(NECN: Jennifer Eagan, New Bedford, Mass.) - It was smooth sailing out of New Bedford Harbor this morning. Forecasters predict calm waters will turn to rough seas later this week as Hurricane Irene churns towards the East Coast.
Rodney Avila has been caught in massive storms before. Lessons learned in the past are why his boat and hundreds of others will tuck themselves behind New Bedford's hurricane barrier before Sunday. Avila says the barrier makes New Bedford Harbor the safest on the East Coast.
New Bedford's port director says the barrier is three and a half miles long with stones stacked 26 feet above the average high tide. It can protect against a Category 3 hurricane.
Right now, authorities in New Bedford are coordinating with the Coast Guard to track the storm. Avila says many fisherman are cutting trips short to come back before the weekend.
Click here to get more information on preparing for a hurricane.