In the face of storm, Oak Bluffs closed East Chop Drive

Repairs to stabilize East Chop Bluff, to renourish eroding town beaches, and to expand a maxed-out wastewater treatment plant — all by 2020 — will cost the town roughly $53 million. Photo by Jamie Stringfellow

Oak Bluffs Fire Chief John Rose announced that East Chop Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic between Brewster Avenue and Monroe Avenue from noon Wednesday until 7 am, Friday morning due to concerns associated with erosion arising from a storm that will bring high winds and rain to Martha’s Vineyard through Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind advisory, which is in effect from 2 pm this afternoon to 3 am Thursday.  Wind gusts up to 50 miles an hour are expected. The strongest winds will be from 4 pm, Wednesday through 11 pm, Wednesday night.

This is the second East Chop drive closure this month. The crumbling corniche that wraps around East Chop bluffs and overlooks Nantucket Sound has a long history of erosion-related closures. It was closed for two years after hurricane Bob in 1991. The seaward lane was closed in November 2012 as a result of erosion from Superstorm Sandy. Three months later, winter storm Nemo caused damage that closed the road entirely for two weeks. One lane remained closed until late June of 2013, when it was reopened to reduce traffic on the alternate routes that cut through residential areas of East Chop.