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Boat Basin Leave Concerns Rye Residents As Storm Looms

Hurricane Sandy was in the central Bahamas Thursday afternoon, but may move up the coast toward the Rye area by late this weekend into early next week.
Hurricane Sandy was in the central Bahamas Thursday afternoon, but may move up the coast toward the Rye area by late this weekend into early next week. Photo Credit: National Weather Service

RYE, N.Y. – It’s been one year since a freak pre-Halloween snowstorm hit the area, and Rye may have another kind of storm on the way – a hurricane. With the recent suspension of boat basin supervisor Peter Fox, residents expressed concern about safety in the coming days.

Fox, supervisor of the city’s DePauw Municipal Boat Basin, was put on administrative leave without explanation at a meeting of the City Council on Oct. 13. The law firm Brune & Richard was later hired as outside counsel to run an investigation. Mayor Doug French said there was no verdict yet. Fox is on administrative leave as the city looks into questions about use of the city boat and other issues, according to published reports.

Several residents showed support for Fox at a meeting of the Rye City Council Wednesday night and questioned the city’s decision to leave the Milton Road boat basin without anyone at the helm as a potentially damaging storm moves up the East Coast.

“The council has received some letters from residents for how much respect and affection they have for Peter Fox. We’ve passed those sentiments along to the city manager,” said Council member Laura Brett.

One resident was so passionate about the issue, when his time limit had ended, he refused to leave the lectern, causing French to call a five-minute recess, while the man finished his prepared statement, which railed against the city’s decision and in support of Fox.

Another resident argued that with or without Fox supervising the boat basin, boat owners must step up. “With the coming storm, the employees are down there. Traditionally it is the boat owners' responsibility to secure their own boat,” he said.

The National Weather Service upgraded Tropical Storm Sandy to a hurricane on Wednesday. The storm was moving through the central Bahamas by Thursday afternoon and is expected to move up the East Coast over the next few days.

Late this weekend into early next week “there is increasing confidence that the tri-state area will feel the impacts of a major coastal storm,” the National Weather Service said. There is the potential for heavy rainfall, high winds, coastal flooding and beach erosion. The impacts of the storm on the Northeast will become clearer over the next few days.

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