Plum Island residents asked to evacuate
NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (WHDH) -- Evacuations are voluntary, but the mayor of Newburyport is requesting that residents leave Plum Island by 9 a.m. Monday.
Schools in Newburyport are closed Monday and public access to Plum Island will be restricted to emergency personnel. It is uncertain if emergency responders will even be able to stay on the island.
“Like everyone else, we’re just watching and waiting, but we’re very prepared for what might happen here,” said state senator, Bruce Tarr (R).
“Tighten up the house and hope for the best,” said resident, Deb Raftery.
“Sixty to 70 mile per hour winds are the norm in the winter-time here so that really doesn’t bother us that much,” said Kevin Raftery.
Police are keeping their eyes peeled on the fast changing conditions and residents who plan to ride out the storm.
Beach erosion is a large concern, but officials hope the preventative sand-scraping operations will help alleviate the damage.
“We are very, very concerned about the 75-mile hour winds that will run for 15 to 18 hours. We haven’t experienced things like that,” said Donna Holaday, mayor of Newburyport.
Many residents are waiting to see what Hurricane Sandy brings.
““We’ll try to hunker down unless it’s a mandatory evacuation and then we’ll leave,” said Deb Raftery.
The critical times will be at high tide Monday afternoon and evening. Officials are urging everyone to stay away from the water.