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Westport Starts Preparing For Hurricane Sandy

Downtown Westport may once again see flooding like it did during Hurricane Irene last year as Hurricane Sandy is projected to hit the area next Tuesday.
Downtown Westport may once again see flooding like it did during Hurricane Irene last year as Hurricane Sandy is projected to hit the area next Tuesday. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. – With Hurricane Sandy projected to hit Connecticut early next week, Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and other town officials began making storm preparations Thursday.

Joseloff and members of his emergency preparedness team participated in a regional briefing with the National Weather Service about the storm’s track and possible impacts. The team includes representatives from the police, fire and human services departments, as well as the Westport Weston Health District and the Red Cross.

“We came away with the impression that Westport will definitely be impacted, but at this point we do not know how severely,” Joseloff said in the statement. “At one point, it was mentioned this storm could be as severe as the 1992 nor’easter that flooded many low-lying Westport areas.”

With flooding likely to occur, the town has set up a webpage with flood-specific information for residents.

“We don’t yet know how bad it is going to be, but the prudent thing is to follow the adage ‘prepare for the worst and hope for the best.’”

In addition to meeting with the emergency preparedness team, Joseloff said discussions were also held with the directors of the public works, and parks and recreation departments.

The town is also working closely with state officials and Connecticut Lights & Power Company, he said. “We hope the lessons learned and steps taken from last year’s events will help us get through this one better,” he said.

In the days leading up to the storm, the town’s emergency equipment, including boats, will be checked, generators will be topped off and debris from rivers, streams and drains will be cleared, Joseloff said. As leaves are still falling, residents are asked to help the town keep storm drains clear.

Residents should prepare for the storm by storing extra water, canned food, batteries, medications and other necessities, Joseloff said. Any outdoor furniture or fixtures should be stored or tied down.

Boat owners are being urged to remove their boats from the marinas this weekend.

Forecasters predict the storm will make landfall Tuesday morning. During the storm, the town’s Emergency Operations Center will be open. Emergency messages and storm related updated will be disseminated via the CodeRed telephone system, the town website and WWPT 90.3 FM, the Staples High School radio station.

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