Ferry service service was suspended, community events were canceled, the wind was howling and Islanders were hunkered down in their homes Friday as a huge blizzard continued to bear down on the East Coast.
The storm's intensity was increasing early Friday evening. Power flickers were reported up-Island and a whipping wind rattled windows. Snow accumulation was light but expected to increase through the night.
Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency for Massachusetts on Friday at noon and a statewide travel ban went into effect at 4 p.m.
The Steamship Authority suspended all ferry service between the Vineyard and Woods Hole. Air travel from the Vineyard and mainland bus service were also shut down.
The storm is expected to worsen overnight and into Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for all of Eastern and Southeastern Massachusetts, with strong north-northeast winds expected to gust up to 70 miles per hour. There is also a coastal flood warning and predicitons for 30-foot seas by Friday night.
Forecasters are warning that shore roads may be flooded.
As darkness fell Friday the storm was pelting the Vineyard with heavy, wet snow and sleet. Strong surf kicked up along the Nantucket Sound side of the Island. Snowplows scraped thick slush from roads and most Islanders stayed indoors.
Cancellations on major transportation links began early in the day.
Cape Air canceled all flights from the Vineyard Friday.
All Peter Pan bus service north of New York city was canceled beginning Friday, including all routes out of Woods Hole.
Public schools, town halls and many private businesses closed at noon Friday to allow people time to get home before the worst of the storm began.
A parking ban is in effect in the down Island towns.
Most community events scheduled for Friday night and Saturday have been canceled due to the storm, which is expected to last through most of Saturday.
For more photos of the blizzard, click here.