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Cape Cod Prepares to Take On Hurricane Earl

September 2, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

The sun was reaching its zenith, the red line on the thermometer approaching 88 and all along the beaches of Old Wharf Road on Cape Cod, excited cries could be heard of children splashing into the waters of Nantucket Sound.

There were few if any signs in these water-abutting neighborhoods yesterday that anyone was particularly worried about Hurricane Earl, the Cape Cod Times reported.

Inside the blissfully air-conditioned cool of the office at Campers Haven RV Park, Joanne Saunders counted off the number of hurricanes she has weathered on Cape Cod since she was a mere slip of a girl.

“The first was in 1954 when we first moved here,” she said. “That was Hurricane Carol, and I’ll never forget my father running out the back door as the tide came in the front door,” she said Wednesday (Sept. 1) touching her right forefinger to her left as she counted down the storms.

Then there was Edna, Donna, Esther, Ginny, Carrie, Gloria and “a few in between I’ve probably forgotten,” she said working her way through the fingers on both hands. “And of course there was Bob. Now there will be Earl — if Earl comes here,” she said.

Saunders, like many of her immediate neighbors, plans to ride out the weekend’s storm inside the RV that is her summer home now that she winters in Florida. “If things get too bad, the cat and I will go down the street to my son’s house,” she said.

According to Lisa Gufstafson, manager of the RV park, three people canceled their weekend reservations and a few of the camp’s 230 seasonal residents left early. But most were keeping a close watch on weather reports, planning to stay through the storm, but prepared to leave if conditions were too difficult, she said.

Farther along the shoreline in Harwich, it was a similar scene. There were no sounds of hammers banging nails into plywood sheets over doors and windows. No sight of people gathering up plastic-webbed lawn chairs to tuck out of harm’s way. Instead there was an abundance of beach laundry — towels and bathing suits — fluttering from clotheslines and picket fences, signalling that for many yesterday was just another wonderful day at the beach on Cape Cod.

However, many boat owners have been busy throughout the week pulling vessels out of the water. The Chatham harbor master’s office said it has been busy at the Stage Harbor landing near their offices, with owners hauling smaller boats out Tuesday night and yesterday morning in advance of the storm.

Provincetown Harbor Master Rex McKinsey was working yesterday with his staff to clear the town pier, MacMillan Pier, which is about a three-day effort.

“We’re not in a position to wait to see where the storm is going to go,” McKinsey said. “A lot of people are pulling their boats or seeking more sheltered harbors. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as it potentially can be.”

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