Sunday snow, sleet leads to accidents, travel disruptions

Snow and sleet that began shortly before noon Sunday and heralded the arrival of a terrific winter storm led to reports of several motor vehicle accidents, power outages, and travel disruptions.

About 6:30 pm, the power went out in towns across the Vineyard. It was not restored until just before 10 pm. Approximately 4,000 NStar customers on Martha’s Vineyard lost power due to the blizzard. Most of the customers affected were in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury, according to Michael Durand, NStar spokesman, on Monday.

A single car accident on Lambert’s Cove Road, shortly after noon on Sunday, left a late-model Ford Escape Hybrid totaled and two young Islanders shaken but unhurt. The road was temporarily closed while emergency personnel responded.

The accident occurred at the foot of the drive leading to Scott and Terre Young’s house, at the top of the hill that starts at Uncle Seth’s Pond.

Ben Luckey, 20, of West Tisbury was driving. Angela George, 20, of Tisbury was a passenger in the car.

Mr. Young heard the crash, called 911, and ran down the hill, where he found Mr. Luckey and Ms. George already outside the car. Mr. Luckey was driving down-Island when the vehicle skidded at the top of the hill, and slid across the road before leaving it, according to Mr. Young.

The car narrowly missed two substantial trees before hitting a smaller tree which caused air bags to deploy. Ms. George had small cuts and several bruises. She was transported to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for observation.

Edgartown police responded to a one-car crash that knocked down a pole on Katama Road near Aero Drive. The road was closed for approximately five hours while crews worked to repair the pole and return power to that area, Edgartown police Chief Tony Bettencourt said.

The Edgartown Yacht Club parking lot was completely submerged at high tide. The storm-driven water reached all the way to Dock Street.

Travel disrupted

Late Sunday, the snow and sleet turned to rain but the winds increased.

The Steamship Authority (SSA) cancelled the Island Home’s 6:15 pm trip from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven. More trip cancellations followed, and travelers on both sides of Vineyard Sound hunkered down for a long night.

Service resumed Monday morning. But it was a brief respite. The SSA cancelled the Island Home’s 6:15 pm trip from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven and her return, due to high winds.

At the SSA board meeting Tuesday, Vineyard SSA member Marc Hanover thanked terminal employees for their “tremendous efforts in blinding snow and cold to get Islanders onto the boats so they could get home before the blizzard shut down operations later that day,” according to a management report of the meeting.

Mr. Hanover said SSA employees filled up both of the Island Home ferry’s lift decks so that the boat could sail full and then filled the deck of the freight boat Katama immediately afterward.