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October 30, 2012

Towns deal with Sandy's wrath

As Hurricane Sandy rattled Cape Ann’s towns, residents braved the wind and rain, many with children out of school for the day, to witness the storm waters flooding Main Street in Essex, nudging Rockport’s dead whale further ashore and taking down trees in Manchester.

In Essex, the Causeway flooded. Regardless of its new seawall, three to five inches of water rippled in the roadway and more overflow converted parking lots to pools during a high tide at noon. Cars waded carefully through the sloshing water until about 12:15 p.m., when police blocked the road for about an hour, giving the flood water time to recede.

“It wasn’t as deep as it usually gets, believe it or not,” Police Chief Peter Silva said. “But the wind was really picking up and blowing a lot of water into the road.”

Power lines jiggled and swung under the wind’s pulse, and Albert Tang, the manager of the Fortune Palace Chinese restaurant, stood with both hands on the pane window, peering out the restaurant’s glass at the gushing water in the roadway. Tang said he had received many calls from people asking if the restaurant would stay open during the storm, and he said, the answer was yes.

“Always during the high tide it’s like this,” Tang said, “No business.”

Tang said business picks up again as the water drops — and as the tide reached it’s peak, customers began to wander in.

Akshay and Sarika Patel took the opportunity to stop in for lunch, both with work cancelled due to the storm. With the restaurant’s lot covered in a layer of flowing water, the couple parked at a nearby lot, and Sarika hopped on Akshay’s back for a piggyback ride before he waded through nearly eight inches of water.

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