2012

From an Island-wide relief effort that began as idle conversation during happy hour to a clothing drive and donations from sandwiches, there has been an outpouring of Island-giving for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

And for Islander Ryan Murtha, who organized an impromptu relief effort, the overwhelming response was as positive as the devastation was striking.

In following the news coverage of Hurricane Sandy, I was struck by a strange reversal in reporting from before and after the storm. In the days leading up to landfall, the effect of climate change on the likelihood, strength or impacts of the storm was largely ignored; in accounts of the damage post-Sandy, the subject of climate change has been routinely raised.
While the Island was spared the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, reports early Tuesday confirmed severe erosion, especially on south-facing shorelines. The ocean washed over Norton Point Beach at Katama in Edgartown, turning the eastern end of the beach into a sandbar covered with water at high tide, said Chris Kennedy, superintendent for The Trustees of Reservations.
With Hurricane Sandy still hundreds of miles south of the Vineyard Monday afternoon, the Island was feeling its blast with many roads underwater from extreme high tides and huge ocean waves pounding the shoreline. Winds were gusting up to 60 miles per hour in places, and there was one report from Cuttyhunk of a gust clocked at 81 mph. There were scattered power outages through out the Island and some reports of trees down, including one in Vineyard Haven that caught fire.
black dog boarded up
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.