Westport weathers Sandy's first high tide

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Westport weathered the Monday morning high tide in good form but Harbormaster Richie Earle is more worried about the next high tide tonight at around 8 p.m.

By then, the wind is expected to shift around from northeast to southeast, "which could push more water in here.

"We had some water over the docks" at Westport Point this morning but nothing too serious. "This tide was about 10 inches less than Irene."

Mr. Earle said that one fishing boat sought shelter in New Bedford over the weekend but the rest are still at the town docks.

Waves aren't bad in the harbor but "it's pretty sloppy out by East Beach" and will get worse as winds build and the direction shifts.

He said they moved items out of the harbormaster shack to higher ground as a precaution. The shellfish hatchery is chained down so should be fine.

One of the harbormaster boats was moved around to the 'hurricane hole' east of Westport Point in waters dredged recently. There are also a couple of small barges "tucked in up there." The other harbormaster boat is still next to the harbormaster's office.

"But so far, so good. We'll be watching tonight."

In what has become a pre-storm ritual, the tractors from Bettencourt Farm on Horseneck Road towed away the last few house trailers from East Beach Road over the weekend.

It was an abbreviated job this year as most had already departed. Town regulations require that all of the trailers be removed from the beach by the end of October.

Highway surveyor Jack Sisson said that his crews blocked off East Beach Road Sunday. The road, which was obliterated in places by Tropical Storm Irene, apparently survived the morning high tide but will face a more severe test in the evening.

Mid-morning, Mr. Sisson said the town seemed to be faring well. "No trees down that I know of ... We've been busy going around clearing drains and doing other things." He said that keeping rains clear of falling leaves will be a big task through the storm.

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