Okay, so the Katama “opening” didn’t become a “closing” during the last storm. I can’t help but be a little bit of an alarmist or a worst-case scenario person. My positions with the ferry and the fire department require an outlook of planning for the worst and hoping for the best. But Norton Point really is just a stone’s throw from its likely reattachment point. Granted you’d really have to give that stone a good throw, but if you look at the aerial photos in the Gazette or on the Chappy ferry website and Facebook page I believe that you, too, will get the impression that Chappy won’t be an island much longer.

When a person writes out a check to the Chappy ferry for a book of tickets, I ask the ferry crew to have the customer write a phone number on the check. If there is a banking glitch I might need to contact them. In a couple of cases a check written to the ferry was the first to bounce and my ability to alert them helped the person to avoid more trouble. So it can benefit both parties. One day Chappaquiddick firefighter Jannik Grabowski wrote a check. Captain Becca asked for a phone number. Jannik replied, “Peter knows where to find me.” Which is true. But Becca said that she was just doing her job. So Jannik wrote 911. And that is even more true. When you dial 911 on Chappy in the middle of the night Jannik will be one of your neighbors who, without hesitation, leaps out of bed and into his clothes and heads out the door. He is the embodiment of 911.

There are also another half-dozen of us who are trained, ready and willing to respond to fire and medical emergencies here on Chappy. Just remember 911 is for land lines. From a cell phone you will do better by dialing 508-693-1212. If you dial 911 from a cell phone your call will be answered at the state police off-island dispatch center. Your call for help will ultimately be transferred to Martha’s Vineyard, but in the meantime many precious minutes will go by. In one instance that I know of, more than 10 minutes elapsed between the original 911 cell phone call and the dispatch call to Edgartown EMTs. EMTs arrived at the scene only seven minutes after being notified and that included the Chappy ferry ride. They should have used 508-693-1212.

That big snowstorm last week was a real old-timey winter gale. More than 24 hours of blowing snow and high wind gusts resulted in six-foot drifts and impassable roadways. Thankfully, the power stayed on throughout the blizzard. During the height of the storm, Chappy’s own snowplow guy Tom Osborn struggled valiantly against great odds to maintain at least one lane of access for emergency vehicles. When the extreme conditions far surpassed the abilities of a single plow, the guys from the highway department brought over the big machines. Working above and beyond what could reasonably be expected of folks who had been awake for close to 40 hours, they began the overwhelming task of digging us out. They worked late into the night and returned early the next morning to finish the job. Chappy got more than its fair share of attention on this one.

I had many inquiries regarding who could plow out individual driveways. Write these numbers down for the next big snow. Tom Osborn, 508-939-0661. Kevin Peters, 508-889-7488 and 508-693-2218. Kevin also has a sander. There are some others listed in the yellow pages. I saw some landscapers sending over loaders and bobcats during the days following the storm. Make the call now to get on their list before the next snowfall. A couple of free tips: mark the location of your in-ground fuel tank so the delivery folks can find it to fill it and mark the location of your wellhead if it’s at risk of being hit by a plow.

This week the potluck was cancelled because of treacherous conditions in the Chappy Community Center parking lot. The next potluck will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, hosted by the mighty multitalented trio of Lily Morris, Christian Walter and Collins Heavener. Don’t miss out on this chance to trade storm horror stories while they are still fresh in your mind. This being the dead of winter here on Chappy we’re not compelled to discourage embellishment. Given the epic proportions of that blizzard, there really isn’t any need for exaggeration.

Send your Chappy news to: peter@chappyferry.net.