New Bedford ferries could see impact of Tropical Storm Hermine

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The timing of Tropical Storm Hermine – and her uncertain path – could be inconvenient for people planning to travel for Labor Day weekend.

For travelers planning to take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket, it could be a little tricky getting home.

The people who run the ferries out of New Bedford say they already have plans in place for the stormy weather.

“We’ve gotten word this morning that the hurricane barrier will close on Sunday, and it will remain closed until the storm passes,” said John Silvia, general manager of Seastreak.

Silvia said the ferries to and from Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket would be halted if the city plans to keep the barrier closed.

“Our vessels would be trapped inside,” he said. “Unable to get to the islands.”

Silvia said he also has a Plan B.

“We would send our passengers back on the steamship to Hyannis and Wood’s Hole, and then motorcoach them back to New Bedford so they could get their cars,” he said.

If the steamship authority cannot make it, there’s always Plan C.

“Our passengers are aware that they would have to hang out on the island in not the best conditions,” Silvia said.

He said the timing isn’t terrific for business – with close to 1,600 passengers expected to set sail for the islands this weekend alone.

“We’re planning for the worst and hoping for the best and just taking it day by day,” he said.

If you plan to take to the water in your own boat, the Coast Guard is warning you to be alert and ready. Make sure to have lifejackets on hand, file a float plan and cancel any unnecessary trips.

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