Limited ferry service resumes as storm batters Vineyard

Ferries were stuck in port for much of the morning, and debris is washed up on the beach in Vineyard Haven Harbor. — Photo by Steve Myrick

Conditions at 3 pm, Thursday, March 7, 2013

Another powerful ocean storm swept up the East Coast this morning, battering New England with coastal flooding and strong winds. Forecasters predicted 25- to 35-foot waves offshore will cause significant beach erosion on Martha’s Vineyard, as well as the rest of coastal Massachusetts.

The Steamship Authority suspended service this morning, but is now operating on a trip by trip basis.

The Chappaquiddick ferry suspended service this morning, but resumed running trips at 10 am. Ferry owner Peter Wells anticipates suspending service again this afternoon at 4 pm, because of the high tide, and will not likely operate the ferry again before 11 am Friday.

Police closed Sea View Avenue by the sea wall in Oak Bluffs at about 7:30 am, and later Beach Road to Edgartown as waves washed over the road. Police expected to reopen the road later.

The National Weather Service has posted a coastal flood warning and a high wind warning, effective through Friday morning.

“A dangerous coastal flood situation is taking shape this morning through Friday high tides,” the National Weather Service said in its hazardous weather outlook. “The concern is heightened by the expected duration through multiple high tide cycles.”

Vineyard residents should expect a storm surge 2.5 to 3 feet higher than normal tides during the storm.

The National Weather Service has increased its wind forecast. Today’s forecast calls for wind at about 35 miles per hour beginning Wednesday evening, with gusts to 60 miles per hour, with only slightly lower winds through Friday morning.

Rain, snow, and fog are forecast throughout the period, though snow accumulations on Martha’s Vineyard are predicted at zero to three inches.

Below are some useful links and phone numbers for current conditions:

Steamship Authority ferries (508) 477-8600.

Chappaquiddick ferry 508-627-6965.

National Weather Service detailed forecast

National Weather Service marine forecast

Martha’s Vineyard Times tidal information.

Vineyard Haven Harbor web cam