High Winds Batter Region

By: Tim Wood

A Chatham firefighter places emergency tape around a damaged utility pole on Holway Street Thursday morning. TIM WOOD PHOTO

Wind gusts of 72 miles per hour in Harwich and 66 miles per hour in Chatham -- with a reported 90 mile per hour gust in Provincetown -- battered the area Thursday in the wake of a fast-moving nor'easter that also drenched the region with heavy rain overnight.

Emergency officials were dealing with numerous downed trees and limbs as well as utility poles and power lines.  As of early Thursday, 1,648 customers in Harwich were without power, along with 1,498 in Orleans and 321 in Chatham. Sustained winds of 30 miles per hour out of the southwest were expected to continue throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service, with gusts up to 55.

Several Cape school districts cancelled classes due to the high winds, including Barnstable Public Schools and the Sturgis Charter School. Classes at Cape Cod Tech in Harwich were delayed for three hours, and Cape Cod Community College delayed the opening of classes until 11 a.m.

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