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Boaters Take Precautions at Mamaroneck Marina

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Mamaroneck's marinas are busy, says Harbormaster Joseph Russo, with some residents hauling their boats out of the water and others securing them for the storm.

Tom Amoriello will keep his 25-foot Parker Marine on water, but is concerned how potential storm surges would effect Nichols Yacht Yard, where his boat is docked.

"Everybody's concerned in general because nobody knows the intensity of the storm," said Dennis McCarthy, general manager of Nichols Yacht Yard. "Most people leave it up to us because we're a full service yard."

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook, flood watch and hurricane watch for southern Westchester and advised that storm surges could reach several feet based on current projections of the storm. However, it is still too early to determine exact heights.

The height of potential storm surges also depends on the tide when Hurricane Irene hits, Russo said. If it hits after midnight, Russo is confident the storm surges won't be as high as some, like Amoriello, fear.

"We hope the tide doesn't get that high," said Amoriello, a White Plains resident who tried to picture what Nichols Yacht Yard dock would look like at 11 feet. "This is unusual for us, we get it so seldom that we're not prepared."

Friday, Amoriello got started on his prepartion by tying down his boat with extra lines and putting his bumpers out. Both Russo and McCarthy suggest boat owners check their batteries, pumps and take down as much of their canvases as possible because the wind could tear them off.

The National Weather Service is forecasting possible tropical strom conditions with hurricane conditions also possible Saturday night into Sunday. The rainfall amount could be between three and four inches with winds reaching between 39 and 49 miles per hour, and gusts as high as 60 miles per hour. Sunday, gusts could reach 95 miles per hour with sustained winds hoovering between 60 and 80 miles per hour and four inches of rainfall. Monday will be sunny with a high near 81.

"The unknown factor is the high winds and the damage it will cause," Mayor Norman Rosenblum said.

The Village of Mamaroneck has an inflatable boat and a hard-bottom boat stationed in the Palmer Avenue firehouse for rescue in the worst case scenario, Russo said.

A temporary shelter has also been established at the Post Road gym in the Mamaroneck High School, where cots and other utilities will be provided by the American Red Cross and the Community Emergency Response Team.

How are you preparing for Hurricane Irene? Do you have a boat you plan to haul? Comment below, on Facebook and Twitter .

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