Hurricane Earl Heads for Cape Cod & Islands
By: Enterprise Staff
FRIDAY, September 3
UPDATE @ 12 PM: Hurricane Earl is 350 miles south-southwest of Nantucket. It is expected to head northeast today, passing 50 southeast of Nantucket by tonight.
Estimated wind speeds for the Category 1 hurricane are at 85 miles per hour.
The National Weather Service has canceled its hurricane warning for Plymouth County, but it remains in effect for Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties.
UPDATE @ 9 AM: Hurricane Earl is currently about 400 miles south-southwest of Nantucket. It is expected to head northeast today, passing 50 to 100 miles southeast of Nantucket by tonight.
Overnight, Hurricane Earl was downgraded to a Category 2 storm, with winds estimated at 105 miles per hour. As it approaches the Massachusetts coast, the National Weather Service expects to downgrade to a Category 1 hurricane.
The current estimate from the NWS Taunton headquarters is a 16 percent chance of hurricane conditions and an 83 percent chance of tropical storm conditions in counties under a hurricane warning. This area includes Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket, and Plymouth counties.
According to the NWS, the strongest winds will be confined to Nantucket and the Lower Cape, where a brief period of hurricane-force winds (up to 75 miles per hour) is possible.
For the rest of the Cape, Islands, and south coast, tropical storm winds up to 70 miles per hour a, re expected by late afternoon, with the strongest winds expected at the Cape Cod Canal. The storm is expected to become most intense late Friday night and into the predawn hours, diminishing rapidly by Saturday morning.
Trees, telephone, and electrical poles are in danger of falling. Storm surge flooding is not expected, but sea level could rise two to four feet during high tide.
Due to anticipated rainfall of two to six inches, a flood watch is in effect for the Cape and Islands.
High surf and dangerous rip currents will persist through the weekend. The National Weather Service recommends checking with local beach patrols and lifeguards before entering the water. The most dangerous surf conditions are expected on Vineyard and Nantucket Sound and Atlantic coast beaches.
THURSDAY, September 2
UPDATE @ 6 PM (Thursday): Hurricane hits North Carolina's Outer Banks, 670 miles off of Nantucket. At current rate, the storm surge could raise water levels 2 to 4 feet above ground level within hurricane warning area in Massachusetts.
UPDATE @ 4 PM (Thursday): The National Weather Service has downgraded Hurricane Earl to a Category 3 storm, with winds estimated up to 125 miles per hour.
UPDATE @ 3 PM (Thursday):
The National Weather Service upgraded its hurricane watch to a hurricane warning as of 11 AM Thursday. The warning has been declared for the area from Westport to Plymouth, including Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.
Hurricane Earl is now classified as a Category 4 hurricane, with winds gusting up to 140 miles per hour.
Now located 700 miles south of Nantucket, Hurricane Earl is projected to head north late today and then northeast on Friday, towards Southeastern New England. By Friday night, the hurricane is expected to reach within 30 miles of Nantucket.
As it moves over cooler waters, the hurricane should weaken Thursday night and Friday morning, reports the National Weather Service. But the storm could still be a Category 2 hurricane as it approaches the Cape and Islands.
Residents and businesses are urged to finalize hurricane preparations to minimize damage to buildings and docks vulnerable to flooding and high winds. Boats should be secured and small craft should remain in port until further notice.
High tide on Friday will take place at 3:50 AM and 4:25 PM in Buzzards Bay, and at 6:35 AM and 6:50 PM in Vineyard Sound. On Saturday, high tide will take place at 4:55 AM and 5:25 PM in Buzzards Bay, and at 7:35 AM and 7:50 PM in Vineyard Sound.
For ongoing coverage of the storm, please continue to check capenews.net.
Follow Hurricane Earl's path and public advisories issued related to the storm at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website here.
- Listen to a NOAAWeather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed.
- Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
- Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
- Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
- Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
- Evacuate if advised by authorities. Be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance ProgramWeb site at www.fema.gov/business/nfip.
- Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAAWeather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
After the storm:
- Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
- If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
- Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
- Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
SHELTER LOCATIONS AND INFORMATION
Barnstable High School
744 West Main Street, Hyannis
West Villages Elementary School
760 Osterville/West Barnstable Road, Marstons Mills
Bourne Middle School
77 Waterhouse Road
Mullen Hall School
130 Katherine Lee Bates Road
Mashpee High School
500 Old Barnstable Road
No pets allowed
Oak Ridge School
260 Quaker Meeting House Road
Also the Upper Cape’s regional shelter
To alert the public as to which shelters are open – and whether they will be open in advance of any approaching storms or after the storm has passed – announcements will be broadcast on WQRC (99.9 FM), local public access cable channels, and through local media websites.
The Massachusetts Military Reservation is available as a mass emergency shelter for the Upper Cape region, and is able to accommodate people with special needs and people with pets – one of the Cape’s two pre-friendly regional shelters (the other is the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School).
In the event residents are ordered to evacuate the region, public safety officials will activate the Cape Cod Emergency Traffic Plan, a comprehensive strategy to facilitate a mass exodus of motor vehicle traffic over the two bridges.
In phase one, off-Cape vehicles attempting to access the Cape’s two main highways – Routes 6 and 28 – would be blocked, and access to the highways by evacuating Cape motorists would be diverted as needed to minimize congestion.
The presence of the Massachusetts State Police at key locations along the highways, informational signs set up along the routes by the Massachusetts Highway Department, and announcements broadcast over WQRC and public emergency alert systems would be used to guide traffic patterns during phase one.
Phase two would be initiated if wind gusts hit 70 MPH or higher. The first step of phase two would be the closure of both bridges, followed by the redirection of traffic to local and regional shelters. Access to Routes 6 and 28 would be closed at strategic points to prevent motorists from attempting to reach the bridges.
1 Responses to "Hurricane Earl Heads for Cape Cod & Islands"
Leave a Reply
In order to comment you need to be logged in.