.

UPDATE: Downtown Parking Ban In Effect; Mandatory Evacuation Zone Expands

Earlier, the mayor closed school and city buildings through Tuesday; state police said they will close the Gold Star Bridge if sustained winds exceed 40 mph; Crystal Mall is closed Monday; L+M cancels all elective surgery; EB cancels all three shifts.

12:50 a.m. update:

Electric Boat announced on its website that 1st and 2nd shifts on Monday and 3rd shift on Tuesday were called off at all Connecticut and Rhode Island locations except for workers involved in storm prep and emergency services.

10:01 p.m. Update:

The Crystal Mall in Waterford announced late Sunday night it would be closed on Monday. The status for Tuesday has not been decided yet.

9:40 p.m. Update:

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital announced late Sunday that all elective surgeries scheduled for Monday at the main campus and Pequot Health Center have been canceled and patients have been called or are being called. In addition, all L+M Physicians Asociation offices will be closed Monday. 

All elective surgery at L+M scheduled for Monday has been cancelled. Patients who were scheduled for procedures have been called or are being called.

Additionally, all L+MPA (Physicians Association) offices are closed Monday.

9:08 p.m. Update:

The city enacted a downtown parking ban Sunday night in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy's fury, and mayor Daryl Justin Finizio urged businesses to close at 11 p.m.

"I understand the burden that this places on local businesses, but the City should exercise caution during this upcoming storm," he said in a release.

Also late Sunday, the mayor expanded the mandatory evacuation order he issued earlier in the day. Streets whose residents are now required to evacuate in advance of the storm are (see original list below):

  • Shaw Street (From Hamilton to traffic circle)
  • Hamilton Street and Howard Street to traffic circle
  • Peqout Avenue from traffic circle to Converse Place (both sides)
  • All of Neptune Park (including Park Street and Stuart Avenue)

The governor also reminded residents of the relocation shelter set up at Winthrop School and the regional relocation center at East Lyme Middle School on Society Road in Niantic. For additional information, call 860-440-6687.

Also Sunday night, state police said they would close the Gold Star Bridge if winds exceeded 40 mph, which could come as soon as early this morning.

Original Story:

Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio kicked New London's preparations for Hurricane Sandy into high gear Sunday afternoon, closing schools and city buildings through Tuesday and ordering a mandatory evacuation of flood zones.

The mayor, in a press conference Sunday afternoon, also fully activated the city's Emergency Operations Center at fire headquarters on Bank Street and opened the relocation shelter at Winthrop School earlier than expected at 3 p.m.

According to Finizio, Gov. Malloy said in a conference call this morning that the storm surge — a wall of wind- and tide-driven water that is swept in the direction of the prevailing winds in a storm like this — is supposed to be 2-to-4 feet higher than that of the devastating hurricane of 1938. The governor said that New London should prepare for a worst-case scenario and that all coastal communities should plan for Category 4 hurricane storm surges.

Along with the closure of schools and city buildings, non-essential city personnel have been ordered to not come into work on Monday and Tuesday. Essential employees and emergency management personnel will still report to work. Wednesday's schedule has yet to be finalized.

The streets affected by the mandatory evacuation are:

  • Admiral Drive
  • Chapel Drive
  • Elliot Avenue
  • Elm Street (Between Lincoln and Garfield)
  • Glenwood Avenue to the intersection of Lower Boulevard
  • Guthrie Place
  • Hamilton Street
  • Ledyard Street
  • Lincoln Avenue
  • Lower Ocean Ave. (from Jerome to Ocean Beach)
  • Lower Montauk Avenue (from Lower Boulevard to end of Montauk)
  • Lower Boulevard
  • Mott Avenue
  • Mott Court
  • Neptune Avenue
  • Neptune Court
  • Parkway South
  • Pequot Avenue (Water side)
  • Quinnepeag Avenue
  • Requinn Street
  • Rocbourne Lane
  • Rodgers Street
  • Stuart Avenue

Other important things to know:

  • If you need a ride to Winthrop School, call 860-440-6687.
  • All garbage and recycling pickup in the city has been canceled until further notice.
  • The Connecticut State Police will close the Gold Star Bridge to traffic if there are sustained wind speeds of 40 miles per hour or greater
  • Avoid hazards and exercise caution. If you see a hazard, notify the Police Department.
Sean October 28, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Thanks for the explanation!
William October 28, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Anyone know the procedure with pets especially if they aren't up to date on their shots etc.in regards to the shelter if you are evacuated?
Sue P. October 28, 2012 at 10:29 PM
I grew up on Ledyard st. and what Mr. Cornick says is true. When I was a kid we use to row a boat down Ledyard st. Most of the sewage will back up into the homes and because the pipes are on personal property the city refuses to pay. This mess has been going on for about 40 years. During the last big storm man hole covers were bubbling off. My mothers basement had 3 feet of water. As I listen to the news it seems like the wind is going to be our biggest problem and the storm surge. Let's hope the rain stays to our west. Stay safe and stay in there is nothing to see until the storm is all over.
mike51 October 28, 2012 at 11:06 PM
What about connecticut and ceder grove ave.After 10 rain drops and that whole area is flooded...{front yards,back yards,} The pipe running under ceder grove to ashcraft, is only a 18 inch clay pipe that is half full of sand and can not handle the water running down from broad st ,or waller street. {The drain pool in back of cvs needs to be cleaned and the brook dug deeper.} and it's no help that lump of cement that was dumped in the strom drain when the city patched the side walk at the fire plug a few years ago. A good rain storm that area is under 3 feet and that's in any rain storm,what there talking here, will be all the houses from broad st to cedar grove will need there basements pumped out.
Sharon Gill October 28, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Has EB been cancelled? I don't see Howard ST on the list.
Gagee October 29, 2012 at 12:33 AM
If we live on the second floor on Lincoln- were good right...
Richard Cranium October 29, 2012 at 01:33 AM
There is small brook that goes from behind Rite Sid to Cedar Grove Ave and then underground. A few leaves on the pipe and the whole thing floods badly.
boudica October 29, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Howard St just got added to the list.
Spencer October 29, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Gold Star Bridge will close once wind maintains a consistancy of 40 MPH! So if someone havent left--and they need to go in that direction---the best bet is going to be 32.
Mary October 29, 2012 at 02:25 AM
William, call the East Lyme Emergency Management at (860) 739-4434 to find out what you need.
Corey Fyke (Editor) October 29, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Thanks for helping out with that, Mary!
Emily Kendall October 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM
One question???? If the mayor is closing all city buildings and only essential personnel are coming to work, will we be paying the other non essential people to stay home? Zak can you address that? Keep in mind that Tammy D. was laid off and is still on the city payroll.
Paul October 29, 2012 at 12:09 PM
@ emily... Everybody here is concerned about the storm. Except you...It is not time to stir the pot...give it a rest until the storm is over..Zak has better things to do with is time today.. Put your big girl pants on today
Emily Kendall October 29, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Paul, Are you really of the mindset that you are above me or anyone. I am concerned about the storm, the city as a whole, the community and even you Paul. Life is not a game where you can pick and choose what things you are concerned about on a specific day. Life is all encompassing. The decisions made today in New London about the storm and storm prep are decisions that you and everyone must pay the price for tomorrow. Please Paul put you big boy pants on and your thinking cap. Let Zak do his job which includes answering questions from all citizens not just the questions that you screen through as OK!!!
Zak Leavy October 29, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Yes the Mayor closed all City Buildings and non-essential employees Monday and Tuesday. I am at the Emergency Operations Center as the Public Information Officer as well as everyone on the organization chart for emergency preparedness. Yes we are paying employees. We cannot not pay them because of preparing for a storm.
Emily Kendall October 29, 2012 at 01:23 PM
But you are paying the ones not working? That is why the city is in a fiscal mess. The taxpayers are paying them not to work, that is so wrong on so many levels. Why not flex them and have them make the time up some other time? Is there contract language that says we pay you even if you do not work? Please post that here, if that does not say that then we should not be paying them to stay home.
Emily Kendall October 29, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Zak, Nice that we pay you to blog in the papers on line. Could these non essential workers possibly work at the emergency shelters?
Richard Virgin October 29, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Wondering if anyone knows if electicity is likely to be lost at Huntington and Broad. Trying to make some decisions about product safety at Fiddleheads if we were to lose power. Dick Virgin
Zak Leavy October 29, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Emily, During Emergency Operations, it is my job to get information out and answer requests. You asked me which is why I answered. The department head decided who was essential/non-essential and in their contracts we can't withhold payment. Employees were also told to flex their times to be available, such as the captains of the PD in order to man the EOC at all times.
Zak Leavy October 29, 2012 at 01:36 PM
There is no way to determine if you will lose power or not at this point. But it is urged to exercise caution and be as prepared as possible for the next 18 hours.
Emily Kendall October 29, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Why not have all these non essential workers do some work at the emergency shelters that the city set up. After all we are paying them. To pay them to sit on their BUTTS at home is a waste. Maybe flex their time and have them make it up to the taxpayers later. Does the contract require that we pay them when they are not at work? If it does the EMINENT DOMAIN JANE needs to renegotiate that crap out of the contracts. Who exactly is looking out for the taxpayers if not the administration?
Zak Leavy October 29, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Thank you for the suggestion. We are tracking all costs from the storm. Hope you are safe during the storm and urge caution during the storm.
J. Scagnetti October 29, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Just trying to cause trouble and stir the pot at a time like this make you look ridiculous. Everyone else be safe , Emily go fly a kite!
Emily Kendall October 29, 2012 at 03:40 PM
J Scagnetti, Your attitude of just do and spend now and figure it out later has put the city in the poor fiscal condition it is in. Keep it up.
J. Scagnetti October 29, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Not gonna get into it with you Emily have way too many other important things to do right now . But i did notice the liqour stores are all closing so you might want to go because it sounds like you went through your whole supply already!
Carol D. Fox October 29, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Emily: Put on your thinking cap. If they are union employees and are non-essential employees, the City does not have the right to ask them to work at shelters or anywhere else. If you choose not to understand this, then it is your problem. EB employees are home sitting on their butts. They are all union employees and I am sure they are getting paid.
Emily Kendall October 29, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Carol, are the municipal tax payers paying the EB employees?
Carol D. Fox October 29, 2012 at 04:49 PM
My point to you which you failed to understand is that they are union employees.
ElComandante October 29, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Emily, we municipal CITIZENS (paying taxes is just one thing we commit to do as self-governing people) should extend our employees a fair deal. As a public, we are competing with the private sector for good people, so let's not try to squeeze our employees dry.
S.E. October 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Funny what happens to some people when they get cooped up at home. I agree, there are much more important things at hand. If your concern is for the taxpayers and the misplacement of funds, go to your next city council meeting and raise your voice there, where it counts. I'm sure we could all make suggestions about how to make storm preparedness a smoother process. I agree with you, J. Maybe some camomile tea instead, though!

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