Cape Cod was preparing for the worst and the stores were full of locals purchasing their storm supplies and essentials:
Beer (hurricane or no hurricane this is Cape Cod in the off-season)
Bottled Water (had to be sparkling if you lived in Chatham)
Flash-light (in case you misplaced the beer)
Batteries (price gouging at the store suggested over-charging may be a concern)
Ice (to keep your beer cold)
Fill up the car with gas (a long line of traffic was expected to get your “Hurricane Photo” at Chatham lighthouse)
The day of the storm arrived. The guests staying at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast had hunkered down in front of their roaring fireplaces to enjoy their breakfast and follow the storm on the TV. We on the other hand decided to throw caution to the wind and head-out to bear witness to Mrs Frankenstorm.
The wind was a steady 40-50 mph with gusts up to 70 mph with Wellfleet winning the dubious award for highest win speed, topping out at 81 mph.
The storm surge at high-tide that threatened to flood Chatham fish-pier brought out the TV crews but although the fish-pier was battered (pardon the pun) by the storm it survived intact. Hyannisport pier was less fortunate and was completely destroyed by the waves barreling over from Nantucket. So apparently, contrary to conventional wisdom, not all piers are equal.
Although there were trees down in Harwich, we were fortunate not to lose power at the inn. As the winds shifted from Easterly to Southerly the waves picked up on Nantucket Sound and started to pound the beach at the end of our road. Tomorrow was sure to be a good shell seeking day.
The winds peaked at about 8pm that evening, right about the time the centre of Hurricane Sandy was making landfall in New Jersey, and then at 10pm the wind abruptly stopped. The silence was eerie. You weren’t sure if this was the eye of the storm and it was just a half-time break before the onslaught of the 2nd half or if the storm had truly simply passed on by.
The night was the quietest night we’d had in weeks; no wind and a bright full moon. It was hard to think that at this time New York and New Jersey were suffering the worst storm on record. The morning brought the clean-up, but all-in-all there wasn’t much to do. Rake some leaves, pick up branches, check on the guests and check on beer supplies.
The storm had moved through more quickly than expected and hadn’t wreaked the expected havoc, flooding and Cape-wide power outages much taunted by the media.
By the end of Monday Sandy had been downgraded to more of a Gail (at least on Cape Cod).
We send our thoughts to our friends and guests in less fortunate areas of New Jersey, Connecticut and New York.