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VIDEO & PHOTOS: Branford Battens Down the Hatches

The town prepares for Hurricane Irene by filling sand bags, pulling boats from water and boarding up houses.

While Branford's leaders are planning to be based out of the Police Department in their during , the rest of town their businesses and homes.

In Pawson Park, a family hired Peter Lengyel of Lengyel Construction LLC, to board up the windows of their home. With nothing between their wall of windows and Long Island Sound, the family said they wanted to be prepared should the worst happen.

Lengyel had plans to work on several houses this weekend and said that those near the water looking to board their own windows should use 1/2-inch plywood and 2-inch screws. All sheets of plywood should be secured to the frames of windows, he said (to hire Lengyel call 203-996-6679).

Down the street, Mary Jo Amatruda and her husband John Amatruda were bringing their boat out of the water this morning. A lifelong resident of the area, Mary Jo said she wasn't scared about the storm. Having lived through many storms in the area she said she was a little excited. "I remember," she said, "one year someone had to come get us in a boat in our house in Pine Orchard. That was fun."

All jokes aside, she said she and John are planning on keeping their boat nearby their home on Dorr Street during the storm in case they need an escape vessel.

As of now, there has not been any mandatory evacuations for Branford but officials state that a decision regarding evacuations will be made by 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Over at the , Director Art Baker said they were filling 800, 30-pound bags with sand for the pending storm. Those interested in obtaining bags can pick up as many as 10 per household today and tomorrow at the department. PWD is located at 137 N. Branford Road.

Though tempting, Baker said the bags are not for residents to build walls in front of homes. The bags should be used to prevent flooding near homes and at ends of driveways.

Deputy Chief John Masci of the stopped by the PWD to check things out. As he watched two young volunteers fill sand bags, he said the Fire Department has plans to be staffed with extra firefighters on Sunday. He stated all volunteer departments will be staffed as well (please check back for more information).

Masci said when Branford saw "the perfect storm" come through in 1992, the town's shoreline took a beating. With the potential of a five to six-foot storm surge, he said Irene could produce the same effect as the 1992 storm, flooding coastal areas of town. The high tide, he said, is adding to the problem as it is expected to be at its highest at 11 a.m. on Sunday when the storm is expected to be overhead.

"It will be interesting," he said, "to see how Pawson Park holds up."

Masci also added that there are many areas downtown that are prone to flooding as well.

Bracing for the worst, he commented, "It's going to be a wild, wild storm."

SolarPete October 28, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Masci said when Branford saw "the perfect storm" come through in 1992, the town's shoreline took a beating. With the potential of a five to six-foot storm surge, he said Irene could produce the same effect as the 1992 storm, flooding coastal areas of town. small typo Irene was last year this year is Sandy and it is bigger than your perfect storm of 1992

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