Boaters say Andrea won't spoil the festival weekend on the Elizabeth River


by Lucy Bustamante, 13News

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 6 at 6:21 PM

PORTSMOUTH-Tropical Storm Andrea is bearing down on the 13News viewing area and will make a fast trip through the region on Friday.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for areas in southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina. The storm will churn up the surf and boat owners are battening down the hatches.

For Greg Mulligan, the storm won't stop him from having a great time with his children and grandchildren on his boat docked in Portsmouth. He's been going to Harborfest and the Portsmouth Seawall Music Festival for years and is gearing up for all the fun this weekend.

The boat he recently inherited from a friend is tied up at one of the floating docks at Tidewater Marina in Portsmouth and has no plans to cancel the festivities.

At the nearby 757 Crave restaurant, open for just five months, owner Rohn Sitjar is expecting a busy weekend. When we asked him Thursday about his storm plan, he looked surprised. He was about to put in a large order to ensure his restaurant had enough beer and alcohol.

"It's a beer kind of weekend, but I guess I won't over order," he said.

While he's hoping for good weather, he also wants festival-goers to know he'll be open if they need shelter. Plus, he says proudly, they will have a great view of Harborfest activities.

On the dock, a few divers are preparing for the weekend. Robert Rice owns a rescue and recovery diving company. He says usually he has to dive to recover a purse or other things that have gone overboard. He admits Tropical Storm Andrea will likely complicate things.

His advice for boaters? Have tight lines for your boat and if you're not going to be with it during the storm, designate someone to check on it from time to time.

Mulligan won't be far from his boat. If you're on the docks Friday, you'll find him willing to share a beer. He says people who enjoy the water don't stress about these things in the same way others do.