(March 13, 2018: update 8:01 p.m.) Nearly the entire island was without power for more than three hours Tuesday afternoon, thanks to storm-related problems at the mainland substations that feed the undersea cables providing electricity to Nantucket. Sporadic outages continued to plague the island into the evening, however, with about 1,600 without power from just outside downtown west to Madaket at 8 p.m.
After going down islandwide just before 1 p.m., power was restored to about 5,000 customers around 5 p.m., and aside from a few isolated outages, the remainder of homes and businesses had their electricity back by 5:30 p.m. before it went out again in some areas.
Wind gusts as high as 70 and 81 mph buffeted the island, and a heavy, wet snow fell throughout the day, but the power outage originated on Cape Cod, National Grid spokesperson Maura Mone said.
Storm damage and transmission problems at the Barnstable and Harwich substations kept power from reaching Nantucket, she said. After initially predicting the problem wouldn't be fixed until nearly midnight, the estimate was revised to 5:15 p.m. just before 5.
Crews worked throughout the afternoon to see if they could energize the back-up diesel generator near the Nantucket Memorial Airport to bring back some electricity prior to repairs on the mainland.
Nantucket High School has been opened as an emergency shelter for both people and pets, Nantucket police Lt. Angus MacVicar said.
The Stop & Shop supermarket is open, but operating on generator power. The Nantucket Hotel also has a generator and is open to those who need meals or lodging, owner Mark Snider said.
There was no real snow accumulation on the island for much of the day, as the thick, heavy flakes mixed with rain and melted as they hit the ground. As night fell and temperatures dropped, however, the flakes began sticking.
Boat and plane transportation to the island was canceled the entire day. Schools, town offices and most businesses announced closures before the power went out. Town officials declared a snow emergency late Monday afternoon.
MacVicar said no serious emergencies have been reported, and downtown flooding was not as severe as it was during last weekend's nor'easter.
For updates, check back to www.ack.net throughout the evening.
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