Residents along the south shore of the Island will likely hear loud explosions next Friday due to an operation conducted by the U.S. Navy to clear and remove unexploded ordnance on Noman’s Land left over from training exercises during World War II.
The operation to collect and detonate munitions was initially scheduled for today, although a Navy spokesman said yesterday it was postponed until next Friday, Oct. 10, due to the threat of inclement weather.
Brian Corbett, a contractor hired by the Navy to perform the operation, said all detonations will take place between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mr. Corbett estimated that approximately six detonations will occur during the exercise. Bombs found will be collected and exploded at once, to minimize the number of charges,.
The U.S. Navy drew darts from some Islanders this summer when it conducted a controlled burn on Noman’s to clear vegetation in anticipation of the ordnance removal program. Although the operation was necessary — both to uncover munitions and keep shrubs from taking over grasslands which provide habitat for rare and endangered birds — many complained the Navy did not do enough to alert the public of the burn operation.
This time the Navy has taken steps to alert local officials, emergency personnel and the public, Mr. Corbett said. He strongly advised all boaters to stay clear of Noman’s Land while the munitions operation is conducted.