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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.

Spencer October 27, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Can we park on your driveway?
Sue P. October 27, 2012 at 01:38 AM
I'll add a few more streets on the North side that will also flood. Bayonet St. right in front of the armory. Ledyard St., The parking lot by Shop rite. Also 95 right before the Briggs st. exit. There is a small creek right along 95 on the right side heading North. I think a lot of rain will bring it up over the embankment. Be careful and stay safe.
Corey Fyke (Editor) October 27, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Starting Monday, we're going to have an interactive map where we'll plot the trouble spots in town. Stay tuned.
Steve m October 27, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Newlondon .this storm is no joke this is a rain event.three days no sun .get sandbags .this storm passed puerto rico 2000 miles away and left flooding.good luck
Zak Leavy October 27, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Hey folks, Steve m. is right. This storm is not a joke and has the potential to be very serious. The storm may be hitting New Jersey but we are going to get sustained heavy winds and rains. Please exercise caution and be prepared with plenty of water and batteries for flashlights.
Allyn de Vars October 27, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Who's going to pay for overtime to clean up and clear roads after the storm? The referendum putschs by Sue.P and co. have left the city with no reserve funding and no savings.
Sue P. October 27, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Ha Ha Ha Allyn, don't worry there is plenty of money to switch around. We could always use the $500.000 from the Water St. Garage. Also every Dept. is filled with overtime even for salaried workers. Don't worry we are more than covered. Good try though. Also the $850,000 just sitting their for the tax reserve. At least we will know what it is being spent on. Also we are in a State of Emergency so FEMA and the state will kick in. Nice try blaming me for a natural disaster just because I want the council to cut a little more. By the way I heard Tammy is back, how did that happen.
Jeff Brown October 27, 2012 at 07:35 PM
If this storm turns out to be as bad as it potentially can be , i wouldn't hold my breath waiting for FEMA to come save us. They'll probably have thier hands pretty full. Not to mention New London should be able to take care of itself without having to worry about the government being there to save us except in the absolute worst situations. And furthermore it seems the only answer alot of these LOT people have to situations like these is hey let's just rob peter to pay paul. That's not usually a very sucessfull way to live or run a city.
Sue P. October 27, 2012 at 07:53 PM
First of all I am not a member of LOT, I am a citizen that has read the entire budget and has asked questions of why is money just sitting there. Jeff why is there money for overtime in the finance dept. for salaried employees? Why does every dept. have overtime in it? It's so the Administration can take from Paul to pay Peter. Do you think we all should just turn our backs and let the same people spend our money like it's theirs? This has been going on for years. We the citizens are getting ripped off and that just plain sucks. So again I ask you should we just turn away and let them do what they want or should we stand up and get involved. The only people that should be getting overtime are Public works, the fire dept and the cops. Not their bosses.
Zak Leavy October 27, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Sue, The Mayor eliminated comp-time for all unaffiliated employees, which included department heads.
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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