CWN Storm Team coverage of first major snowstorm; Dramatic fire rescue in Hyannis; Dog causes Brewster crash Thursday morning

New this morning: Fire damages Yarmouth home
YARMOUTH
- A fire damaged a ranch-style home in West Yarmouth Friday morning. Firefighters were called to 52 Crowe's Purchase shortly after 6:30 a.m. to find a fire in the chimney that had extended into a wall. They were able to quickly knock down the fire and no injuries were reported. A building inspector was called to assess the damage.

CWN Storm Team Coverage: First major snowstorm of season
CAPE COD - The first major snowstorm of the season is blanketing the Cape with several inches of  heavy snow Thursday evening.

A Winter Storm Warning was in effect until 11 p.m.

Watch this area for Cape Cod's only continually updated storm information.

Check snowfall reports here.

(This scene is outside the CWN bureau in Provincetown-Tim Caldwell/CWN).

Epilogue: I made the trip from Provincetown to Truro PD that usually takes about 10 minutes in a half hour. I can attest that it is very icy underfoot as yours truly wound up on my butt while clearing snow off the car. Thankfully there was no wind with this storm because the trees are all hanging low to the ground and there would have been extensive power issues. Time to go to work-TC 

9:30 p.m. update: Radar shows all heavier snow now offshore with only leftover flurries. Total accumulations of 4-7 inches are being reported. Several fender benders still occurring. Officials urge people to stay off the roads overnight to give crews time to catch up clearing snow and putting down salt. A few more reports of tree limbs impacting power lines causing a few scattered power outages. Attention now starts to turn to the second storm in this one-two punch. A major nor'easter is forecast for Saturday night into Sunday. Current expectation are for snow Saturday night to change to rain on Sunday. High winds could cause scattered power outages and beach erosion. The Cape Wide News Storm Team will again have you covered from start to finish. We wrap up our coverage tonight with this reader submitted photo showing an extra firefighter on duty in Harwich -- a snow firefighter that is. Take care all-TC 

7 p.m. update: A good 6 inches of snow in Provincetown. Wellfleet firefighters were called to Pheasant Run about 5:30 p.m. when a snow plow caught fire. 911 callers reported several small explosions rocked the vehicle before firefighters arrived.  The fire was quickly doused and no injuries were reported. In Eastham some snow-laden tree branches were snagging power lines causing lights to flicker in some neighborhoods. That problem is illustrated by this picture outside our P'town bureau showing snow laden shrubs almost on the ground. (Photo by Tim Caldwell/CWN).

5:30 p.m. update: Some mix being tracked on radar but all roads still very slippery. Accumulation of 4-5 inches common. CWN's Kevin Morley is reporting on a frightening scene by exit 9 on the Mid-Cape Highway where a spin out led to a collision with an ambulance:

DENNIS - Route 6 eastbound came to a grinding halt before Exit 9A on Thursday afternoon around 3:50 p.m. when a Toyota 4Runner spun out leading to a chain-reaction rear-end collision involving a Lincoln Town Car and a Cape Cod Ambulance Services ambulance.
An Orleans Fire Department ambulance headed east was immediately on scene. Orleans contacted Dennis Fire and a Dennis ambulance was dispatched. The driver of the Toyota 45-year-old Tracey Glascow reported that while traveling in the right lane her vehicle's left wheels got caught up in the plow windrow between the lanes, sending her vehicle into a 180-degree spin and rearward into the guardrail. In attempting to avoid the 4Runner, the Lincoln driver apparently jammed on the brakes. The Town Car was then struck by a Cape Cod Ambulance Services ambulance and sent onto the left shoulder of Route 6 eastbound. Orleans Rescue removed the occupants of the Town Car and transferred them to the Dennis ambulance for transport to Cape Cod Hospital. The nature and severity of the injuries are unknown but they did not appear to be life threatening. State police secured the scene as night fell and the snow fell harder. (Photos by Kevin Morley/CWN).
Meanwhile there were some anxious moments about 5 p.m. when a structure fire was reported at 97 Barley Neck Road in Orleans. A fire in the fireplace had apparently flared up but had been extinguished by the time firefighters arrived. Smoke in the house had to be ventilated but no one was injured.

3:30 p.m. update: Snow accumulations of 2-3 inches commonplace. Many crashes being reported. A car and box truck collided on the Scenic Highway in Bourne. Several crashes reported in the Hyannis area also. Many cancellations coming in including Dennis Special Town Meeting and the Community meeting of the Yarmouth Parks Department.

2 p.m. update: Visibilities have been reduced and travel is already treacherous with speeds about 15-20 MPH. Many businesses and schools have or are closing early. Most towns either have or will shortly institute parking bans on streets.

One person was injured in this crash in Harwich between a Toyota pickup and a car on Lower County Road and Chase Street. (Photo by Jake O'Callaghan/CWN) A vehicle rolled over in Wellfleet about 1:45 p.m. Fortunately the driver was not injured and once the car was righted was able to drive away.

"After about 1 1/2 hours of snow we have about 1 1/2" of snow here in Brewster" according to our Brewster Weather Spotters.

The roads are getting very slick and hearing a lot of police activity re: sliding cars off the roadways. NECN and the Weather Channel predict 3-6 inches on Cape, other prediction are up to 8 inches. At right another crash at Route 28 and Trotting Park Road in Dennis. The driver was uninjured after striking a utility pole. (Photo by Kevin Morley/CWN).

Police give the following safety tips if you must travel:

  • Drive with your headlights on
  • Wear Your Seat Belt
  • Ice and Snow, Take it Slow, Drive for conditions. Don't get overconfident with four-wheel drive. It won't help you stop any faster.
  • Drivers should allow additional room between their vehicles and others. Winter road conditions often result in longer stopping distances.
  • Avoid abrupt actions while steering, braking or accelerating to lessen the chances of losing control of the vehicle.
  • Look farther ahead in traffic. Action by other drivers will alert you to problems and give you extra time to react.
  • Avoid using cruise control or overdrive. Don't let your car make a bad decision for you.
  • Stopping on snow and ice without skidding requires extra time and distance. If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don't have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal. Either way, give yourself plenty of room to stop.

Safe Travel Around Snowplows

Snowplows are usually spreading anti-icing materials from the back of the truck and may need to stop or take evasive action to avoid stranded vehicles.

If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it or use caution when passing. The road behind a snowplow will be safer to drive on.

  • Don't crowd the plow. Snowplows plow far and wide-sometimes very wide.
  • Plows turn and exit the road frequently. Give them plenty of room. Stay back at least 15 car lengths (200 feet).
  • A snowplow operator's field of vision is restricted. You may see them but they may not see you.
    (Info supplied by YPD; plow photo by Kevin Morley/CWN). See Kevin's report on Dennis DPW preps for the storm here.

Neighbor credited with rescuing people from Hyannis fire

    
Hyannis Firefighters responded to 35 County Seat Road after a fire broke out in the house.
HYANNIS - At around 12 p.m. today Hyannis Fire and Barnstable Police responded to report of a structure fire at 35 County Seat Road in Hyannis. When the units arrived the fire had already been put out but there was a smoke condition in the home. Two residents were inside the Hyannis rescue being evaluated for smoke inhalation. Witnesses say the young man pictured at right was a neighbor from across the street and when he saw the smoke ran across the street and assisted the residents out of the house. Officials believe a fragrance candle sparked the fire. (Story and photos by Frank Paparo/CWN).

Vandals shoot out car windows in Hyannis
HYANNIS
- Barnstable Police say about two dozen cars had their windows shot out with a BB gun early Wednesday morning. If caught, the suspect(s) face felony malicious destruction charges. Anyone with info is urged to contact police at (508) 775-0387.

Women accused in shoplifting ring
HYANNIS
- Two women are accused of a shoplifting spree through at least four stores in Hyannis Wednesday. A security guard at the TJ Maxx store caught 26-year-old Kristin Costa of New Bedford allegedly trying to leave with unpaid merchandise. 26-year-old Maria Matias was also identified by loss prevention as being involved. When police discovered a car the two were using they reportedly found additional merchandise with tags still on from KB Toys, Olympia Sports and Old Navy. The two face charges of larceny over $250.

Into the woods after a dog jumped on the driver's lap

brewster_crash_1213071_600
BREWSTER - A dog who jumped onto a female driver's lap caused her to lose control of the vehicle she was driving.  The woman and her male passenger crashed into the woods off Route 137 at Tower Hill Circle next to Tubman Road on Thursday at 10 a.m. A Brewster animal control officer can be seen below leading the dog from the scene.  Both passengers of the vehicle were transported to Cape Cod Hospital with unknown injuries.  (Photos by Jake O'Callaghan/CWN).
brewster_crash_1213072_600
 

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