Penelope Wilson
The shock waves of last week’s storm are still rippling through Island fields as farmers anxiously watch their crops to see the extent of the damage.
Hurricanes and Storms
Hurricane Bob
Rachel Orr
Usually the brush is so think this time of year one can hardly bushwhack from the shore to the remnants of the Menemsha Hills brickworks.
Hurricanes and Storms
Hurricane Bob

1991

A stalk of butterfly weed pushed its fiery orange flowers out of a green stem in a West Tisbury field, an unusual sign of a season past.

Spring is springing in September. Lilac bushes and cherry trees are bursting with blossoms and the fresh green leaves of spring, while oak trees settle in for their long winter’s nap.

It seems, from our human perspective, that the hands on the seasonal clock have been spun too far and the spring has snapped. Has nature gone haywire?

The first question people ask after a hurricane is, “If a tree falls in your backyard and it doesn’t make a sound who is responsible for cutting it up?” Ever since Hurricane Bob hit Martha’s Vineyard this question has been debated from one end of the Island to the other.

I was in Shirley’s Hardware Store trying to return batteries that I was hoarding during the storm, when I saw Thompson confront Bigalow. “When are you going to get your bloody oak tree out of my backyard?” he demanded.

The region’s first federal disaster aid briefing begins this morning in Edgartown as officials scramble to fund reconstruction and cleanup in the aftermath of Hurricane Bob.

Town civil defense directors meet with Richard Nocella, a Federal Emergency station at 11 this morning. FEMA representatives will hold sessions in the hurricane-torn countries of Barnstable, Bristol, Plymouth, Essex and Middlesex in the coming week.

Usually the brush is so think this time of year one can hardly bushwhack from the shore to the remnants of the Menemsha Hills brickworks.

These aren’t usual days.

Now one just has to watch for all the debris and driftwood littering the downed brush when walking from the beach to the brickworks.

Behind the brickworks and to its sides the brush remains green and virulent. But Hurricane Bob leveled the vegetation directly before the former factory.

The shock waves of last week’s storm are still rippling through Island fields as farmers anxiously watch their crops to see the extent of the damage.

Scorched leaves and windblown plants are the legacy of Hurricane Bob across the Island. Farmers are now harvesting the remainders of some crops and continuing to market their goods. Many say the storm came at the peak of an excellent season, eradicating some crops that would otherwise have continued through the fall.

Martha’s Vineyard officials estimate Hurricane Bob cut a $5.5 million path of destruction when it tore through the Vineyard Monday afternoon. Civil defense directors rushed preliminary figures to Boston Wednesday in time for acting Gov. Paul Cellucci’s request that the President declare the state a national disaster area.

Town leaders received notice from the state Wednesday that they had just 24 hours to compile the first damage report, which set the preliminary cost of cleanup and repair of public facilities at $2.5 million.

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