Tropical Storm Ophelia Weakens, Sparing New England from Damage

September 18, 2005

Predicted heavy rains and fierce winds never materialized and New England escaped the worst of Tropical Storm Ophelia. By Saturday morning, Ophelia pushed past southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape and the Islands, and Rhode island with little effect.

Off Nantucket, some waves reached 19 feet well offshore early Saturday. But the islands and Cape Cod were mostly spared the brunt of the storm.

“It was pretty windy last night, but mostly just heavy sheets of rain,” said Lt. Roger Cadrin of the Hyannis Fire and Rescue Department. He said there were no reports of major storm-related damage overnight in Hyannis.

Forecasters called off a tropical storm warning for Cape Cod and the islands late Saturday morning, but cautioned people about strong surf.

The National Weather Service said the center of the storm passed 90 miles south of Nantucket on Saturday morning, sparing residents of the strongest winds. Mike Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, said gusts of up to 40 miles per hour hit Nantucket.

Martha’s Vineyard got the most rain in the region with 3.44 inches overnight. Other areas saw about two to three inches overnight, Jackson said.

“The outer coastal waters certainly saw storm, but inside we just did not see a lot of strength, which is good news,” Jackson said.

On Friday, emergency officials mobilized at the state emergency operations center in Framingham in anticipation of the storm. Coastal campgrounds were cleared Friday as a precaution and people were warned to stay away from beaches because of expected strong riptides.

At Camp Edwards near Bourne on Cape Cod, where about 200 evacuees from Hurricane Katrina are living, officials brought in extra food and water Friday, and had counselors on hand to help anybody who felt stressed by another storm, said Lt. Col. Paul G. Smith, director of public affairs for the Massachusetts National Guard. The state also sent five emergency generators to Camp Edwards in case of power outages.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Topics Catastrophe Natural Disasters Windstorm

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