Even during peak of storm, Back Bay abuzz with those hard at work.
A couple who went wave-watching here just before high tide early Tuesday had a close call when a powerful wave flipped their car into the Eel River, Plymouth Fire Chief Edward Bradley said.
The two people were parked by a sea wall at Plymouth Long Beach on Route 3A about 3 a.m. when the surging water swallowed their car and pushed it into the adjacent river, the chief said.
Luckily for the pair, a Plymouth police cruiser showed up minutes afterward to check the area, responding to a plow driver’s report of rising water.
The officer “thought he heard screaming,” Bradley said, and called the Fire Department.
Soon after, the couple emerged from the woods, rattled, soaked, and suffering from exposure.
They were taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth.
The car has not been recovered.
Flooding along that section of Route 3A damaged the Pilgrim Sands Motel and forced 12 guests to move to a shelter, the fire chief said. Waves driven by 55-mile-per-hour wind gusts crashed over the roof of the hotel, resulting in considerable water damage inside.
M Street Beach in South Boston on Tuesday (Jim O'Sullivan/Globe Staff)
Video from Easton snowplow truck
In the days and weeks that follow this blizzard, local insurance companies and agents say they expect to receive a torrent of phone calls as homeowners, businesses and drivers try to recoup their losses from snow, wind, and water damage.
“We’ll see these claims,” Skelly said. Some clients, he added, may not realize the damage caused by the blizzard, such as water damage to inside walls, until weeks later when the snow starts to melt.
Skelly, insurance agents and companies such as Liberty Mutual and Commerce Insurance closed local offices on Tuesday. But many had information on their websites about how to make a claim. They also were checking voicemails or directing customers to service centers in parts of the country unaffected by the blizzard.
Liberty Mutual, for example, has claims service offices in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Colorado and Washington to handle initial customer calls, said Glenn Greenburg, a company spokesman.
Powerful winter storms that have occurred frequently in recent years are triggering more insurance claims at higher costs across the country. Last year, winter weather was blamed for 15 percent of automobile, home, and business insurance claims in the United States, more than double the 20-year average of 6.7 percent, according to the Insurance Information Institute, an industry group based in New York City.
The latest storm radar image from the National Weather Service
Where are the power outages?
Around 4 p.m. there were 31,220 outages in Massachusetts, according to the state’s utility companies. The problems have been concentrated on the South Shore, Cape Cod and the Islands, though many people have lost their electric connections in other parts of the state.
The hardest hit areas include Nantucket, where there are more than 11,000 outages (86 percent of customers), and Provincetown, which has more than 5,500 outages (97 percent).
To track the issues, check the Globe’s power outage map.