Cape Cod Hardest Hit by Storm Rhode Island Also Takes Losses; Contamination Affects Regional Shellfish Industry and Beaches
Elizabeth Ross, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor
ON the first day of sunshine after Hurricane Bob swept through this picturesque Cape Cod community, business owners, vacationers, and residents were busy patching up damage, clearing away downed trees, and coping with power outages.
Downtown restaurants served diners by candlelight. Residents shopped for extra batteries and bags of ice. Curious onlookers surveyed shattered summer cottages. Restaurant and hotel owners lamented loss of tourist business.
Peter Riley, co-owner of the Townhouse Restaurant in Falmouth, said the storm "couldn't have come at a worse time. (This is) always the best week of the season."
The storm, which hit the Northeast coast last Monday and left a trail of damage from North Carolina to Canada, caused widespread power outages on Cape Cod and in Rhode Island. Highways, beaches, and bridges were damaged by wind and storm surge. Boats lay smashed along beaches and against shoreline cottages.
Acting on behalf of Massachusetts Gov. William Weld (R), who traveled to the Far East on a trade mission, Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci on Friday lifted the state of emergency that had been imposed as Bob approached. He also requested that President Bush declare the state a disaster area and provide $979 million worth of federal assistance for repairing damage to private and public property and loss of crops.
"The fact that we're lifting the state of emergency is a good sign that things are returning to normal and that the major threat to public health and safety is over," Mr. Cellucci said at a press conference. "But we are not forgetting those customers and those homes and those businesses that do not have their power restored. …