As Hurricane Sandy moves closer to Connecticut, local officials continue to urge residents not affected by the mandatory evacuation orders, to stay indoors.
"We want to keep all unnecessary traffic off the roads," said Greenwich Police Chief James Heavey. "We want to keep the roads clear for emergency personnel, the utility repair crews ... help us out and stay home and out of the weather."
The coastal areas under mandatory evacuation from Byram to Old Greenwich and Riverside, to Cos Cob and the Mill Pond areas, and in the Pemberwick and Glenville areas along the Byram River basin, will be accessible to residents, Heavey said. (For a listing of all streets under the evacuation order, click here.)
At a Sunday night press briefing, First Selectman Peter Tesei said that residents who try to stay in the homes despite the evacuation orders will be risking their lives and that given storm conditions, there isn't a guarantee that emergency personnel will be able to rescue them as Hurricane Sandy converges on the region.
The 8 a.m. National Weather Service forecast said Sandy—with winds about 85 mph—is now moving toward the north-northwest at about 20 mph and is expected to turn northwest later Monday morning. On the forecast track, the center of Sandy will move over the coast of the mid-Atlantic states this evening or tonight.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 485 miles from the storm's eye, according to the weather service. The winds are causing power outages. At 8:30 a.m. there were 360 Connecticut Light & Power customers without service in Greenwich.
The worst winds are expected between 3 p.m. today and 3 a.m. Tuesday, according to Gov. Dannel Malloy. The storm surge of 7 to 11 feet on top of the astronomical high tides will "cause unprecedented damage," Malloy said during a press conference Monday morning. "Stay indoors," Malloy said.
For those under evacuation orders in Greenwich, shelters have been opened at Eastern Middle School, 51 Hendrie Ave., in Riverside, and at the Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center, 449 Pemberwick Rd. Tesei also asked residents who can, to open their homes to shelter friends who need to relocate.
Tesei also advised residents in flood-prone areas to move their belongings to higher levels in their homes and to move their cars to higher ground. As of Sunday night, residents picked up 25,000 sandbags. Another 20,000 have been delivered and may be picked up at the Glenville Fire Department, the Sound Beach Fire Department and the Cos Cob Fire Department.
There are 850 National Guardsmen have been deployed throughout the state. Bradley International Airport in Hartford will close at 1 p.m. today. "We have done everything we possibly can to get through this storm," Malloy said. Accordinng to Malloy, President Barack Obama has signed a federal disaster declaration for the state of Connecticut.
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Malloy said he also expects to impose a truck and pulled trailer ban later Monday.
Greenwich Emergency Management Director Dan Warzoha said that telephone companies with cell phone towers in town have serviced the towers to maintain service through the storm. However, Warzoha said there was a dramatic increase in cell phone use late Sunday which "dramatically reduced the bandwidth available." He said it's unknown how long cell service will be available in town.
At Greenwich Town Hall, only essential personnel are reporting to work on Monday. The Greenwich Library is closed Monday. Tesei said depending upon weather and road conditions, the library may reopen Tuesday where residents needing to recharge personal electronics will be able to do so.
Greenwich Public Schools wil remain closed through Wednesday.
And because of the storm, Heavey said Halloween will be cancelled.
Other Hurricane Sandy-related coverage from Greenwich Patch:
- Metro-North to Suspend Service on New Haven Line Sunday Evening
- Tips for Hurricane Preparations for Alzheimer's Patients
- Sandy Will Be Historic for Many Reasons. Preparations Should be Complete Today!
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