Coast faring better than expected from ‘confused storm’ Danny

Posted Aug. 29, 2009, at 6:06 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Despite the rain pounding sideways Saturday afternoon and choppy waves beating against the boats moored outside, Rockland Harbormaster Ed Glaser said that so far Tropical Depression Danny wasn’t making much of an impact on the coast of Maine.

“Danny is certainly a confused storm,” he said as he checked the most recent updates from the government-run Hurrevac system. “It’s just spinning out some moisture out here. That’s what we’re getting.”

Though earlier forecasts from the National Weather Service and national park officials had predicted that Danny might dump as much as 4 inches of rain on the midcoast and 5 inches on Acadia National Park, by 11 a.m. only 1 inch of rainfall was measured in Camden, according to the town fire chief. The National Weather Service said Friday that the storm swells from Danny could produce “dangerous surf conditions and life-threatening rip currents” on the East Coast, which Maine officials did not take lightly just a week after rough surf from Hurricane Bill killed a New York girl and injured several other people at Thunder Hole in Acadia.

Danny was downgraded to tropical depression status about 5 a.m. on Saturday, although Glaser said that there were still predictions that it could strengthen as it moved north.

He said that some schooners and the small cruise ship American Glory had moved into more protected harbors as a safety precaution and that the cruise ship Grand Caribe had skipped a scheduled stop at Port Clyde and instead gone to Portland. However, he hadn’t noticed that many dinghy owners had hauled their boats before the storm hit.

“I imagine by the end of this there will be a lot of boats with a lot of water,” Glaser said.

Up the coast in Camden, the storm caused a few boats moored in the outer harbor to be moved from their floats, said Deputy Harbormaster Scott Entwhistle.

“Boats have been rocking in the outer harbor, going in the troughs,” Entwhistle said.

All but one dinghy had been moved from Steamboat Landing, he said.

The smaller-than-expected rainfall was good news for those who monitor Camden’s intricate lake and dam system, said Fire Chief Chris Farley.

“The dams are all good,” he said. “We’re just monitoring the water levels in the lakes and the dams, and it’s pretty quiet.”

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