Small island of Nantucket gets walloped by storm

While many areas on the Cape and islands are expecting snow to taper off and wind gusts to die down, the storm is still raging this afternoon on Nantucket, an emergency management official said.

“It’s not over yet,” said Dave Fronzuto, emergency management coordinator of the island, an upscale resort that swells with people during the summer and is home to about 8,000 year-round residents.

The town has accumulated about 10 inches of snow and still has “whiteout” conditions, he said. Winds are whipping through. One wind gust was recorded at 98 miles per hour, he said.

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“It’s dangerous out there,” said Fronzuto. “It’s still blowing hard.”

The National Weather Service said an 82-mile-per-hour gust reported by an automated observation station in Nantucket appeared to have been the fastest recorded since the device began working in April 1998. The wind may have blown harder during Hurricane Bob in 1991 and the “No Name Storm” of 1993, though measurements for those storms weren’t available, the forecasters noted.

National Grid said 1,264 customers were without power on the island shortly after 2 p.m.

A few car accidents have occurred, but no injuries have been reported. Drivers have abandoned their cars on major roads to avoid driving with low visibility, Fronzuto said.

Drivers are asked to avoid the Easy Street, Easton Street, and Brant Point areas because they are experiencing flooding from high tides, he said.

Snowdrifts have accumulated to six feet in some areas, said Fronzuto.

“We were anticipating this,” said Fronzuto. “But it’s pretty bad. People should stay inside.”

Residents are waiting out the storm indoors, trying to keep warm,

Bruce Beni, who works at Killen Real Estate on Easy Street, said he had to come in to the office because his heat shut off in a power outage. He said there was a little bit of flooding with the last high tide, but not the worst the island has seen this winter.

“It just never stops,” he said. “It just keeps hitting us hard.”

Scarlett Rogers, who works at the Coast Guard station on Easton Street, just moved to Massachusetts from Florida this winter. She said snow was accumulating quickly.

“But, I’m from Florida,” she said. “I barely even know what snow is.”