High wind warning on Cape Cod, power outages possible

BARNSTABLE, Mass. — With gusts of up to 70 miles per hour expected and a high wind warning issued for Cape Cod and the Islands, local leaders are warning the public wind damage, widespread power outages and icy road conditions are possible Friday night into Saturday morning.

Chip Reilly, Emergency Preparedness Specialist for Barnstable County, hunkered down in the Multi-Agency Coordination Center, monitoring the overnight storm with local and state partners and utility companies.

“It could be very dangerous,” Reilly said of the high winds and potential flash freeze overnight. “We really want people to stay home, shelter in place. It’s the time now. It’s not the time to be out and about.”

The agencies were prepared to deploy resources and equipment to assist local communities and roll out warming centers and emergency shelter, if needed. But activating the emergency shelter system, which includes several local schools and two satellite locations, could be problematic, as COVID-19 cases surge.

“It’s a major concern we have,” Reilly said. “Our shelter is run by volunteers, and they’ve already expressed concerns. We really don’t want to get into the congregate sheltering system if we don’t have to.”

Instead, Reilly urged those who may need shelter to seek out friends and family, if they’re available.

He also encouraged residents to check on their elderly neighbors if power and communications go down.