Across the Cape, the South Coast, and the Islands, power crews continue working to restore electricity to homes knocked out by the powerful, slow-moving storm that struck the region Friday night and continued with strong winds through Saturday.
UPDATE SUNDAY 5PM:
Utility company Eversource is reporting that all public schools on the South Coast and Cape Cod have electric power restored, allowing them to open.
Eversource has also updated its estimated return to full power for Cape Cod. Work has been moving ahead swiftly, according to spokesperson Priscilla Wress, and the company now expects power to be restored to all homes by Tuesday evening, at latest. This is fully one day ahead of their previous estimate, which had called for Wednesday evening, at latest.
SUNDAY 11 AM:
As of 11am Sunday morning, about 50,000 homes and businesses remained without power across the local region, according to the website of the utility company Eversource.
Downed trees on power lines, and downed utility poles, were the chief causes for outages, according to Eversource spokesperson Priscilla Wress. Part of what made this storm such a hard hit on the power grid, said Wress, is that it came in two waves. The first, with high winds and inundating rains Friday evening, loosened the root systems of many trees; the second wave, with hurricane force winds that arrived after midnight, brought down numbers of those trees.
Eversource was bringing in crews from as far away as Canada, as well from Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. "There are literally hundreds of crews," said Wress.
Wress, speaking on Saturday, cautioned people to prepare for multiple days without power, saying some service might not be restored until some time this week.
An email statement on Sunday from Eversource said: "Based on the current forecast, we expect that the vast majority of our customers living on Cape Cod will have power restored by 6 p.m. Wednesday. Although we expect to restore power to most of our customers in advance of this time, we also expect restoration efforts to extend into Wednesday night in the hardest hit areas."
Barnstable County emergency planners opened three shelters Saturday night, as many across the Cape prepared for a second night without power. Shelters were opened at Falmouth High School, Barnstable Intermediate School in Hyannis, and Cape Cod Regional Technical School in Harwich.
Kevin Morley, spokesman for the county’s Regional Emergency Planning Committee, said a decision on whether to keep shelters open another night would be made some time on Sunday.
At noon on Saturday, 99,000 people were without power across Cape Cod.
Temperatures cooperated, in as much as the region did not dip below freezing, which would have raised the risk of burst pipes in homes without heat. While the weather is forecast to remain chilly, with plenty of clouds, wind, and temperatures topping out near 40 degrees, a dip below freezing is not anticipated until the end of this week.