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In Scituate, sunny skies but a town without power

A family navigated through debris-strewn Rebecca Road in Scituate on Sunday.

Charles Krupa/Associated Press

A family navigated through debris-strewn Rebecca Road in Scituate on Sunday.

SCITUATE -- The sun illuminated this snow-covered seaside town Sunday, melting ice that encased power lines and tree branches while providing a bit of warmth after another frigid night.

Rick Colvin said parts of his girlfriend’s house in the First Cliff neighborhood registered 44 degrees Saturday night. But Colvin, his girlfriend, and her children muddled through with the aid of a wood-burning stove and a heap of blankets.

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“Staying up all night keeping the wood stove going, up every three hours, it’s a lot of work,” he said Sunday, taking a break from shoveling snow. Colvin was trying to clear a path for the family’s Kentucky gaited horse, Chilmark. During the storm, his girlfriend’s 12-year-old son, Christian Cuneo, braved the snow and wind to rescue the horse from his paddock, and guide him back to an enclosure under the house.

In a storm update e-mailed to residents, town officials forecast that power would remain out until at least Tuesday. “Thank God we have a gas stove,” Colvin said.

The nor’easter knocked out power to all of Scituate, town officials said. Downed lines can be spotted throughout town, dangling from poles and crumpled on the ground, resembling black snakes curled up in the snow. In some places, the lines rested on car roofs and driftwood.

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Town administrators said road crews are working to clear roads, promising to clear main arteries first. “We know this is frustrating and empathize, but there are 50 blocked or partially parked streets we are trying to clear in the next 48 hours,” officials said in their e-mail.

The town dispatched gas and building inspectors to examine structures that may have sustained damage in the storm.

As National Grid work crews cleared trees and wires, residents cleared driveways and doorsteps.

Frank Griffin shoveled ice and slush from the steps of his Cedar Point home. His family stayed through the storm but departed before Saturday’s high tide, when the sea rushed in and flooded the neighborhood. They returned once the waters receded -- and plan on staying.

“We’re hosting the neighbors,” he said, as the sound of his purring generator mixed with the whoosh of the waves. “It’s a party.”

Residents walking their dogs sidestepped debris, maneuvering out of the way of kayaks and rowboats deposited in the street by the sea. Bill Leaver said his three fire places have kept his home relatively toasty, with the temperature staying above 50.

Still, he planned to take his family to the hotel he manages in Newton, so they can “hunker down for the day and recharge.”

Some people sent children and spouses to stay with friends and family elsewhere who had power. For those who stayed, many stopped by the shelter at the high school to power cellphones, a lifeline to the outside world.

Akilah Johnson can be reached at ajohnson@globe.com.
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