Usually when you think of Hyannis, Massachusetts, it's for the ferries to the island and the beaches and the harbor. But Wednesday, it was ground zero for a massive snow-excavation job.
"I'm used to this, but this is insane -- I've never seen anything like this before," said Jeff Moran, a Cape Air employee helping shovel friends out of 9-foot-high snowdrifts at the DoubleTree Hilton on Route 28, where they sought refuge as the storm shut down roads.
State Police and Massachusetts Highway Department crews using front-end loaders and dump trucks worked all day Wednesday to clear out a stretch of Route 28 by the Barnstable Municipal Airport, where wind roaring unstopped over the airfield drenched the highway with blowing snow and trapped at one point Tuesday as many as 30 cars and four ambulances headed to Cape Cod Hospital.
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Mike Landers of Sandwich, helping dig out his wife's friend Brittany Galgay's Mini Cooper, said he could not remember a snowfall on the Cape like this. "Not this much," Landers said.
By the Hy-Line ferry terminal on Hyannis Harbor, crews clearing the parking lot formed a 15-foot-high pile as big as a Cape cottage.
Kathleen Kenney of Hyannis spent much of the day digging from her driveway -- and hoping a plow would come by that she could hire.
"It was a bad storm," Kenney said. "It was windy and sleety, and it was miserable. The wind was horrible."
Kenney is, however, still an optimist about the Cape's famously mild winters -- usually. "On the Cape, it is gone in a week or so," Kenney said. "Let's hope it does."