Related topics

Islanders Clean-Up Wreckage In Wake Of Hurricane Bob With AM-Hurricane Bob, Bjt

August 20, 1991

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) _ Alan Counsell was too busy serving cold sandwiches Tuesday to worry about the seaweed adorning his second-floor lanterns.

Counsell was just one of hundreds in Edgartown sweeping, sawing and hauling away debris left by Hurricane Bob, the worst storm to hit the summer resort island of Martha’s Vineyard in 53 years.

Counsell’s Navigator Restaurant was set for dinner Monday when the hurricane hit.

″When the winds picked up, the glasses and butter trays went flying,″ he said. ″Waves were hitting the side of the building and coming into the second floor.″

Edgartown was the hardest hit section of this 20-mile long island off Cape Cod. Only a few minor injuries were reported. All electricity was knocked out.

But the storm sank at least 13 boats, including a 31-foot sloop, and washed 84 boats ashore, said Robert E. Gilkes, Edgartown’s harbor master.

″We had well over 100 miles per hour,″ he said.

He said one submerged 6,000-pound mooring anchor was dragged over 300 yards by the boat attached to it.

Roy Hayes, co-owner of the Chappaquiddick Ferry, was back on deck Tuesday shuttling passengers on the minute-long ride across Edgartown Harbor to a smaller island across the way.

Hayes, 45, whose family has run the three-car ferry since 1967, halted service 30 minutes early Monday night after a ferry collided with a 14-foot boat floating upside down in the channel.

″The debris was just floating back and forth in the harbor and some of it was boats,″ he said.

Selectmen predicted it would take at least a week before the town was back to normal. They feared the storm and its aftermath would choke off the final weeks of the multimillion-dollar tourist season.

″People want to leave today,″ said Ted Morgan, chairman of the board of selectmen. ″Taxis are taking people from hotels to the boat″ for the mainland.

Behind the waterfront in the narrow streets of this old seaport, town crews were removing some of the trees blown over by the storm.

Norman Dudley Johnson, 80, was non-plussed by the enormous white poplar that crashed through his federal-style home, built in 1805 and overlooking the harbor.

″We’ve seen storms before,″ said Johnson, spending his 36th summer on the Vineyard.

Bob Hagerty, owner of a tree service, said the storm knocked over thousands of trees across the island. Two significant Edgartown trees were spared, the famous Chinese Pagoda tree near the waterfront, and a stately American elm, one of the oldest in Massachusetts, a few blocks away.

″There’s going to be a lot of replanting,″ said Hagerty, his jeans coated with a layer of sawdust.

Update hourly