Crowd Flocks to Hampton Beach to Get Hit by Hurricane Waves [VIDEO]
Residents were more focused Monday on taking pictures, getting wet and buying ice cream than hunkering down for the hurricane.
As residents throughout most the East Coast struggled through power outages, ferocious winds and localized flooding Monday, Hampton Beach looked more like a fun-filled rainy day during the summer than a chilly, offseason day threatened by an incoming hurricane.
From the dozens waiting to be hit by the crashing waves that turned Boar's Head into a makeshift water park "splash zone," to the steady stream of customers ordering ice cream and fried clams at the Beach Plum in North Hampton, not many on the Seacoast looked too worried about building 90 mph winds and high tides that have already started scattered power outages and minor flooding throughout the state.
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Children of all ages, from toddlers to high schoolers, and their parents flocked to the beach area to take in high tide Monday. Traffic flow on Ocean Boulevard resembled a July day, and pedestrians from up to an hour away in Massachusetts said they drove to the area to check out the crashing water.
The above videos and pictures capture some of the sights and sounds as Hurricane Sandy approaches.
As of 3 p.m., many large areas of the Seacoast were beginning to lose power. Utility companies reported 1,315 were without power in Hampton, while there were 116 in North Hampton and 886 in Seabrook.
Hampton Police Chief Jamie Sullivan said Monday afternoon that minor flooding was occurring around Hampton Beach, although there were no road closures.
"We're preparing for that possibility" should the need present itself, he said.
As of 4:30 p.m., Sullivan said they've had "some calls" about people swimming in the ocean. Police aren't "bothering" the many individuals walking on the sidewalks, but are using their public address systems to get people out of the water because the beaches are closed, he said.
For more coverage of Hurricane Sandy, be sure to check out our live blog and info center. Hampton-North Hampton Patch has also published a story about the North Hampton School emergency shelter.