Along the immediate coast, Hurricane Sandy is living up to her ominous forecasts.
Winds along Horseneck Road and East Beach Road (which is blocked by police barriers) are so strong that spectators have trouble standing and are raked by blowing sand.
A woman with a portable wind gauge said she had measured a gust near 80 mph.
Still, Westport Highway Surveyor Jack Sisson said that fragile East Beach Road survived the morning high tide intact. He’s not as confident that it will do so well tonight.
It’s much the same over at Warren’s Point in Little Compton where gigantic surf is roaring in out of the east-southeast.
An early afternoon tour revealed only one tree town but conditions seemed to be worsening steadily.
Even at an hour before low tide, water in the Westport River was close to a that of a normal high tide.
A wire was down across Bulgarmarsh Road in Tiverton and there are reports of scattered power outages.
Just a half-dozen miles north of the south shore, winds, though powerful, are much less fearsome.