News Update: Wednesday, August 24 - President gets briefing on Hurricane Irene, No Plans to Leave Vineyard Early

President Obama was briefed today on preparations for the expected arrival of powerful Hurricane Irene, but has no plans at this stage to cut short his vacation on the Vineyard, a Presidential spokesman said this morning.

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Islanders Brace for storm surge, winds as Hurricane Irene churns up the coast
Mike Seccombe

Hurricane Irene is expected to pass west of Martha’s Vineyard this weekend, but Islanders still should be prepared for a very strong storm with sustained winds of 80 to 90 miles an hour with higher gusts, heavy rain, a storm surge of as much as eight feet, and seas off the south shore of 25 to 35 feet by Sunday, weather forecasters warned.

The warning was contained in a conference call briefing to a gathering of Vineyard emergency planners yesterday by Bob Thompson of the National Weather Service.

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News Update: Monday, August 29 - Steamship Resumes Service, Cleanup Begins as Sun Shines in Wake of Tropical Storm Irene

The Steamship Authority resumed regular service this morning, general manager Wayne Lamson confirmed, following a flyover by the U.S. Coast Guard to check that nearby waters were navigable after Tropical Storm Irene passed the Island on Sunday.

The Chappy ferry also has resumed service, as the new day dawned crisp and clear on the Vineyard.

A number of flights to and from the Island had been cancelled this morning, according to Cape Air, which advised travelers to consult for individual flight information.

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Two Cottages Near Stonewall Beach Become Cliffhangers After Tropical Storm Irene; Emergency Move Approved
Remy Tumin

The Chilmark Conservation Commission issued an emergency work certificate this week for two perilously-perched cottages on the cliffs of Stonewall Beach, fearing if they are not moved back from the edge they will fall into the ocean.

Natalie Conroy’s two small cottages on her property off State Road in Chilmark must be moved after tropical storm Irene stripped off 10 feet of cliff where the structures stand.

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Hurricane Irene Beaches Buoy

A scientific buoy was among the flotsum that washed up on South Beach when the remnants of Hurricane Irene passed over the Island two weeks ago. Susan Snider found the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution buoy on last Sunday and submitted the photograph to the Gazette.

Janet Fredericks, an operations manager for the institution, wrote and said it was a guard buoy, a marker used to alert and keep vessels away from the underwater scientific gear beneath. The institution maintains a sub-sea observatory along with a shoreside weather observatory.

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