20 Aug 2014
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Schools Closed Tomorrow, Residents Dig Out

Over 60 percent of Barnstable residents remained without power as late as noon today, according to NSTAR's website. Barnstable schools are closed tomorrow as well as Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School.

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Some folks lucky enough to have generators linked to their furnaces had heat.

But those folks seemed few and far between as the weekend's blizzard - dubbed Nemo - wreaked havoc on homes, power lines and patience.

Late Saturday night into this afternoon, countless roads remained unplowed and difficult to navigate, if not for the ruts of ice then for dangling branches, limbs and in many cases, massive storm-felled trees.

Calls made to numerous residents throughout town revealed they were without power and heat and the temperatures inside homes reached a dangerously low "44 degrees." 

"I could see my breath in the bathroom," one Marstons Mills resident and father of six schoolchildren said, but asked not be named. "We were huddled around our hot water heater."

Most restaurants and stores remained closed throughout Barnstable and into Mashpee as of late last night, with only one gas station on Route 130 open for business and crammed with customers at 9:30pm. Many residents resorted to fireplaces and wood stoves to stay warm as a legitimate concern for frozen and burst pipes became an increasing possibility through the bitter night that fell as low as 19 degrees in some parts of Barnstable.

One tree-cutting crew was spotted on Newtown Road in Cotuit and countless plows, oddly, not plowing. In past years, town snow plows could be heard rumbling near and far through the night. Not so this time.

Billy Pina stopped by to see if his father, Sebastian Pina, age 88, was doing all right. Trees had fallen across the World War II and Korean War veteran's driveway, which had yet to be plowed. "He's got power and he has heat," the younger Pina said.

Others were not so lucky, some were. Power flickered on and off for some residents throughout the night while thousands more remained without.

"We got power back around 8:00 pm last night," said Patricia "Pumpkin" Fruean of River Road in Marstons Mills. "But we had a generator hooked up to the furnace to keep things warm. We were lucky."

Residents throughout town were busy today with shovels and snowblowers digging out, while some were busy with chain and bow saws hacking tree limbs and trying to help make roads navigable. One tree from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was spotted in Marstons Mills late last night, cutting limbs off wires, but such spottings were limited at best.

Two types of vehicles were seen in abundance and in action, however, throughout the storm, right from the beginning on Friday morning: ambulances and fire engines.

Barnstable Public Schools and Dennis-Yarmouth Public Schools Superintendents Dr. Mary Czajkowski and Carol Woodbury both cancelled school for tomorrow, with all Barnstable public schools closed and just Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School as of this afternoon.

Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School is being used as an emergency shelter right now, she said, as crews still assess and repair damage from the storm. Some Barnstable public schools, Dr. Czajkowski said, are staying heated on back-up emergency power.

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