The winds and coastal storm surge of what is now Post-Tropical Storm Sandy, whose core remained hundreds of miles away, pounded Cape Ann Monday and through the night, downing trees and power lines and pounding the coastline with menacing gray surf while cutting electricity to at least 3,000 Gloucester homes and businesses.
Sustained winds of 65 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 85 mph in late afternoon, pounded Gloucester, especially, and were expected to continue until early this morning, said Police Chief Leonard Campanello.
Emergency and utility crews responded feverishly throughout the day, tending to, among other issues, at least one transformer fire, a fire in a generator outside a home on Granite Street, a tree that crashed onto the roof of a house on Washington Street, and numerous flooding problems on roads and streets at the shoreline.
Police closed a number of roads on the Back Shore, with Gloucester, according to the National Weather
Service, facing another two to three feet of storm surge through the night.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency expected damaging winds, which began shortly after noon Monday, to last between 12 and 18 hours, along with continued widespread power outages and heavy rains.
Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello said the city would continue to have additional police and firefighters on duty through the night and into this morning. The city’s emergency operations center at Fuller School will remain open as well, he added.
“We’ll ride out the storm,” Campanello said.
The National Weather Service predicts that winds will ease by this afternoon.
The city had not called off school or closed municipal offices for today as of press time Monday night, though
Gloucester, Manchester Essex and Rockport public schools were closed yesterday, as was the city’s Endicott College campus on Commercial Street.
Mayor Carolyn Kirk said Superintendent Richard Safier was expected to decide whether or not to call off school between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. today.