José Departs, At Long Last

By: Alan Pollock

Topics: Storms

Sailboat washed ashore on Pleasant Bay in East Harwich. TIM WOOD PHOTO

CHATHAM Like an unwelcome visitor who wouldn't take the hint, José spun bands of rain and wind on the Lower Cape for the better part of last week, leaving a soggy parting gift of downed leaves and twigs, but caused no significant damage.

José was at peak strength when it crossed the Atlantic. Approaching the Leeward Islands with a maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, the hurricane mostly dodged populated islands, degrading to a tropical storm and then regaining hurricane strength before making is run up the eastern seaboard. As a hurricane, a tropical storm and eventually a post-tropical low pressure system, José made a loop southeast of Nantucket, keeping the Lower Cape and the Islands on the outer fringes of tropical storm force winds, before eventually moving out to sea.

Locally, the storm caused less than two inches of rain. The peak wind gust recorded at The Chronicle's weather station on Pleasant Bay was 42mph, but stronger gusts were recorded on Nantucket, where a 60mph gust was clocked at Brant Point. There were localized power outages, the longest lasting several hours, affecting several hundred people in Chatham, Orleans and Harwich.

Chatham Coastal Resources Director Ted Keon reported only minor erosion on northeast-facing landings at Pleasant Bay, and while there was some erosion of portions of North (Nauset) Beach, limited off-road vehicle access was restored Monday morning. Keon said he was not aware of any significant erosion on the more southerly portions of the barrier beach.