FALMOUTH, MASS. (WHDH) - Hurricane Lee was already having impacts around the Cape and the Islands Friday, prompting ferry disruptions as it continued its approach toward the region.
Hy-Line Cruises announced Thursday it had canceled all its service between Hyannis and Martha’s Vineyard as well as direct inter-island service between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket for Friday and Saturday.
Service between Hyannis and Nantucket ran on a trip-by-trip basis Friday morning but was suspended around 12:45 p.m., Hy-Line announced. Hy-Line said service likely won’t resume until Saturday afternoon at the earliest.
The Steamship Authority in its own statement said ferry passengers should plan for disruptions and cancellations on Friday.
The Steamship Authority said it expects additional trip cancellations on Saturday.
With local ferry schedules in flux, some people were leaving Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Friday.
Others speaking with 7NEWS said they were not phased by Lee as they boarded some of the last ferries to leave the Cape before the storm.
“We’ve lived through a lot of storms out there, so not that much concern,” said ferry passenger Steve Gray while on his way to the islands.
Matt Durocher said he was headed to a wedding on Nantucket. Durocher said he stayed at a relative’s house on Cape Cod Thursday night in order to catch an early ferry before conditions deteriorate.
“Saturday? Anybody getting off — good luck to you,” Durocher said.
Among those leaving the area, Gregg Jarrin said he planned on spending his 60th birthday on the Cape. One look at the forecast forced him to adjust.
“We changed our plans because of the hurricane,” Jarrin said. “But we’ll do it some other time.”
Though parts of Cape Cod and Nantucket are expected to face the worst of Lee’s local impacts, the MBTA also announced schedule changes for its ferry system beginning Friday.
Among changes, the T said all trips on the East Boston Ferry will be canceled for the day after the conclusion of Friday’s 6:45 p.m. trip from Long Wharf to Lewis Mall Wharf.
Charlestown Ferry trips will be canceled after the 6:30 p.m. trip from Long Wharf to Charlestown Navy Yard.
The Hingham/Hull Ferry will have its trips canceled after Friday’s 8:25 p.m. trip from Long Wharf to Hull and Hingham.
Lynn Ferry trips were canceled effective immediately on Friday.
All MBTA ferries will be canceled on Saturday, the T said.
Boaters make final preparations ahead of Lee’s arrival
As ferry organizations made their final preparations, some on the South Shore including local fisherman Kevin Norton adjusted their own schedules.
Norton said 30 years spent fishing local waters has taught him and his son to not take chances with storms like Lee.
“Make sure everything is tied down tight,” Norton said. “Make sure that nothing is hanging loose, nothing is going to break loose and then, keep your fingers crossed.”
Instead of fishing on Friday, Norton and his son said they would change the oil on their boat and take care of other storm preparations.
Fellow boat owner Chris McGuirk decided to leave his 25-foot boat in the water. With Lee approaching, he was tying down his boat and grabbing anything light and loose that might fly away.
“We had an option to pull it today, but, I don’t know, the winds don’t look too, too bad and we’re on the inside of the dock,” McGuirk said. “So, we decided to roll with it.”
Tropical storm warning in effect for much of coastal New England
Forecasts on Friday projected peak wind gusts potentially as high as 70 miles per hour on the mid- to outer Cape and Nantucket, with lesser gusts further west as Lee makes its closest approach to the region roughly 150 miles east of Chatham on Saturday.
A widespread area of coastline throughout New England could see between one and three feet of storm surge.
Rain from Lee is expected to be light though much of Massachusetts, though part of Cape Cod could receive between one and two inches of total rain.
The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning for some communities on Thursday morning, later expanding the warning to include a large stretch of coastline in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
By Friday morning, a coastal flood warning was also in place for Cape Cod and Nantucket, warning of minor to moderate flooding with high tides around 1 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday.
The Steamship Authority said it is waiving change and cancellation fees for travel booked on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. See more about expected Steamship Authority disruptions here and follow real time updates on individual ferry trip statuses here.
See updates on Hy-Line ferry schedules here.
And see updates on MBTA ferry schedules here.
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