Coastal New England Prepares for Isaias

Communities like New Bedford, Massachusetts, are bracing for the storm as Isaias draws near

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The wind was up on New Bedford Harbor Monday afternoon, a sign of things to come as Isaias draws closer to Massachusetts.

If the track continues, it's likely wind on the coast will be a bigger factor than rain or storm surge.

"Right now, we're just preparing for a wind event," said Brian Nobrega, the city's emergency management director. "We're also taking this chance to walk through our hurricane procedures and get ready."

We still have several months to go in hurricane season. For this storm, only minor coastal flooding is anticipated in New Bedford.

"We do have part of New Bedford, which has hurricane barrier. So we're starting to see an influx of recreational boaters trying to get shelter from the storm, and also one of our biggest industries, the commercial fishing fleet, so we're going to start seeing boats start coming in because offshore they're going to … it's probably going to be a little bit more bumpy ride out there," Nobrega said.

It's up to the Army Corps of Engineers to decide when to close the barrier, and they do that routinely, even for a high tide. Mayor Jon Mitchell tweeted that city officials keeping a close eye on Isaias, looking for high winds and heavy rains. Beaches will be closed Tuesday due to high surf, he said.

Nobrega agreed with the mayor's decision.

"Just to keep everyone safe, we do have beaches along the peninsula, so we've made the decision — the mayor has made the decision — to close the beaches so we don't have any issue with somebody going out there and getting hurt," Nobrega said.

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