From miter saws and plywood planks to veritable starbursts of masking tape, Sag Harbor Village storefronts are a garish indication of what the village might have in store for it tomorrow. Anticipating winds up to 60 miles per hour and rains that could bring up to 10 inches, many Main Street business owners are making efforts to secure fragile window panes, taking few chances with Hurricane Irene.
As of 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon, the most fortress-like preparations could be seen at Sylvester & Co. on the south side of Main Street, where three workers used a miter saw to cut rectangles of wood to fully mask the high-end shop. (So as not to deter customers, signs atop the wooden covering notified passersby that the store was, in fact, still open for business.)
With an electric saw of his own, Skip Nolan was in the process of boarding up Country Lane Studios—owned by his wife, Vickie—on Saturday afternoon when asked his opinion of the approaching storm. He admitted he didn’t think the storm would be as powerful as many suspect; but, after drilling a nail into the window frame of the shop, he said it was best to err on the side of caution.
Sen Restaurant was one of the first to cover-up with plywood, nailing perfectly measured rectangles over windows on both the north and western walls of the corner building (leaving customers to dine outdoors against a setting of plywood). Flying Point Surf Shop followed suit across the street, but its windowpanes were shroud in a less obtrusive grey-colored board.
Some shops wishing to protect their windows chose, instead of wood, tape to keep glass intact in the face of high winds. As she stretched beige-colored masking tape the full length of her store’s front window Denise O’Maley of Our Gig Too said she was worried about the destruction potentially caused by Irene. After completing the asterisk-like window design, she said she was headed to the store’s basement to move all merchandise—including doll-house sized models of wooden boats, likely to be ruined if caught in high waters—to higher ground, in anticipation of flooding.
By mid-afternoon more than half of Main Street storefronts had yet to treat windows for stormy conditions. And while some will have done so by day’s end, others are still waiting to see what Irene’s status will be by the end of the day before taking further precautions.