image of barnstable county courthouse

Barnstable County braces for winter storm

The Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (BCREPC) held a planning conference call at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 23, 2016,  to review the latest forecasts on the coastal storm approaching the Cape and Islands.

Given the predicted duration of the storm, the forecast snow amounts, and the moderation in temperature expected next week, the BCREPC determined that the Regional Shelter System would not be activated at this time. It did continue its request that Regional Shelter System partners remain on alert. The BCREPC will continue to monitor forecasts and reevaluate the situation on Saturday morning. Barnstable County Multi-agency Coordination Center (MACC) personnel have been put on stand-by.

The storm is predicted to yield amounts of 6 to 12 inches over the south coast, the Cape and Islands, and the coastal Plymouth area. For this reason, the National Weather Service has hoisted a winter storm warning for the Cape and coastal southeast Massachusetts including Plymouth coastal areas. A blizzard warning remains in effect for Martha’s Vineyard. The wind forecast remains on track with gusts near 60 to 65 mph over the Cape and Islands.

Tides will be a concern along the MA east coast with the greatest concern for the Sunday late morning/mid-day high tide. Areas of Plymouth, Sandwich, the Bay side of the Cape near Dennis, and Nantucket could see surge values near 3 feet with wave action in exposed areas. This would yield widespread minor coastal flooding with pockets of moderate coastal flooding.

Snow should be ending around noon on Sunday with perhaps some lingering ocean effect enhanced snow showers into early afternoon.

The BCREPC advises the citizens of Barnstable County to be prepared for winter weather conditions and refrain from driving during the storm to enable highway crews to treat and clear the roads.

For information about preparedness and the Regional Shelter System visit the Barnstable County REPC website at

Follow the BCREPC on Twitter @bcrepc.

Additional information on preparedness is available from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) at or the FEMA website at or call 2-1-1. For specific local information, citizens should contact the emergency management office in their town.