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Ocean Storm Threatens Barnstable County—Again

BARNSTABLE (MA) March 21, 2018 – The Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (BCREPC) held a conference call at 10 a.m. March 21, 2018, to discuss plans for the approaching nor’easter.

There is a great deal of uncertainty around the forecast of this storm and the amount of snow expected. Latest guidance has winds picking up later Wednesday afternoon with the onset of steady precipitation—rain or snow­—around 6 or 7 p.m. Precipitation in the form of snow is expected after midnight with the effects of the storm diminishing after 10 a.m. Thursday. Snow amounts could vary with the upper Cape experiencing possibly 3 to 5 inches with lesser amounts further east along the peninsula.

Winds will be heaviest this evening and overnight with some gusts in the 60-mph range expected. There is a concern about heavy wet snow sticking to branches and wires accompanied by heavy winds. Some power outages are possible. Citizens should be prepared with a 3-day supply of food, water, and other essentials. Electric utility Eversource will prestage crews around the Cape ahead of the storm. In the event of an outage, call Eversource at 800-592-2000.

Given the storm’s delayed onset, there is less concern about coastal flooding during the early Thursday morning high-tide cycle though a few pockets of moderate coastal flooding are possible, especially in areas that are now more vulnerable due to recent storm damage to coastal walls and dunes.

The BCREPC Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC) operated by the Barnstable County All Hazards Incident Management Team will be activated at 6 p.m. Wednesday for the overnight operational period.

No Regional Emergency Shelter System activation is planned at this time, but the Shelter System partners are on standby should the need arise.