SANDWICH (CBS) — Hermine battered parts of the South, packing strong winds, heavy surf, knocking down trees and power lines, and damaging docks. Now, it’s headed our way.
Beaches in Rhode Island and Nantucket have been closed, though people on Cape Cod were still heading to the beach to see the impressive waves as the storm approached.
In Woods Hole, the Steamship Authority temporarily suspended ferry service to Nantucket due to the approach of the storm. Service to Martha’s Vineyard was suspended Monday night as conditions worsened.
Passengers who were able to get off the Vineyard on Monday afternoon were relieved. “There have been a lot of cancellations,” passenger Cal Shapiro said after he arrived in Woods Hole. “A lot of people in line out there over on the Vineyard trying to get out here so glad everyone is safe.”
The Steamship Authority is anticipating that it may have to suspend service on Tuesday as well.
Passenger Charlie Finnigan said the trip was a bit rough. “I don’t particularly like it when its really choppy,” she said. “We had a couple of other girls in our group that were feeling seasick.”
WBZ-TV’s Anna Meiler said wind speeds were ranging from 25-35 mph on the beach in Sandwich at noon Monday and increased later in the day.
Those conditions were actually attracting people to the beach who were taking pictures of the rough and choppy water.
Hermine cut the Labor Day weekend short for many people visiting Cape Cod. But Derek McClellan was happy to have the ocean all to himself–because the storm creates the perfect conditions for kite surfing.
“Today’s going to be a fun day before the rain comes!” he said.
The whipping winds couldn’t stop one father and daughter from their annual Labor Day tradition of getting up to see the sun rise.
“We’re Cape Cod natives, so I guess this doesn’t bother us very much,” said the daughter.
Other locals were walking up and down the beach with their pets.
At Horseneck beach in Westport, there was no swimming at the beach because of the strong rip currents brought by the storm–but surfers were having a ball.
“It was awesome, we wait all year for warm water and good waves,” one surfer told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports
The National Weather Service is warning people to be prepared for winds strong enough to bring down trees, large branches, and power lines–creating the possibility of scattered power outages. Some beach erosion is also possible.
Hermine is expected to gain steam, with wind gusts reaching up to 40-50 mph.
In Taunton, high winds brought down two large trees. Nobody was injured.
WBZ-TV’s Chantee Lans reports
In Edgartown, the wind and surf caused a boat to break free from its mooring.
Massachusetts Emergency Management Association (MEMA) spokesperson Sarah White told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens that officials at the MEMA bunker in Framingham are particularly concerned about the wind effects of Hermine on the south-facing coastline, from New Bedford to the outer Cape and islands.
“But that doesn’t mean that areas north of the cape can’t see some impact from the high seas that are out about 100 miles from the coast,” said White. “Everything sort of batters in as the storm goes on.”
The storm is expected to linger and stall south of New England, meaning choppy waters and high winds could be here to stay until Wednesday. The longer the storm lingers, White said, the more effect it will have on the coastal areas of Massachusetts.
But for some, this is just part of living in New England.
“It’s a nor’easter, just a simple nor’easter,” one local said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports