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    Local News
    Monday, March 04, 2024

    Conn. residents among those stranded on Block Island after ferry service canceled

    Connecticut resident Marjorie Carson planned a quick weekend trip to Block Island to celebrate her friend’s 50th birthday.

    Instead, she and her three friends ended up among the many people still stuck on the island Tuesday, after ferries were canceled for nearly four days due to bad weather.

    Carson said Tuesday night they took the Point Judith, R.I., ferry on Friday evening, rented a suite and planned to head back Sunday morning.

    That’s when they found out the ferries weren’t running.

    “That was stressful for all of us because we all have to work on Monday,” said Carson, a community college teacher who had to cancel class. Two friends are elementary school teachers who had to call out.

    They packed up each night hopeful that they could leave, but found out each morning that the ferries weren’t leaving.

    She said it’s been rainy, windy and freezing. Many people with kids are strolling around aimlessly.

    “Everyone just looks tired and can’t wait to go off the island,” Carson said. “No one expected this.”

    She said she heard stories, from a couple who went to Block Island for one night and have neighbors taking care of their dogs, to wedding guests with someone taking care of their kids in another state.

    She and her friends have been splitting a $300 a night suite ― they will be able to stay Tuesday night with a friend’s cousin ― paying for meals and parking at Point Judith. They spend their time walking, looking for glass orbs, watching local television channels, waiting for news, and using the Internet on their phones.

    She said commercial airplanes weren’t flying, though she still saw private aircraft leaving the island’s small airport.

    People also can’t get to the island, including its Town Manager Maryanne Crawford, who remained on the mainland Tuesday night after she took a short trip and couldn’t get back.

    Crawford said the people stranded on the island include attendees of several weekend weddings. She said she heard some restaurants are no longer serving meals, as their food supply has dropped, though plenty remain open.

    Crawford said air travel resumed Tuesday, though there is a waiting list. The ferries last ran Saturday morning, but she heard more ferry trips will be available Wednesday.

    Christian Myers, port captain and vessel operations manager for Interstate Navigation Company ferry, said the last trip from Point Judith and Block Island was 11 a.m. Saturday.

    Myers said the primary reason for the cancellations was passenger safety. The conditions with the Nor’easter prevent the ferry from safely navigating into and out of Block Island.

    Myers said the intention is to resume service on Wednesday, “as long as it is safe for our passengers, cargo and our ferry crews.”

    Myers said the company will reschedule vehicle reservations without fees, offer refunds, and honor tickets for missed travel.

    k.drelich@theday.com

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