Tropical Storm Henri left Mashpee with little damage after making landfall west of Cape Cod on Sunday, August 22.
While Tropical Storm Elsa last month sent waves and ocean spray crashing against the dunes at South Cape Beach, eroding some 300 tons of sand, on Sunday dozens of residents strolled South Cape Beach, some surfing or swimming in the meager whitecaps brought by Henri.
“Mashpee escaped relatively unscathed,” Mashpee Public Works Director Catherine E. Laurent said the morning after the storm. “While staff was on call and prepared to be out on the roads, we did not have to respond to any reports of downed trees, broken limbs, et cetera.”
National Weather Service observers clocked a 51-mile-per-hour gust of wind in Mashpee on Sunday morning. But, Ms. Laurent said, public works staff found little debris for cleanup the next day.
The Popponesset Spit, too, avoided damage during the storm, according to a board member of Save Popponesset Bay, which owns two-thirds of the barrier beach. Dune restoration completed last year with funding from donors and a $426,000 grant from the state was critical to the resilience of the spit through the storm, the board member said.
Henri began the day as a hurricane but had been downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it made landfall a little after noon near Westerly, Rhode Island, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasts from days earlier had put Cape Cod squarely in the path of Henri, and preparations for a more direct hit were evident: Boats had been hauled from the water at Bosun’s Mashpee Neck Marina, the lifeguard stands at South Cape Beach had been removed and the flags at the Mashpee Rotary were lowered.