With Hurricane Irene just hours away from hitting Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy late Saturday afternoon turned his attention to how residents should cope with the expected widespread outages across the state.
Malloy said anyone who lives along Long Island Sound in southwestern Connecticut should be leaving their homes and seeking shelter. Those who are doing so in municipal shelters should plan to bring their own bedding, he said.
And when you seek to recharge your cell phone by using your car chargers, don’t run your car’s engine inside a garage, especially if that garage is attached to your house.
He urged others looking for information on the storm and how to deal with outages to call the state’s information line at 211, or visit the state’s Hurricane Irene website.
“We are doing everything in our power to prepare for serious wind damage,” Malloy said at a press briefing at the Emergency Operations Center at the State Armory in Hartford. “Some communities have ordered mandatory evacuations and we think that’s highly appropriate given our circumstances.”
Current estimates indicate the state could see upward of 10 inches of rainfall. That, coupled with the high tide expected at 11 a.m. tomorrow means potential serious flooding in the densely populated towns along the shoreline from East Haven to Greenwich.
“Much of what you’ve watched (of Irene) on TV so far were in states that experienced low tide,” Malloy said. “We will experience the brunt of this storm from high tide.”
The state is urging communities to order mandatory evacuations, rather than have the state order them, because local leaders know best which areas of their communities are most vulnerable and which neighborhoods should be forced to evacuate.
“I’m not going to declare that all of Bridgeport or any city be evacuated right now,” Malloy said. “This really needs to be done on a street-by-street basis.”
In addition, Malloy said the already unusually soggy ground in Connecticut poses the potential for landslides in areas that have seen them before.
State officials are expecting storm surges of up to seven feet.
Malloy will give another update on the storm at 9 p.m.