Cable exposed near shoreline

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 1:30pm

UPDATE: The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council issued a statement today concerning the cable issue at the Town Beach.

Laura Dwyer, a spokesperson for the CRMC, told The Block Island Times that, “The CRMC met with representatives from National Grid and Deepwater Wind this morning, and the CRMC is requiring the two companies to work quickly toward both a short-term and long-term solution. During the meeting, Deepwater Wind and National Grid expressed that they are going to send a diver out for a visual confirmation immediately, and obtain a more detailed survey of the area, and are reaching out to their international contacts that might have experience with an exposed cable.”

“We will be meeting with them again in two weeks for their solution for immediate resolution, and again in September for proposals on a more permanent solution to this problem,” noted Dwyer. “The CRMC and other permitting agencies are taking this very seriously, and will be pushing National Grid to implement measures, as soon as possible.”

As has been reported by The Times, the sea2shore transmission cable, installed by National Grid as part of the Block Island Wind Farm project, can now be seen about 25 feet from Town Beach at low tide. The cable, which is yellow and black, was getting some attention on the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 8. The cable connects Block Island to the mainland.

There are 34,500 volts running through the cable.

“The cable is fully armored and insulated,” said Block Island Power Company President Jeffery Wright. “That doesn’t take away that to stand on top of it is a little unnerving. Be respectful of it.”

Beachgoers were floating and swimming above the cable, which at low tide was about three feet below the water. The exposed section of cable is also about 100 feet in front of an area marked by 12 white buoys, which has been designated a “no anchor” zone, to warn boaters not to drop anchor onto the section where the cable is not buried deep enough.

See this week’s edition of The Block Island Times for more details on this story. — Lars Trodson & Cassius Shuman