According to Rowden, the measure is often taken during severe storms, especially those that affect the coast.
“They did this for Super Storm Sandy and for all storms when erosion is anticipated,” Rowden said. “(The declaration means) if the storm is causing damage to property, owners can take action to abate the damage without filing a notice of intent.”
But if action is taken in protected areas, Rowden said property owners must still notify the Conservation Department, by phone or email, of the actions being taken.
“I have my cell phone with me, and I’ve gotten calls at 11 at night,” Rowden said. “And I’ll be back on Saturday after the storm to check on the beach. I’m always surprised to find how much or how little erosion a storm causes.”
Newburyport harbormaster Paul Hogg said yesterday that he and his team were monitoring the city’s riverfront. He said the piers that have been taken out of the river at Cashman Park have been tied down in the parking lot.
Hogg added he hoped several fishing boats tied in the embayment at the base of Market Landing Park would weather the storm.
“Two fishing boats are secured on the eastern part of the embayment, and I think they will be fine,” he said. “Another boat is on the other side, and I hope it doesn’t take a thrashing.”
Hogg said he was attempting to reach the owner of the vulnerable fishing craft to discuss how it might be more securely tied.
“We had a meeting of city officials and emergency teams (Thursday) and I think we are ready,” Hogg said.
On Thursday, Mayor Donna Holaday urged residents to stay at home if possible. “The roads must be kept clear. Don’t go out if you don’t have to.” A pre-recorded phone message went to residents and warnings were posted on the city’s website.