Fri September 3, 2010
Earl fizzles off the New England coast
By WRNI News
Providence, R.I. – As Earl churns out into the Atlantic, people are now being warned to stay away from the water.
"This is a time when you don't want to be standing out on piers, jetties, or on the rocks, it can be very easy to get swept away," says National Weather Service meteorologist Rebecca Gould.
National Grid reported a few dozen homes in Rhode Island without power late Friday night. In Connecticut up to 700 homes lost power as Earl made its way along the New England coast.
The National Weather Service put the state in a flash flood watch for the early hours of Saturday morning.
Forecasters predicted Earl could dump between two and four inches of rain, or even six inches in some areas.
On Block Island, boaters pulled in their boats in advance of Hurricane Earl.
Tony Edwards runs the docks at the Block Island Boat Basin. Boaters haven't forgotten what Hurricane Bob did nearly 20 years ago, he says, when it damaged boats left moored in the water.
And while there should be some 2,000 boats in the harbor, only 15 or 20 are left, an odd sight, Edwards says, given the nice weather Friday morning.
"It's perfectly beautiful," Edwards says. "This was one of the loveliest mornings I've seen in the harbor. There wasn't a breath of wind, it was like, it was like glass."
Edwards rode out the storm in his own boat in the harbor. He says there have been winter storm worse than what he's expecting with Earl.
TF Green is reporting on its website that Southwest Airlines has cancelled all flights between 5:00 - 8:00pm Friday night. Cape Air has cancelled flights to and from TF Green for the rest of the day.
Airport officials say TF Green will remain open as Hurricane Earl passes through the region. The airport urges fliers to check with their airline before heading to the airport.
TF Green is posting up to date on information on its website here.
In the central part of the state, many Rhode Islanders took Earl's approach in stride.
Richard Cartwright of Providence and his wife Doris were at Iggy's Doughboys and Chowder House at Warwick's Oakland Beach. Cartwright says he's keeping an eye on the weather, but he's more interested in his dinner.
"We're going to have chowder and clam cakes and fish and chips - we're going to have the works, " says Cartwright.
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian says he isn't expecting major effects from the storm.
The effects of Earl have been milder than predicted and the state's four emergency shelters went largely unused. Debra Tanner, the Red Cross shelter manager for Narragansett, says there's nothing wrong with being over prepared.
"You know, if we open a shelter and everybody's okay and it's not needed and it's not necessary,that's what we hope for," Tanner says. "If there are issues we have to face at least we're here and we're ready to face those. But it's like, don't complain if nothing bad happened, that's wonderful."
Earl was downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm just after 11:00pm Friday.