No Way, José

Tri-Town residents and the public safety departments of all three towns kept their eye on Hurricane José all last week as it kept us waiting to see where it would hit next after wreaking havoc throughout Florida and the Caribbean.

The storm was anticipated to strike close to the SouthCoast, but it veered east just south of its expected track, sparing our coastal communities from the worst of the winds and rain.

José was downgraded to a tropical storm on Wednesday, September 20, while it headed east farther south than expected, taking the heaviest winds out to sea. What Tri-Town experienced was more of a prolonged nor’easter, still solid enough to dot the Tri-Town landscape with downed tree limbs and power lines, some isolated areas of power outages, some minor street flooding, and high surf conditions along the waterfront as José churned well into Friday before dissipating east.

A number of downed trees, limbs, and power lines were reported from Wednesday, September 20, through the early morning hours of Saturday, September 23.

In Rochester, there were a total of 10 calls related to fallen trees, including one on Thursday that fell into Mendell Road, and three calls for trees on power lines, including one that brought down power lines and blocked off a portion of Dexter Lane also on Thursday.

Rochester Police Chief Paul Magee said there were three alarm calls all related to power outages, which he said were “small-scale and restored quickly.”

There were no other significant issues or damage reported.

“I think we made out very well and are lucky the storm shifted as far east as it did,” said Magee.

In Mattapoisett on Thursday afternoon, a large tree fell on Mattapoisett Neck Road, snapping the utility pole and downing wires, cutting off the power in the neighborhood for a while.

Marion experienced much of the same, with a large tree down on Mill Street on Thursday, then another on Gosnold Street on private property. A number of calls were made about large tree limbs in the road along Route 6 that afternoon as well, with another large tree closing down Point Road near Allen’s Point Road.

“The road was shut down for about an hour until Eversource arrived to remove the power line,” said Marion Police Chief Lincoln Miller.

Early morning on Friday another large branch fell into Converse Road.

“We had very minor issues,” said Miller.

The Marion Harbormaster’s Office posted a short video clip of small moored boats bouncing off the docks on its Facebook page to demonstrate the importance of hauling your boats off the docks during a storm like José.

Harbormaster Isaac Perry told The Wanderer that one 23-foot center console powerboat broke free from its mooring, but “We got it before it hit anything else.”

“Other than that,” reported Perry from the waterfront, “a few whalers on our Island Wharf floats were damaged. All in all, no major issues.”

By Jean Perry


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