A blustery storm that battered the Northeast and buried Cape Cod under 2 feet of snow and drifts 10 feet high swept farther off the Eastern Seaboard today as the National Guard moved in to aid in the cleanup effort.
As many as 30,000 residents on Cape Cod remained without electricity this afternoon following a blizzard Monday with winds gusting more than 60 m.p.h. that knocked down trees and power lines.
"I've been here 28 years. It (the storm) is probably one of the top 10," said Dick White, a spokesman for Commonwealth Electric, whose crews used snowmobiles and helicopters to track down and get to trouble spots.
State of Emergency
The effects of the storm prompted Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis to issue a limited state of emergency for the Cape and call in guardsmen to help clear state highways so that other equipment could be moved to towns to help repair downed power lines and restore electricity.
Two towns high on the priority list were Harwich and Barnstable, which declared their own states of emergency.
Drifts in Barnstable were "anywhere from 5 feet to 10 feet," police officer Shawn Sweeney said, and members of the local police and fire departments transported elderly residents to shelters until power could be restored.
Barnstable Airport remained closed, and most stores, including Cape Cod Mall, were shuttered today.
Radio Station Off Air
"Things are a mess still," said Kathy Bomar of WCOD, Hyannis, whose station was knocked off the air by the loss of power and failure of a backup system. "Just about everything is canceled on the Cape."
The Provincetown Town Hall was opened as a shelter overnight, while strong winds created "whiteout" conditions on the Cape and cut visibility to zero.
The snow diminished over southeast New England, as the storm moved off the coast and was centered about 200 miles east of the Cape by about 8:30 a.m.
A blizzard warning over southeast Massachusetts was changed to an advisory for blowing and drifting snow, but gusts of more than 60 m.p.h. brought wind chills of 20 to 30 degrees below zero.