FAIRHAVEN — Residents of Sconticut Neck, West Island, and other low-lying areas in Fairhaven are lining up to get their hurricane stickers this morning ahead of Tropical Storm Henri, which is expected to become a hurricane and hit the SouthCoast over the weekend.

The annual passes are color-coded by neighborhood and allow residents to return to their property after an evacuation.

They are meant to protect properties from non-residents, according to the town's website.

Principal Clerk at the Board of Public Works Charlene Paulson said that the town has been giving out hurricane stickers annually for more than 20 years, probably since just after Hurricane Bob ravaged the area in 1991.

"I've been here 20 years, and since the 20 years that I've been here they've been issuing hurricane stickers," she said.

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The office automatically gives residents in designated surge areas hurricane stickers when they come in to get beach or recycling stickers, Paulson noted. "We issue them all year."

"A lot of people wait 'til last minute, when they hear there may be a hurricane, and they all come running in at the same time," she said, adding with a laugh, "It makes it a little busy!"

In just the first couple of hours on Friday, she said, the office has already seen over a hundred people.

The office plans to open again on Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to noon just in case some residents have not yet had a chance to get their stickers.

Paulson said she doesn't know if any other SouthCoast towns issue hurricane stickers. "I only know of this town right now," she said.

There are currently no plans to evacuate residents, she added, but town officials are meeting today to discuss the possibility.

The town website states that Fairhaven takes hurricane planning "extremely seriously" based on its history, and that the public works board may have to shut down water and sewer service to low-lying areas to prevent damage or contamination to the system.

Residents are asked to bring vehicle registrations for every vehicle requiring a sticker, as well as proof of residency or property ownership.

General information on hurricane preparedness can be found at Ready.gov.

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