|Tropical Storm Irene Report|
With a week of warning, Tropical Storm Irene arrived with winds of 70 mph, a terrific storm surge, but not more than a couple of inches of rain. For the Popponesset Bay and Spit, the danger arose from high water levels at high tide early afternoon on Sunday, August 28. The waters in Vineyard Sound were churning while the water levels in Popponesset Bay, Popponesset Creek and surrounding inlets were at their highest in years.
|Wild waters in Vineyard Sound on Sunday|
While western New England and upstate New York suffered greatly from flooding and wind damage, it sounds like generally there was not too much damage here. Power went out for 12 hours or so on Sunday evening for many people and was restored over time within a day or two in many places where it did not return.
On the Spit, there were a few breaches, with the principal ones closer to Audubon land near the eastern third of the Spit. The photos below show a breach near the foot of Popponesset Island.
|Storm photos by Lily Smith|
Lily Smith was among the photographers who ventured out on Sunday afternoon to capture the amazing transformation of the Bay and surrounding waterways.
These photos show how much the storm surge and high winds affected our area.
|The Spit and SPB sign stand guard against the storm|
|The Spit separates the overflowing Popponesset Creek from the wild waves in the Sound|
|Despite this wash over, the sand fencing installed by Rich Bailey and team really did the job in protecting vulnerable areas of the Spit.|
|The water level in the Creek was so high, it almost covered the Spit in sections.|
|Evaluation Next Week|
The engineering, permitting and dredging work done by SPB and the Town of Mashpee protect the dunes from foot traffic. By planting dune grasses, adding sand fencing, and building the Spit levels up with sand from the outer channel dredging and the 1916 Channel dredging, the Spit survived a real lashing by the sea.
Without this work, Bay-side Popponesset Island residents would not have protection from the Sound during this wild storm, while Creek-side Popponesset Island people and Bright Coves residents might have had access through the channel cut off to Popponesset Bay at the foot of Popponesset Island.
We'll be taking a close look at what needs to be done to repair the breaches and will let you know.
The moral of the story is, the SPB Channel did not suffer from a devastating breach or overwash, does not need a special dredging project, and is still navigable. The Spit and SPB channel at the foot of Popponesset Island are always at risk. That's nature. But the ongoing preventative measures spared us from a potential costly repair and dredge, repair work that can cost as much as $25,000. SPB works to maintain the needed permits from federal, state and local authorities so that if a major overwash or breach occurs, we are ready to go. Save Popponesset Bay is the entity empowered to provide safe and navigable passage for the channel between the Spit and Popponesset Island.
Thanks again for all your support of Save Popponesset Bay!
Mike Oleksak/Greg Smith
P.O. Box 66
N. Attleboro, MA 02761
|What is SPB?|
|Save Popponesset Bay, Inc. is a 501 c 3 organization with the mission of keeping the waterways in and around Popponesset Bay safe and navigable and to protect the Popponesset Spit, an endangered species habitat.|
Photo by Beverly
| Save Popponesset Bay's website |
|The Save Popponesset Bay website is full of pictures, news, links and history. Take a look. |
|Contribute to Save Popponesset Bay|
|Using PayPal or your credit card, you can contribute to Save Popponesset Bay, Inc, a 501 (c) 3 organization. |