On a cloudless day, when you look across Buzzards Bay from my parents’ front deck in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, you can see Woods Hole, a cut in the land separating Cape Cod from the Elizabeth Islands. The “Hole” as it’s commonly referred to by boaters can be a weekend rite of passage, literally, as you are met with strong currents, a narrow channel keeping you off the rocks, and often, too close for comfort to fellow boaters. The reward is Vineyard Sound, your gateway to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. In the winter, the boating traffic is mostly gone, but the current still rips.
Over the weekend, the huge Nor’easter Riley crashed into the region like a freight train cutting power to millions of residents. The highest recorded wind gust in the “Hole” was 88 mph. I can only imagine the ferociousness of the water crashing onshore and into anything else in its path.
In Newport, Rhode Island, a prominent 72-year-old local man was killed when a tree fell on him.
In Essex, MA, a full moon and Riley combined to create record tide surges through several high and low tide cycles as this storm stayed around for the weekend like a guest who never leaves. If you’ve ever waited in line for the fresh steamers and lobsters in front of Woodman’s in Essex, Massachusetts, the tide surge was so high that if it were open, patrons would have needed dinghies.
Walking the streets of Newport on Saturday and Sunday you could hear the hum of generators as the winds still gusted 35-40 mph. It was yet another reminder that hurricane force winds can come out of a Nor’easter and that it’s never too early to begin your preparations, because another one is in the forecast for mid- week.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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