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Breaking News: Seen Him? Police Seek Man Who Stole From Fairfield Restaurant

Many Gear Up, But Earl Will Miss

At Westport Hardware on Post Road East, owner Robert Velez said that with the possibility of storm-related weather Friday, his store has been abuzz.

"It hasn't been crazy, but it's been steady," Velez said.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, the tropical storm watch for coastal Fairfield County had been canceled with Hurricane Earl off the coast of Maryland, moving up the East Coast. The Category 1 storm was predicted to bring rain to Connecticut by the afternoon and into the evening. Winds of 10 to 20 mph are possible.

In preparation for the storm, Velez said many people have bought standard emergency items, flashlights and batteries in particular.

"We've also been selling a lot of these battery-operated LED lanterns," Velez added. "Because they're battery powered and don't use oil, they're safe, especially for kids."

Other hot selling items include sternos, candles, plastic drop cloths and coolers, Velez said.

Over at Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach, dock attendant Josh Stuart said in addition to keeping a vigilant eye on the weather, boaters are being advised to tightly secure their boats and to remove canopies and anything else that can ripped out by the wind.

Thursday afternoon, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and other town officials met in the Emergency Operations Center at the Westport Fire Department.

"We're told the margin of error for this storm is precisely 106 miles," Joseloff said. "We're pretty confident there will little impact on the town, but if [the storm] moves west, it can have a big impact on us."

Though no direct hit is expected, concerns for the area include minor coastal flooding and fallen trees.

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