Ferries Cancelled, Emergency Managers Mobilize as Hurricane Nears

The Steamship Authority has suspended ferry service and public schools and town halls are closed as the Vineyard braces for the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Still off the mid-Atlantic coast early Monday morning and headed north, forecasters say Sandy is an extremely dangerous storm that threatens the entire coast from New Jersey to Maine. The effects of Sandy are already being felt on the Island, with tides running high and winds gusting 40 to 50 knots in some places. High tide is at 11 a.m. in Vineyard Haven. Beach Road was closed to traffic Monday morning from Vineyard Haven to Edgartown due to flooding from the incoming tide. Dock street in Edgartown was also flooded.

All Eyes on Sandy

Storm preparations continued throughout the day Saturday as Vineyarders kept all eyes on the forecasts for Hurricane Sandy, churning northward off the coast of the lower mid-Atlantic on a collision course with another storm system moving in from the west.

Island Prepares for Hurricane Season

Emergency preparedness leaders on the Vineyard say they are not only well along in their plans for this year’s hurricane season — which began officially June 1 — but their preparations have improved over a year ago.

Last summer’s close approach of Hurricane Irene was not as severe for the Island as in other parts of New England. But the storm did help Vineyard decision makers move forward in better preparing for the big one.

News Update: Friday, August 21 - South Beach Closed as Massachusetts Prepares for Hurricane Bill

South Beach in Edgartown was closed to bathing today at noon, due to high surf.

South Beach and all of the beaches on Nantucket will be closed until Monday morning.

The announcement came from Governor Deval L. Patrick at a telephone press conference Friday, as he reported on preparations for Hurricane Bill.

Derby Number 65

Derby Number 65

The sea and coastline around the Island have been roughed up by hurricanes and tropical storms this September, beginning last weekend when Earl blew through and again midweek when more tropical disturbances cropped up. The weather has been unstable: thunderstorms crashed down on Edgartown on Wednesday while West Tisbury stayed dry and sunny.

But the forecast calls for weather patterns to settle down by Sunday, just in time for the opening of the sixty-fifth Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

A.G. Faults Hurricane Models for Inflating Homeowner Insurance Rates

Vineyard property owners concerned about sky-high insurance premiums now have company; the Massachusetts Attorney General mounted a claim last month that faulty computer-generated hurricane models have contributed to unnecessarily high home insurance rates for property owners across the commonwealth.

Offshore Hurricane Stirs Sound, Disappointing Derby Fishermen

Even though a category two hurricane called Ophelia missed us and passed several hundred miles to the east of Martha’s Vineyard last weekend, local rod and reel fisherman have few kind words to say about it. Though far away, turbulent waves from the storm muddied the waters and have nearly shut down the best fishing in this fall’s 66th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Fish are scarce but there is hope it will change this weekend.

Hurricane Irene Beaches Buoy

A scientific buoy was among the flotsum that washed up on South Beach when the remnants of Hurricane Irene passed over the Island two weeks ago. Susan Snider found the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution buoy on last Sunday and submitted the photograph to the Gazette.

Janet Fredericks, an operations manager for the institution, wrote and said it was a guard buoy, a marker used to alert and keep vessels away from the underwater scientific gear beneath. The institution maintains a sub-sea observatory along with a shoreside weather observatory.