New London Prepares for Hurricane Sandy

The city is spending the weekend bracing for the arrival of the potent storm system on Monday; emergency operations center to open either Sunday or Monday.

Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio on Friday said the city will open its Emergency Operations Center either Sunday or Monday in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.

The mayor's office sent a late-afternoon release announcing the decision after meeting with the city's emergency preparedness team. All storm prep will be completed by Monday, according to the release.

The mayor urged all residents to take extreme caution while preparing for and during the storm, and advised residents to monitor local media and social media for updates. New London Patch will be reporting on the storm on the site and also on its Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Storm Shelter

The city will work with the American Red Cross, the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) and the New London Board of Education to open an emergency relocation center at Winthrop School, located at 74 Grove St.

City's Weekend Prep

Here's a snapshot of other preparations the city is making this weekend on the mayor's orders:

  • The Public Works Department will be placing sandbags in areas prone to flooding
  • Public Works will be securing city property such as garbage cans and hanging plants downtown to limit damage to storefronts and private homes' windows.
  • Drain tops will be cleared by Monday.
  • The Bank Street pump has been tested and affirmed as fully operational.
  • The transfer station is open Saturday, Oct. 29, to allow residents to clear bulky waste before the storm hits. There will be no bulky waste pickup the day after the storm subsides.
  • Residents will be able to fill their own sandbags at 109 Crystal Ave. (you must bring your own sandbags and shovels).

The mayor's office also cautioned that if there is a downed power line, don't assume it's dead. Call the police or fire department.

Mayor Finizio will also be in constant contact with state agencies and other municipalites leading up to and during the storm.

The Forecast

The storm could bring winds of up to 40 mph, and could last up to 36 hours, according to Gov. Dannel Malloy. Malloy said to expect up to 7 inches of rain from the storm.

Accuweather.com reports that although rain is expected Sunday, the storm should really hit southeastern Connecticut Monday, when winds will be between 30 and 41 mph and heavy rainfall, according to accuweather.com.

Tuesday should be rainy as well, with winds between 20 and 49 mph, and then the rain should turn into a drizzle Tuesday night, according to accuweather.com. On Wednesday, there is a slight chance of rain during the day and a high chance of rain at night, with wind gusts between 11 and 20 mph, and then the storm should end.

Accuweather is predicting a storm surge of up to 5 to 10 feet, with widespread power outages and property damage a strong possibility.

What You Should Do Now

State officials are encouraging people to clear their yard of possible projectiles, such as toys or tiki torches or anything that could easily be blown around.

Officials also encouraged people to have phone numbers for important contacts written down (with no power, cell phones could die), to have a gallon of water per person for everyone in the home for three days, to have cash (ATMs will not work if there is no power) and to fill their cars with gasoline in case the pumps are powerless.

Officials also encouraged people to have batteries and a flashlight and suggested people who are particularly vulnerable, such as the elderly (especially if they are living alone), go to emergency shelters if a storm is expected to hit.

Millstone Preparing

Millstone spokesman Ken Holt said the power plant has begun preparations for a storm, including either taking in or tying down everything outside that could become a projectile.

Holt said Millstone has not yet made a decision on if it will power down its two nuclear reactors, like it did during Tropical Storm Irene. Holt said that determination will be made in the upcoming days as the storm draws closer.

State Parks Closed Starting Monday

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced that all state parks will be closed starting Monday. Additionally the DEEP is pulling all boat docks and portable toilets from state boat launches.

Places for Information

Follow the state’s emergency preparedness guide here.

Patch will be collecting all this information, along with our own original reporting. Follow our site and click here to follow our Facebook page.

Check back with New London Patch for more updates as the storm approaches southeastern Connecticut.

Sue P. October 27, 2012 at 08:12 PM
I know Zak, I know the Mayor eliminated comp. time. My question is why is there overtime in every Dept. even city council. Zak, this has been going on for years. I am not blaming the Mayor I am blaming the Dept. heads who have been taught bad habits over the years. People will try to get away with as much as they can when no one is looking. That's why the Administration and the citizens are all looking now. We have some great New London employees and then we have some of the same old hacks. I'm done talking about this for now I have a giant rose bush to cut down before the storm. Stay safe and we all can start disagreeing next week.
Zak Leavy October 27, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Sue, This place does not necessarily seem like the appropriate place to debate the budget since we have a hurricane coming and need to worry about public safety. However, budget's have overtime in them because employees use overtime. Police, PW, Rec, etc have employees that are needed to come in that cost overtime. For example, the PW employees that came in today to prepare for the hurricane use overtime.
Sue P. October 27, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Zak read my comments above, I just said that the Public works needs overtime. I also agree with you that this is not the time or the place to discuss the budget but Allyn started it. lol. Be safe everyone.
--Robert October 28, 2012 at 02:48 PM
On scanner just now: Grove Street emergency shelter will be opening at 1:00PM today (Sunday). The wind is picking up and the forecast is ugly. At the least, we're getting a lot of rain and probably large tidal surge. This is a time for the city to pull together and ignore the politics. Sue, I would help you if you were in need during the storm. Afterwards, we can argue about what services cost. Lets get through this week, ok? State of CT emergency center is open. Civil preparedness drills all come to sharp reality now. Thanks in advance to all city and emergency workers who are part of this massive effort. Be safe everyone.
Sue P. October 28, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Thank you Robert, God bless and stay safe.


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