high as 85 miles per hour.
There are no current plans to close the Bourne Bridge and Sagamore Bridge to traffic. If winds reach 73 miles per hour, the bridges must be closed.
Among the pieces of advice to local homeowners from George Baker, Mashpee Fire Chief and chairman of the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Council, is to secure anything in the yard that can blow around and cause damage, including sheds. Chief Baker said, properly constructed sheds should include anchor points. The buildings can be anchored with bungie cords to trees. Grills should be either brought inside or tied to decks or trees, with the tops secured “so it doesn’t flip up and become a wing.”
Chief Baker suggested filling boats or other large items with water, so that the added weight prevents them from becoming airborne.
He also suggested filling bathtubs with water that can be used for flushing toilets if water pressure is affected by the storm.
For those who need to seek public shelters, there are several that allow pets, including Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in Yarmouth; the Oak Ridge School on Quaker Meetinghouse Road in East Sandwich, and Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich.
Other shelters include Barnstable High School and Nauset Regional High School in Orleans.
Peter Judge of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said the storm is expected to hit as the tide is going out so that erosion will not be as bad during this storm. But he cautioned that riptides will be an issue throughout the weekend and that beachgoers should exercise extreme caution.
After the storm hits, the clean-up starts and residents will likely want to access the dump. Town of Barnstable officials have announced that they will delay the opening of the transfer station tomorrow because of the storm. Tomorrow (Saturday, September 4), the Barnstable Department of Public Works plans a delayed opening of the Solid Waste Transfer Station located in Marstons Mills due to possible high winds.
The Transfer Station will open Saturday at 11:30 AM and close at 3:30 PM.
Regular hours of operation until 3:30 PM are planned to continue throughout the day today (Friday, September 3) and resume on Sunday, September 5.
For more information, contact the Transfer Station at 508-240-2258.
Barnstable town officials want the public to know that medical or crime related matters during the storm, should be reported by calling 911.
- To report storm matters to the Barnstable police, call 508-775-0387 or 508-775-0812.
- To contact the Department of Public Works, call the Highway department at 508-790-6330.
- To report marine related issues, call 508-790-6273.
- To report power outages call NSTAR at 800-592-2000.
Barnstable Chief of Police Paul MacDonald is urging motorists to stay off the roads from 6 PM this evening (Friday) until the storm passes.
Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital will remain open and operate at full service throughout the day today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday). All surgeries and procedures are proceeding as scheduled in the hospitals today.
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