Ferries to the Vineyard were running again Friday morning after a fierce northeaster battered the Vineyard this week with more coastal flooding and wind gusts of up to 77 miles per hour. Most ferry service and air travel were shut down for two straight days on Wednesday and Thursday.
The powerful gale downed trees in several towns, caused scattered power outages and forced road closures, including Beach Road between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown.
The storm began on Wednesday and continued throughout the day Thursday.
At press time last night, Steamship Authority service was still suspended and expected to resume sometime Friday morning after the storm had passed.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Taunton were calling for gale-force winds through early Thursday evening, and then for the storm to weaken overnight with improved conditions by Friday morning. By late in the day Thursday the driving rain and high winds had eased slightly.
Cape Air cancelled all flights to the Island yesterday.
The Chappaquiddick ferry, which stopped service at 2 p.m. Wednesday, was operating on a trip-by-trip basis as of Thursday afternoon.
The northeaster, which comes a little more than a week after Hurricane Sandy passed by the Island, threatened fresh damage on already storm-damaged beaches and roads. The oceanside lane of East Chop Drive from Brewster avenue to Munroe, closed last week due to slumping caused by Hurricane Sandy, remains inaccessible. On Wednesday Dukes County Emergency Management director Chuck Cotnoir announced a portion of the Beach Road bike path had collapsed and would be closed until further notice.
Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard owner Phil Hale said he recorded a gust of 77 miles per hour overnight Wednesday on the Vineyard Haven harbor with several gusts reaching 75 miles per hour Thursday morning.
Inland, the Martha’s Vineyard Airport recorded sustained winds of 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 54 miles per hour.
Click here for more photos of this week's storm.