Significant Damage to South Coast of Massachusetts - NECN

Significant Damage to South Coast of Massachusetts



    (NECN: Josh Brogadir, Mattapoisett, MA) - The winds remain strong along Buzzards Bay in Mattapoisett, high tide now over on this south facing shore - that's gotten battered by Irene as has most of Southeastern Mass.

    A dock - with nowhere safe to attach a boat.

    A sailboat - with nowhere left to raise a sail.

    A bow - with nowhere to go but smack into the stern of the boat moored to its side.

    This is New Bedford Harbor, and with Irene having her way, even appropriately named Perseverance was hanging on for dear life.

    "I'm not sure we were expecting to see it last this long, that's the unfortunate thing because that's what's causing so much of this damage, trying to stop the boats from banging around and hurting each other and banging up the docks," said New Bedford Port Director Kristin Decas.

    Irene's winds were relentless, pounding the shores of Southeastern Massachusetts, drawing a crowd to witness the storm's power.

    But much of the storm surge was stopped when the Army Corps of Engineers closed these two 40 ton doors on the hurricane barrier at 5:30 am.

    The unfortunate by-product was that there was nowhere for the water to recede.

    "We're a mile from the barrier but the waves still have a length to build up," said boat owner John Bullard.

    "It's only a short distance from here to the dike but it makes up in here as you can see. There's up to 6 to 8 footers at times," said James Spooner, dockmaster at Captain Leroy's.

    Bottled up in the harbor, winds caused 11 sailboats to go off their moorings - many were stopped in time, but not all.

    "Two of them hit the bridge. One of them broke up and went to the other side," witnesses Patricia Clarey, of Lakeville, MA.

    Over in Mattapoisett, Butterfly fluttered onto the sea wall, power was lost when trees came toppling down - including one line over one of our news cars.

    So what if there was no electricity - they still said mass.

    "I had a flashlight, but the flashlight gave out so we improvised. We felt the lord was with us anyway," said Rev. Jeffrey Cave of St. Philip's Epsicopal Church.

    And in nearby Westport, hurricane flags out, power poles leaning, roads were overcome by the tidal surge.

    "We just missed the flooding, the tide came in over the dock, completely covered the dock and came up into the parking lots but it didn't come over the little levy we put up," said homeowner Laura Mullin.

    Meantime back in New Bedford Harbor, there was nothing to do but wait until Irene was gone.

    "When it's all over we're going to have to walk the street, beat the docks, see what happened and start assessing the damages," Decas said.

    Rain was light in this area - but power is still out in much of Southeastern MA.