, Salem, MA


October 27, 2012

Perfect Storm skipper leery of Sandy



Leonard said if he lived in the area of Sandy's projected landfall, his first instinct would be to "head to sea" — provided he had the right vessel, of course. But his advice to others would be to get out or be prepared to go it alone if you stay.

"A storm like the one coming — and like the perfect storm, whatever that was — people tend to think that, 'Someone will come help me. Someone will come take care of me,'" Leonard said. "In other words, they don't look to be self-sufficient."

Hurricane Sandy, which killed more than 40 people in the Caribbean, wrecked homes and knocked down trees and power lines, is expected to make U.S. landfall early Tuesday near the Delaware coast, then hit two winter weather systems as it moves inland, creating a hybrid superstorm. Governors on the East Coast declared states of emergency on Saturday and ordered evacuations, and residents contemplated whether to heed the dire warnings of torrential rain, high winds and up to 2 feet of snow.

But evacuating also carries its hazards, Leonard pointed out.

"There's great danger on highways and everywhere else," he said.

But he said landlubbers should get out while they can do so calmly. And he might throw a blanket or two in with those Graham crackers.

"Because if this does hit, you're going to lose all those little things you've spent the last 20 years feeling good about," he said. "Living on a boat is one thing during a disaster. But living in a house in a city is a different thing completely."

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