Noel becomes Tropical Storm; Reward offered for P'town fire info as another blaze hits; More MRSA; A new meaning to drive-thru bank; Two-car crash on Bearse's Way in Hyannis; Smoke fills mall store

The night was filled with the sound of trucks pulling boats in the Chatham area. This one was heading away from Noel on Route 137, Brewster at 10 p.m. Friday.
This is what what Noel looked like at 8 a.m. on Saturday when the eye was still off Delaware and the northern end of this huge storm was touching Nova Scotia.

BELOW: Another fire in Provincetown; more MRSA (page down)   

CWN weather alert: (updated on Saturday 6:10 a.m.)

High wind warning 10 a.m. until midnight.
Coastal flood warning in effect from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. today.
Flood watch from 11 a.m. until midnight.
The reminents of Hurricane Noel will arrive a little later than previously thought but also lining up with this evenings high tide.
This will result in a storm surge of 2.5 to 3 feet in ocean east of Cape and islands.

Includes these towns: Bourne, Chatham, Falmouth, Hyannis, Provincetown, Wellfleet Today...A slight chance of rain early...Then rain. Isolated thunderstorms late. Rain May be heavy at Times. Strong winds with highs in the lower 50s. Northeast winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph...Increasing to 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 75 mph late this morning and afternoon. Chance of rain near 100 percent.























A gale warning flag from Coast Guard Station Chatham flies in the wind November 2,2007. The flag stands as a warning to marniers that winds have reached or are expected to reach between 34 and 48 knots. Severe storm conditons generated by Hurricane Noel are expected to arrive New England November 3 and generate winds around 80 knots and dangerous seas more than 30 feet high. (Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer David Considine)

Tonight...Cloudy with rain likely in the evening...Then partly cloudy with a chance of rain after midnight. Rain May be heavy at Times in the evening. Strong winds with lows around 40. North winds 45 to 50 mph with gusts up to 80 mph...Becoming northwest 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 80 mph after midnight. Chance of rain 70 percent.

From the Cape Cod & Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross:
The organization is urging Cape Codders to exercise caution during this weekend's  predicted weather. 

You should make sure you have fresh batteries for flashlights and a portable radio. 

Residents are encouraged to use flashlights rather than candles and to avoid any downed utility wires as they may be electrified.

Check on elderly neighbors and family and make sure all outdoor items such as lawn furniture are properly secured.  

Residents should be able to ride out the storm in their homes, but if the Red Cross is called upon to open area shelters, you should monitor local radio stations to find out where the open shelters are located. 

If you have to go to a shelter do bring: food, a sleeping bag or inflatable mattress, enough prescription medication and any other necessary supplies to last at least a few days.

Do not bring pets, weapons or valuables.

Investigators Ask for Public's Help with Two Provincetown Arson Fires
Another fire Friday evening under investigation
- State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan, Provincetown Fire Chief Michael Trovato and Acting Provincetown Police Chief Warren Tobias are asking for the public's help to solve two arson fires that occurred Wednesday night at 473 Commercial Street and 10 Bradford Street in Provincetown. Investigators are concerned that the two fires may be connected to each other and to ten other small fires that have occurred recently. Coan said, "Many of the homes are seasonal, so we need the members of the community who are there to be vigilant and to assist us. We are looking to speak with a white male, 40-50 years old possibly driving a black vehicle that was seen near one of the fire scenes. He may have seen something that would help the investigation."

This news comes as the haunting sound of sirens and air horns filled the normally quiet November air in Provincetown yet again Friday evening. Firefighters responded to 9 Oppen Lane in the west end a little before 7 p.m. to find smoke pouring from the two story house. The fire was contained to the lower level of the unoccupied house but there was extensive smoke damage throughout. A Provincetown Police officer was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. Several firefighters narrowly missed injury when a piano crashed through a floor. Investigators say it appears leaves and debris had been piled up against the rear of the house and set ablaze. 

Fire Marshal Coan added, "If anyone saw any suspicious activity near any of the fire scenes or has any information, please call the confidential Arson Hotline at 1-800-682-9229 or the Provincetown Police at 508 487-1212."

Fire officials are concerned because the houses in this area of Provincetown are close together and a fire in an unoccupied house could delay notification of the fire department and pose a risk to neighboring homes.

The fires are being jointly investigated by the Provincetown Fire Department, Provincetown Police Department, the Barnstable County Sheriff's Department and State Police in the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

The Arson Hotline is part of the Arson Watch Reward Program that is sponsored by the property and casualty insurance underwriting companies in the Commonwealth. The Arson Watch Reward Program gives rewards of up to $5,000 to help solve arson crimes.

Second MRSA case hits Cape
- A second reported case of the MRSA staph infection on the Cape has led to the closing of a pre-school. A child at the Kids Klub a town run facility in Mashpee was diagnosed with the infection. The facility on Great Neck Road closed down Thursday and won't open until Monday while a contractor sanitizes the building. Earlier in the week a student who attends the Oak Ridge School in Sandwich also came down with MRSA (see related story).

Jeep gives new meaning to drive up at local bank

A Jeep jumped a curb and narrowly missed crashing through the Citizens Bank in Osterville.
OSTERVILLE -  Officials rushed to the Citizens Bank at West Bay Road and Wianno Avenue in Osterville about 2 p.m. Friday. When they arrived they found that a Jeep Grand Cherokee had driven from a parking spot, over the sidewalk and two drive-up window lanes and bumped the  side of the building. An eyewitness said the only thing that stopped it from going through the booth and injuring the teller was the fact that the rear of the SUV got stuck on the divider of the two drive-up lanes. Minutes before there was a car in the inside lane closest to the teller. A Centerville, Osterville, Marstons Mills (COMM) rescue evaluated the 16-year-old female driver who declined to go to the hospital. Police believe she hit the gas instead of the brake. (Story and photos by Frank Paparo).

Two-car crash on Bearse's Way in Hyannis
   The two vehicles above were involved in a collision on Bearse's Way in Hyannis Friday.
hyannis110207a_225HYANNIS - At 11:45 a.m. Friday the Hyannis Fire Department and the Barnstable Police Department responded to a crash between a Grand Cherokee Laredo SUV and a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck on Bearse's Way, near Route 132 in front of the side entrance of the Cape Codder Resort and Spa.

After the collision, the vehicles wound up across the street from each other. The male driver of the pickup truck 69-year old John Fasciano of Centerville was removed from his vehicle by the Hyannis Fire Department and transported to Cape Cod Hospital by ambulance. The Jeep driver, 38-year-old Renee Featherstone of Mashpee, was not injured. Police are investigating.

(Story & photos by Frank Paparo.) 

Mall store evacuated after smoke detected
- The Victoria's Secret store at the Cape Cod Mall was evacuated for about an hour after smoke began filling the shop around 10 a.m. Friday. Hyannis firefighters believe a rooftop ventilation unit malfunctioned causing the smoke. The unit was shut down and the smoke cleared. No one was injured and the store was open again in about an hour.

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