Q: Where does Block Island get its electricity?
A: The Block Island Power Company operates a number of diesel-powered generators on Ocean Avenue. You’ll hear them whirling away as you walk or bike past.
Q: What’s a fire number?
A: There are no street addresses on Block Island. However, as new buildings are erected, each home is assigned a number. Emergency services use these numbers when responding to calls. Typically mounted on house fronts, they are meaningless as street addresses.
Q: Is there a hospital here?
A: No, but there is the well equipped Block Island Medical Center, which offers round-the-clock urgent care, 365 days per year. Two doctors are on staff year-round, and the facility offers visiting dentists, podiatrists, physical therapists, chiropractors and more. The Medical Center is open Monday-Friday, June to Sept., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; October to May, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is located on Payne Road, next to the Block Island School and can be reached at 466-2974.
Q: Are there squirrels on the island?
A: No. Ditto for chipmunks, skunks, possum and raccoon. Excluding birds, fish and insects, the wild critters common on Block Island include deer, muskrat, mice, rats and the occasional snake or turtle.
Q: How many people live here during the winter?
A: An island head count is taken annually on Groundhog Day. The process involves groups of people taking specific land areas and counting (using memory and phone calls) the number of people living on each road. People are counted if they are on the island that night. Off shopping? You don’t count. Just visiting for the night? You count. The results typically range from 900 to 1,000 people. Block Island is unique in one special way: it is the smallest town (in population and size) in the smallest state.
Q: Where’s the nearest ATM?
A: In New Harbor, there’s one attached to the side of The Oar Restaurant. In Old Harbor, there’s one at Ballard’s, at the local bank on Ocean Ave., and another at the Visitor’s Center in the ferry parking lot.
Q: Where are the public restrooms?
A: Just off the ferry and straight ahead you’ll find restrooms at the Visitor’s Center. Bathroom facilities are also available at the harbormaster’s shack in Old Harbor, the Fire/Police Station, the Island Free Library, the Hog Pen marina in New Harbor, and the Town Beach pavilion. Port-a-johns are set up at the Southeast Lighthouse and Mansion Beach.