Storm updates: SSA resumed service Sunday morning

The Gannon and Benjamin boatyard on Vineyard Haven harbor was buried in snow Saturday morning. — Photo by Nelson Sigelman

Updated 11:45 am, Sunday

Christopher S Cini, director of the Tisbury Emergency Management Department, reports that the town’s regional shelter closed at 11 am Sunday.

The Steamship Authority has resumed service between Martha’s Vineyard and Woods Hole.

As the winter storm began to wind down Saturday afternoon, Islanders took to the roadways, although traffic remained light.

Officially, the travel ban imposed at 4 pm, Friday ends at 4 pm, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Dukes County emergency management director Chuck Cotnoir advised residents to exercise caution when warming up vehicles to be certain that the exhaust pipe is not covered by snow. “Several incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning have been reported throughout the state,” Mr. Cotnoir said in an email to The Times.

Edgartown Police Chief Tony Bettencourt said the town parking ban would lift with the driving ban.

Power outages across the Island

Homes across the Island lost power as the brunt of the storm’s winds lashed Martha’s Vineyard.

According to the National Weather Service in Taunton, winds blew steadily in excess of 40 knots from 11 pm, Friday, to 11 am, Saturday. The highest gust, 58 knots, ocurred early in the morning at 5:53 am.

The down Island towns of Oak Bluffs and Tisbury were the hardest hit.

As of noon, Saturday, Nstar reported it was well on the way to restoring power across the Island. Nstar issued the following report: Aquinnah, all power restored; Chilmark, 20 customers out of 1,754 (1 percent); Edgartown, 235 customers out of 5,831 (4 percent); Oak Bluffs, 48 customers out of 4,670 (1 percent); Tisbury, 22 customers out of 3,812 (1 percent); West Tisbury, 73 customers out of 2,538 (3 percent).

Chappy ferry shut down

Tisbury School shelter remains open

Edgartown Police say stay off the roads

“Due to the rapidly deteriorating conditions the Edgartown Police Department has asked all Edgartown business to close and motorists to adhere to the governor’s driving ban. Several businesses are closing on their own, as we report. Roads have become treacherous and tree branches are starting to become extremely heavy,” Edgartown Chief Tony Bettencourt said in an email to The Times.

Travel ban

Governor Deval Patrick imposed a travel ban beginning at 4 pm Friday. Police officials in several Island towns said they have no plans to ticket or pull drivers over for violating the ban. At 3 pm Friday, roads were mostly wet or covered with a thin layer of slush. Police appealed to business owners and drivers to use common sense if conditions worsen.

Schools and town halls closed early Friday. The YMCA will close at 3 pm, Friday.

The Steamship Authority has cancelled trips for the rest of the day.

Tisbury and Edgartown have imposed parking bans that begin at 8 pm.

East Chop Drive in Oak Bluffs is closed to traffic.

Governor declares travel ban

I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, pursuant to the power provided by Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950 do hereby issue the following order:

There shall be a ban on motor vehicle travel beginning at 4pm today and continuing until further notice. This travel ban shall not apply to the following: Public safety vehicles and public safety workers, including contract personnel; public works vehicles and public works workers, including contract personnel; government officials conducting official business; utility company vehicles and utility workers; healthcare workers who must travel to and from work in order to provide essential health services; news media; travel necessary to maintain and deliver critical private sector services such as energy, fuel supplies and delivery, financial systems and the delivery of critical commodities; travel to support business operations that provide critical services to the public, including gasoline stations, food stores and hardware stores.

Edgartown parking ban

Edgartown has announced a parking ban on all town streets beginning at 8 pm tonight. “Motorists are encouraged to stay off the roads and allow emergency personnel to work through the duration of the storm,” Police Chief Tony Bettencourt said.

East Chop Drive is closed

Oak Bluffs selectman Walter Vail said town officials have decided to close East Chop Drive to traffic out of concern that storm driven waves could further erode the fragile bluffs. The road will reopen after the storm and once it can be determined that the roadway is in no danger.

SSA cancels service

The SSA has all trips between Woods Hole and Vineyard Haven for the rest of the day. More cancellations are expected.

For more information, please call 508-693-0367 or go to

Tisbury parking ban

An on-street parking ban will be in effect in Tisbury from 8 pm, Friday until noon Saturday, in order to allow snow removal equipment to operate.

The downtown area and main roads will be the primary focus. Vehicles will be towed as necessary, police said.

No parking will be allowed in the Water Street and Union Street parking lots beginning at midnight. The lots will be used to pile snow and truck it away, according to public works department director Fred LaPiana.

The Park and Ride lot will remain open.

Hospital is ready

“The hospital has staffing and supply plans in place to allow us to continue to care for patients currently in the hospital and any who may require services until the storm has passed,” said Martha’s Vineyard Hospital spokesman Rachel Vanderhoop.

“We have cancelled patients scheduled for ultra-sounds on Saturday morning but have kept a few openings in the afternoon. Please call ahead to confirm at 508-957-9300.”

Storm warning

Island emergency management directors issued the following statement at 3:15 pm Thursday:

“The Martha’s Vineyard Emergency Managers are issuing a travel advisory because of the impending winter storm.

“Due to expected dangerous and deteriorating conditions, we strongly urge all residents to avoid travel for the 24 hours between 3 pm Friday and 3 pm Saturday. Blizzard and whiteout conditions with zero visibility may occur.

“High winds may result in downed limbs and fallen trees, and large drifts may also block roads.

“Expect power outages, possibly prolonged, throughout the storm.

“Call NSTAR at 1-800-592-2000 if your power is affected. If the power is out, you must use a hard-wired phone.

“While your home should provide adequate shelter, a regional shelter will open at the Tisbury school at noon Friday. Schools will be dismissed at noon”

Early school dismissal Friday

Martha’s Vineyard Superintendent of Schools James Weiss announced a half day on Friday for Island schools. Elementary schools will dismiss students at noon, Friday. The high school will dismiss students at 11 am. All weekend school activities are cancelled.

The High School science fair has been postponed until Saturday, Feb. 16.

Towns will close up early

West Tisbury town hall will close at noon, Friday.

Edgartown and Aquinnah town halls will also close at noon. All Tisbury town buildings will close at noon.

Courthouse as well

The Dukes County courthouse will close at noon, Friday.

Library closings

Aquinnah Library director Lisa Sherman said she anticipates the Library will “very likely” be closed on Saturday.

The Oak Bluffs Library will close at noon and will remain closed Saturday. It will reopen Tuesday morning at 10 am.

Peter Pan Bus Service

Peter Pan Bus has cancelled all service north of New York City beginning Friday, including bus routes from Woods Hole. All routes are cancelled until further notice. Check the Peter Pan website for the latest travel advisories.

Cape Air service cancelled

Cape Air has cancelled all flights from Friday, February 8 through Saturday, February 9 in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

Cape Air said all customers scheduled to travel Sunday, February 10, are encouraged to check the status of their reservation for the latest updates, either online or by calling Reservations.

National Weather Service warnings

At 2:20 pm Thursday, the National Weather Service issued this coastal flood warning:

“Moderate coastal flooding is likely for the Friday evening high tide and moderate to major coastal flooding is likely for the Saturday morning high tide, with the most severe impact expected along east and north facing shorelines south of Boston.”

At 3:55 pm Thursday, The National Weather Service issued this blizzard warning, effective from 6 am Friday to 1 pm Saturday.

“Light snow will develop by Friday morning, becoming heavy late in the day into the evening commute. The heaviest of all snowfall…will fall Friday night into Saturday.

“White out conditions are anticipated as roads become snow covered by the Friday evening commute. Strong north-northeast winds are anticipated with gusts up to around 60 miles per hour, resulting in blowing and drifting snow. Damage to trees and structures along with scattered power outages are anticipated.”