It’s hot outside, but you knew that

Heat causes power problems; individuals urged to hydrate


The heat wave affecting much of the country is certainly being felt on Martha’s Vineyard and while public safety officials haven’t had a lot of calls about heat-related issues, the Island’s electricity supplier has experienced the crunch of increased use of air conditioners.

Scattered power surges were reported all over the Island.
“With several days of sweltering heat, the region is experiencing higher-than-usual demand for electricity, which we do expect to have sufficient supply to meet. We are closely monitoring the system around-the-clock for potential issues and are responding to any reported power outages. Additionally, our system operators are using remote switching capabilities to shift load where possible and restore power to customers as quickly as safely possible,” Chis McKinnon, a spokesman for Eversource, told The Times. “We want all of our customers to stay safe and cool during this heat wave and encourage them to visit for tips to help conserve energy during the hot weather.”

While the temperature hovered between 75 and 80 degrees Thursday  — not the 90-plus being felt elsewhere —  it came with the T shirt drenching sweat of 97% humidity, according to the National Weather Service. A southwest wind is keeping the Cape and Islands a tad cooler.

An advisory issued by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency saying that Friday will be less humid, but that higher temperatures are expected to return over the weekend and be with us through Tuesday, the advisory states.

Rick Reinhardsen of the Salvation Army was located at Lagoon Pond Landing on Thursday handing out bottled water. “I park for an hour or two and try to give out bottles of water to people who look like they could use a cold bottle of water on a day like today,” Rein

hardsen said.

If pedestrians and cyclists stop, Reinhardsen hands them a bottle of water and, if they’re willing, has a chat with them. “Today, I’ve been here for about 45 minutes and I’ve probably given out a half a dozen bottles,” he said. “I was here two days ago and gave out almost 25 or 26 that day. It was a busy day.”

Libraries on the Island, while not officially opening as cooling shelters, are available as an oasis for folks.

The heat was the talk of the ferry commuters on Wednesday and Thursday with workers going in early to get their work done before the most intense heat of the day. Seeing cloud cover, one worker exclaimed excitedly, “Go clouds!” Others seeing a dog warned the owner about hot pavement.

Ahead of the hot and humid weather, the Steamship Authority issued an alert through its social media.
Chilmark Library director Ebba Hierta said the library building isn’t advertised as any kind of official cooling station, but it acts as one and she said people are more than welcome to come and enjoy the cool environment.

In Edgartown, library director Lisa Sherman welcomed people in to beat the heat, but warned that one of their units is not currently working. The library is working to get it fixed. 

A check with Island police chiefs found not too many heat-related calls or calls for medical help because of dehydration. West Tisbury Chief Matt Mincone said for the most part “people are staying home or staying hydrated.”

In Tisbury, Chief Chris Habekost urged people to watch out for their older neighbors. “Elderly people are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses,” plus potential underlying health problems, he said.

In that vein, Anchors (Edgartown’s council on aging) administrator Lyndsay Famariss told The Times they reach out to those they feel “might be more vulnerable in times like these.” For those seeking refuge from the heat, the town’s 11 Daggett St. location is kept cool and comfortable.

Meanwhile, Joyce Stiles-Tucker, director of Tisbury council on aging, said most elderly folks stay home where there is a fan or AC and they can be comfortable during hot weather, coming outside only when they need to for errands. She also welcomed seniors to come out to the senior center to enjoy activities, one-on-one services, and for the air conditioning.

Rose Cogliano, director of Oak Bluffs council on aging said “people have been availing themselves of our center and programming to get relief from the heat,” though not in huge numbers. She said people that are coming to the center seeking relief from the heat have found it “refreshing” and are “delighted” by the cooler temperatures.

And reporter Rich Saltzberg found plenty of people participating in that time-honored if supposedly prohibited jumping from Big Bridge in Edgartown.



  1. Thank you to all the private homeowners, businesses and municipalities that have invested in solar arrays. They are all producing power on a hot sunny day that is either going into the grid or eliminating the need to draw from the grid.

  2. I know money is not an issue with you when it comes to grren energy, but, seriously, how much do you think you have saved with your home solar system and your EV?

    • Bill- I don’t have a solar system on my house, or an EV, unless you count my pedal assisted bicycle.
      The price of green energy is certainly a issue with me. Don’t know where you get that it isn’t.
      Spending some serious money to put a solar array on your house is an investment. It pays dividends, if you will, and on average, in the U.S, has about an 8 year break even point.,between%20five%20and%2015%20years.
      Of course, this site I have referenced is pro solar. But even at a payback period of 16 years it’s a sound long term investment for a homeowner.
      The solar array at the former dump in Tisbury has been producing 1.2 megawatts of power since 2014.
      My point is that there are a large number of solar arrays on the Vineyard that are supplementing the 4 cables that bring power to the Vineyard.
      I remember having brownouts here during heat waves in the 90’s.
      This past week we were at near record temperatures, and no brownouts despite a surge above the normal summer population.
      Say what you will, but all those individual investments helped keep your lights and your a/c on last week.
      I think that’s worthy of a thank you, even if they are making money on their investments.

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