Tropical Storm Elsa

Marina and Boat Owners Prepare for Tropical Storm Elsa

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As heavy rain and strong wind threaten the Connecticut shoreline, marina and boat owners are getting ready for the impacts from Tropical Storm Elsa.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for coastal Connecticut east of New Haven ahead of this storm.

“Definitely keeping a close eye on it. Really doubling up all the lines up and down the boat to make sure we got a little extra strength,” explains boat owner Jay Bartlett.

Barlett has docked his boat at Saybrook Point for years and has never had any issues during storms…knock on wood.

“If it picks up intensity and things like that we’ll have to kind of monitor things as it goes,” says Barlett.  “And worst-case scenario for us is we’d have to drag the boat somewhere else upriver or out in the sound or secure it on land.”

Barlett, in addition to other boat and marina owners along the shoreline, will be watching the forecast very carefully over the next couple of days and the next several months during hurricane season!

“It’s a little more active than usual so it’s just going to keep us on our toes I think for the rest of the summer,” he said.

While boat owners are responsible for preparing ahead of the storm, the owner of Oak Leaf Marina told me they’ll be watching docks as the storm rolls through.

“We’ll go around and make sure the lines, fenders and canvases are secured and down and then we’ll make sure the bilge pumps all the safety gear is operating and then just monitor during the storm when customers aren’t here," Scott Masse, the owner Oak Leaf Marina explained.

Towns along the shoreline are also anticipating the heavy rain and strong wind, Michael Spera, the chief of police for Old Saybrook said their biggest concern is power outages.

“Because power outages for half our residents means no water, those folks have well water, so no power means no water," he said.

But the potential for heavy rain is not lost on the town either.

“Localized flooding can be a concern,” Spera said. “And we’ll make sure that we get those residents out of those areas ahead of the storm.”

“Hopefully by Saturday we’ll be looking back on the storm and saying it was nothing,” added Barlett.

The town of Old Saybrook is not expecting evacuations but is prepared to increase staff to handle emergency calls.

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