Towns and Mystic Seaport batten down the hatches

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MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — Enjoy Thursday because rough weather is on the way.

Many along the shoreline are preparing for the next winter storm, including Mystic Seaport.Related: Rain arrives Thursday evening before strong storm developsWorkers tightened up the lines leading to the Charles W. Morgan which is one of the ships kept in the water year round at the Seaport.

“There’s only one of these and we have to make sure she’s safe from everything,” said Chris Gasiorek, Vice President at Mystic Seaport.

High winds, heavy rains, and flooding are what could threaten the shipyard Friday.

“Being built on the sight of two former shipyards that are built very low to the water we do have to worry about a storm surge,” said Gasiorek.

Even row boats which are out of the water have to be secured in case of flooding.

Volunteer Bill Rutherford has seen it before. “Keep her from floating too far away,” he said as he tied up one of the boats.

The one thing that does not have to be battened down is the Mayflower II. The huge shelter surrounding her is hurricane proof and is built to withstand winds up to 120 miles an hour so it can protect the restoration work going on under it.

Metal shelters will keep the wood used in that restoration safe from the storm.

“Well anytime we’re going to get a storm or there’s even a chance of hurricane force gusts we like to make sure that our national treasures are tied as tightly as we can,” said Gasiorek.

Public Works crews in Stonington were also busy during this calm before the storm. They cleared catch basins so the water had a safe place to go.

“As far as the existing drainage and all our underground piping we’re confident that that will work at best to its capacity but we can’t control some things from mother nature,” said Highway Supervisor Tom Curioso.

Coastal flooding is the biggest concern. Sand bags are ready in case they need to use them with the Pawcatuck flood gates and all the vehicles and equipment now have full tanks of gas.

“As always we hope for the best but we prepare for the ultimate worse case,” said Curioso.

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