Island schools were canceled and most government offices were shuttered as a strong winter storm brought snow, winds and frigid temperatures to the Vineyard. By Thursday night, only a few inches had accumulated, but the National Weather Service said the storm could dump between 6 and 12 inches by late Friday morning.
The worst part of the storm was expected overnight, with periods of near blizzard conditions and very strong winds. The forecast called for “dangerously low wind chills” and “considerable blowing” along the coastline. Wind speeds of 30 to 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 miles per hour from the northeast were predicted, with possible whiteout conditions.
High tides around midnight and noon Friday raised concerns about coastal flooding.
Ferries to and from Nantucket were canceled, but continued to run between Woods Hole and Vineyard Haven Thursday evening.
The weather service was also predicting extreme wind chills of 15 below late Thursday night.
The Martha’s Vineyard Family Center cancelled all programs Thursday. The YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard closed early on Thursday, but hoped to reopen at noon on Friday.
Peter Pan Bus service to and from Woods Hole was suspended for Friday morning. Service was expected to resume by midday.
Cape Air announced flights on and off the Vineyard would be disrupted into Friday. Customers should check capeair.com for further updates.
Martha’s Vineyard Airport was still open as of Thursday afternoon but airport manager Sean Flynn said he expected the airport to close at some point Friday. The airport can usually stay open through storms, Mr. Flynn said, but with the snow and low temperatures icing over the runway could force the airport to close.
“Our plan is to try to keep up with the overnight...and then attack it fully tomorrow,” he said, adding that the airport does not use any chemicals or salt to clear the runway.
Chappaquiddick Ferry owner Peter Wells asked Chappy residents to be home by 6 p.m. Thursday evening.
“That’s as confident as we are in the forecast,” he said. “We don’t know about tomorrow yet, we’ll have to see.”
The astronomical tide tonight around midnight and noontime tomorrow could also disrupt ferry service, he said. An ambulance is stationed on Chappy for the storm, Mr. Wells said, “just in case.”
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