Shoreline Towns Told to Evacuate Before Hurricane Sandy Hits

Malloy said the monster storm lumbering toward New England could be worse than the hurricane of 1938. "Folks, this could be bad, really bad."


Calling Hurricane Sandy a historic storm that poses an “extraordinary risk for the state of Connecticut,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Saturday told leaders of southwestern shoreline towns they should start evacuating waterfront areas of their communities by Sunday morning.  

Malloy made that recommendation during an afternoon conference call with municipal leaders on Saturday, shortly after he met with officials from the state’s utility departments and Connecticut emergency management officials.

During a press briefing later in the afternoon, Malloy said Hurricane Sandy has the potential to be a greater storm than the Hurricane of 1938 and far worse than last year’s Hurricane Irene, particularly along the state’s coastline because the storm could play out over 36 hours and four high tide cycles.

He urged anyone who rode out Hurricane Irene last year along the shoreline not to do so this time.

“Folks, this could be bad, really bad. It could impact us in several ways and the moment when you need the most help is often the moment when emergency personnel are least likely to be able to get to you.”

Malloy said he can’t order towns to evacuate residents, but that he has recommended that all shoreline residents from Greenwich to East Haven evacuate.

Malloy earlier today declared a state of emergency in Connecticut, a move he said would give him greater latitude in closing roads, calling up additional emergency personnel and taking other precautions.

He said he has also already called up 350 National Guard troops and will have 400 on the ready by tomorrow. He said they would be deployed throughout the state to help with recovery efforts.

The greatest concern about the storm, he added, is the surge it could bring in Long Island Sound. With the storm expected to last some 36 hours that means the surge could take place over four high tide cycles, 11:30 p.m., Monday, Sunday, 11:30 a.m., midnight Monday and Tuesday at noon. The worst of the surge, Malloy said, is expected Monday at midnight.

“We expect coastal flooding worse than Irene and the most severe impact will be from Greenwich to East Haven. We anticipate severe flooding, perhaps the worst we’ve seen in more than 75 years.”

He emphasized that many state residents may not realize the extent of the storm’s destructive power because of its long duration “not the 12 hours that Connecticut residents are typically used to.”

Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be in the state tomorrow to help prepare for assessing the damage and planning a federal response.

Leaders of CL&P and United Illuminating, the state’s two major power companies, said they are planning for a “moderate to severe storm.” A UI official said the company is anticipating that 50-70 percent of its customers will be without power at some point. A CL&P official said anywhere from a quarter to half of its customers could lose power during the storm, or 300,000 to 600,000 customers.

The company also is currently flying linemen into Connecticut from as far away as Seattle to help with the restoration of power after the storm.

Malloy said no utility crews will not be dispatched to restore electricity until the storm has passed.

Sandy’s winds are expected to being hitting the state as early as late Sunday afternoon and to intensify overnight and through the day on Monday. The storm will continue into Tuesday, with sustained winds of about 40 mph and gusts of more than 80 mph.

The exact track of the storm is still being carefully monitored by meteorologists, but landfall now is expected somewhere near the Jersey shore.

A hit farther south would lessen the impacts in Connecticut, but Malloy said the state is preparing for the worst.

“I hope it’s not as big a deal as everyone is making it, but I fear it is,” Malloy said.

Priscilla Lynn October 27, 2012 at 09:12 PM
I live at Caswell Cove. During Irene, there was no storm problem, and I only lost my electricity for a day. There are 200 units here, all on the water. Should we all be evacuating, too? Thoughts anyone?
Joe Codespoti October 27, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Well if they ask you to evacuate of course you should. And while those condo's were built to more stringent standard, according to most weatherman, this may exceed Irene.
arkay October 27, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Worse than 1938 is pure exaggeration as that was a Cat 3. This will be a weak 1 or tropical storm. Probably the intensity of Irene over a longer period
Starla October 27, 2012 at 11:53 PM
I have relatives at Caswell Cove and I happened to be there during Irene. The Housatonic river breached the stone barrier, spilled onto the big lawn, spilled over and over flowed the pool, basket ball and tennis courts and the water had in some cases reached withing inches of the patios on the ground floor units. There was plenty of cleanup damage. If the storm was a bit slower, the winds a bit higher, there would have been a lot more damage.
burnaka October 28, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Most were not born in 1938, I have seen photos, and video. That was bad. Basically no, little warning, 800 deaths, an estimated 2 billion trees lost. 100 plus mile winds hitting Connecticut at a time when the rivers were already at near flood levels. This will not be like that.
Priscilla Lynn October 28, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Joe and Starla: thanks for your input. Starla, I had no idea there was that kind of storm damage, and I do live on the first floor/ground level. Nobody has said anything about evacuating as of yet. I actually have a friend coming over to stay who lives right on the water in Woodmont - OMG I hope we don't have to vacate here, too.
Priscilla Lynn October 28, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Oh geez! I went all over the place in Milford tonight trying to find/buy one dang flashlight. For Irene I had flashlight but couldn't find batteries. Now it's just the opposite. Anyway want to loan me a flashlight that takes size D batteries?
Colette Lattanzi October 28, 2012 at 07:26 AM
anyone hear if there was a mandatory evac anouncement yet for us?
kw October 28, 2012 at 12:46 PM
No I have not heard if there are mandatory evacs in Milford yet. I live in Woodmont by myself without a car and I'm not really sure what to do/where to go.
JP October 28, 2012 at 01:34 PM
This sounds like it will be similar to Irene, possibly with slightly higher winds and possibly more flooding over a longer period of time. Everyone should keep watching the Weather Channel to see where the storm makes landfall tomorrow -- if around the DC area, it won't be as bad for us; if in central New Jersey, it will be worse for us because we will get the brunt of the wrap-around back end coming into the Sound. Our loopy governor making comparisons to the Hurricane of 1938, which was a major disaster that resulted in hundreds of deaths, is just going to make some people panic.
Lux October 28, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Since power outages are inevitable having a long run time flashlight is a good idea. Lowes has a 65 hour run time flashlight for under $5.00 http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Flashlight-Mod-Increases-Run-Time-36X/?allstep I got mine in store. I also got one at Target. More: http://armageddononline.org/forums/threads/34318-Cheap-long-run-time-flashlights Or go micro solar for under $50.00. http://www.instructables.com/id/Uses-For-Dead-Car-Batteries-And-Sealed-Lead-Acid-B/?allstep Emergency Led Lighting Made Ridiculously Simple: http://www.instructables.com/id/Emergency-Led-Lighting-Made-Ridiculously-Simple/?allstep The whole collection: http://www.instructables.com/member/luxstar/?show=INSTRUCTABLES
Florida Resident October 28, 2012 at 09:27 PM
It's not the strength of the storm they are worried about. It's the duration that can cause the flooding!
Concerned Parent October 28, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Linda Rabasco October 30, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Does anyone know if flooding went up to Stowe Ave?


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