UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: NEW: Navigation hazards and current conditions in Pine Creek

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NEW: Navigation hazards and current conditions in Pine Creek

11/7/12 All photos and written by Michael O'Donnell of Pine Creek
Fairfield, CT

Special thanks to Michael O'Donnell for detailing the current condition of Pine Creek.,
Please be alert to new navigation hazards in Pine Creek. On top of a significant loss of depth, due to the sand washed over from Fairfield Beach, there are a number of objects and locations of which you need to be cognizant. As of last week, starting at the mouth, roughly in the vicinity of M/V Impaired Judgement, there is an air conditioner and metal chair directly in the channel (the Pine Creek Ave side of the creek). Five or ten yards up, in the middle of the creek, there is a commode. Further up still, before the bend, on the Pine Creek Avenue side, there is a partially submerged piling and a hot water heater.

The Marine Police Unit has made multiple attempts to tow the house out of the creek. They did not succeed in crossing the bar, up from the bend, before the narrow. As of today, it appears the DPW is attempting to break it up in place. Without a working barge, it is highly unlikely they'll be able to remove all non-floating objects. Note that this is directly in the channel, adjacent to the long dock, the last on Pine Creek Ave. Expect to find a large pile of semi-submerged and submerged debris here.

There is a section of a wall, just up creek, tied to a piling on the Fairfield Beach Road side. The Marine Police informed me yesterday they will remove it.

Up creek, we still have some large objects of concern. Past the last house on Old Dam, there is a large two section dock. It has a mooring mushroom attached, but I did not see a shackle and hardware, so the line could chafe and fail. I had secured a floor of a house, to the house, when it was well up creek, tied to the tree, but, it appears the police needed to abandon the floor here on their last attempt to tow the house out. The large section of floor is now tied to this dock. This added stress is causing the hinge point of the dock to fail. If I'm able to, I'll try to better secure it before the incoming storm.

All the way up creek, just short of the end of walking trail/sand spit, there remains a large section of wall and another section of floor. I was short on line when I secured the wall section, and had to secure it to the Marine Unit's line (which they had used to tie it to a tree) when I tied it off. Obviously, they needed that line for towing. It appears the police dragged the wall section further up on shore to prevent it getting loose. It is not up high enough (physical impossibility given the shape of the bank) to stay where it is during the incoming storm. I will attempt to get a line on it before the storm comes. I've got the floor section tied from its plumbing to a tree, so it should be secure.

I'm supplying photos of these hazards, hopefully Southport Globe will be able to include them.

I want to encourage everyone to pull debris from their banks. Better to drag it across your yard now then out of your feet at the beach next summer.

Slightly off topic, when the police last attempted to tow the house, I had to move my boat, which is currently docked in a narrow section of the creek. They asked that I stand by. I stayed up current of them, and was catching large debris, intending to allow them to concentrate on their work, rather than keeping their props clear. One object I removed from the creek was a bag of linens. Today, I was carrying that bag (which was too heavy as it was wet, forcing me to open it to break down the load) from creek to curb. Being open and separated, it was no longer a bag of stuff. It was someone's stuff. A beach towel from the Durham Fair, a fitted sheet with multi-colored daisies, a top sheet with little pink roses on the edge... It likely came from the house in the creek, or possibly one of the others that went down. I was thinking that whomever this belonged to might now have nothing that was familiar, nothing that felt like home. I carried it in, washed the bag and its contents, dried and folded all (yes I can fold a fitted sheet) and placed it all back inside. I'm sure the owner now has much greater concerns than sheets and towels, but if they'd like to collect it, please contact me through RTM Rep Eric Sundman. I'm including a picture of the bag (while still in its forlorn state).



Water heater

Metal Chair

Air Conditioner

Somebody's Bag

The current state of the house

Wall Section (unsecured)

Floor Section Up Creek (secured)

Dock and Floor Section

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