BOSTON (CBS) – For first responders who lived through it, Hurricane Bob is a storm they will never forget.
“They were snapping like toothpicks,” Jack Foley recalls. It may have been 30 years ago, but retired firefighter Jack Foley remembers exactly where he was August 19, 1991.READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
“Trees were just going through, big, huge trees were going through two and half families, through roofs, you know it was just nuts! We just kept going from one run to another one. We never went back to the firehouse,” Foley exclaims.
Foley at the time, was working the dayshift for the Waltham Fire Department when Hurricane Bob hit New England.
“We had over 100 runs in like three hours, it was crazy. I asked the guy to come in early, because I knew my boat was down here, and I knew it wasn’t safe,” Foley says.
Jack Foley has owned property on Cape Cod since the 70s. He currently is a ferry captain and has been around boats his entire life.
“It was a mess down here,” Foley says referring to Cape Cod. “I came down here and went over to see my boat and it was gone. So, I looked down the river and it was tangled up in a pile with like three other boats,” he says.
That was the scene for so many on the Cape.
“People were pulling their boats left and right. There were boats so far in the woods, you could just see the masts. A couple of weeks later they were picking them out with helicopters,” Foley remembers.
Jack’s boat did have damage, but he was one of the lucky ones.
“I had a big hole in the bow… put a trash bag over it and duct taped it and drove it till the winter,” Foley said. “We drove around looking at all the damage by boat, not by car.”
That was the easiest way of transportation as trees, powerlines, debris and even houses littered the roadways. WBZ asked him what really stood out from that hurricane.READ MORE: Northeast Metro Tech Football Player Seriously Injured During Saturday Game
“Just how far the boats went into the woods. You know that’s how far the surge was, the surge was huge,” Foley recalls.
Thirty years ago, most of the boats in Falmouth Harbor were safely stowed away. A good thing because locals tell WBZ it was a wind and surf event with an impressive storm surge that came halfway up the street lights around the harbor.
“Houses that were right on the water, little huts, were actually taken off the foundation and there is a pond in Woods Hole and one of the houses actually floated across off the pond and onto other side,” Steve, a retired firefighter tells WBZ.
While he was taking in a more peaceful view, he recalls the conditions while working in Woods Hole that day.
“The trees were actually crackling, you could hear them coming, just before they came down. And the bees were extremely agitated, because all of the hives were all destroyed and anywhere you moved, they’d come after you. We had a breaker up in North Falmouth and they were out on a mission at the time, and one of the storm surges came in, actually lifted the breaker up and pushed it back a good 100 feet. It was pretty wild,” Steve says.
“Nobody was really expecting it to be that bad in this area. We expected it to be like the rest of them to veer off and it didn’t veer off it came in on top of us,” Steve explains.
He’s also not convinced the next generation is ready for another hurricane.
“Going over two bridges and trying to get out of here, I don’t think that can take place. There’s an awful lot of cars going over that bridge and all you have to do is have one accident you know, in the area somebody makes a wrong move or something, and it shuts down one bridge right off the bat,” Steve tells WBZ.
“Nobody is prepared really until it hits, unless you’ve gone through it before,” Steve says.
And Hurricane Bob is one he’ll never forget.MORE NEWS: Longtime Watertown Grocery Store Russo’s Officially Closes
“It was memorable,” Steve said. “Put it that way. Hopefully we don’t get any more of them.”