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Posted on: July 7, 2021

Community Connections From Fred

Tropical Storm Elsa is on a path to impact Connecticut

Greetings Greenwich friends and neighbors.


As the hurricane season is upon us and Tropical Storm Elsa is on a path to impact Connecticut later this week, I want to take this opportunity to provide you with helpful personal safety guidelines as the Town prepares for this storm.

In recent years, the hurricane season – which will last until November 30 – has brought several devastating storms to Town including Super Storm Sandy and last year, Tropical Storm Iasais. It is imperative that we prepare in advance of these storms to help minimize potential damage to your home and to maximize protection of human life and property.

In advance of Tropical Storm Elsa, the National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for this evening, until 11 p.m. These storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rains.

Under the aegis of our Emergency Operations Management Team, the Town continues to monitor the track of Tropical Storm Elsa. The Town’s Emergency Operations Center is ready to be fully activated in a moment’s notice to address any storm emergencies that may occur.

As of 2 p.m. today, the National Hurricane Center forecast that Elsa is expected to move off the New Jersey coast at daybreak on Friday and cross Long Island between 8 and 9 a.m. Elsa is then forecast to make landfall near Old Saybrook at 10 a.m. Friday as a weak tropical storm with sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts to 55 mph.

For coastal Connecticut, winds are currently forecast to begin increasing at daybreak on Friday. The winds are expected to peak during mid-morning in southeastern Connecticut and be sustained at 35 to 40 mph with gusts to 55 mph. Northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph are expected inland and north of the storm track.

Heavy rainfall Elsa will likely cause minor to moderate urban flooding Friday morning. Total rainfall is forecast to range from 3 to 5 inches from Thursday afternoon through early Friday afternoon. The strong winds combined with wet soils may cause widespread power outages.

For businesses participating in the outdoor dining experience this summer, they should ensure that all tables, chairs, tents, umbrellas, etc. are secure. Residents should do the same with their outdoor furniture.

Boaters should check their vessels to ensure they are properly secured for the storm. It is advisable that residents have a supply of non-perishable food, as well as water, first aid materials, flashlights and batteries, and a supply of their prescriptions.

If necessary, the Town will post updates via the Town’s website, the reverse 9-1-1 system and the “Community Connections from Fred” newsletters. You may subscribe via this link. To sign up for the Town’s emergency alerts, please use this link.

Please do not risk your safety and that of our Town’s first-responders - police, fire, EMS, Parks & Trees and Public Works - by visiting our waterfront during the storm.

 

Flood Preparedness – get ready if flash flooding or heavy rainfall is predicted:

  • Be prepared in case of power failure – have flashlights ready, vehicles fueled.
  • Move belongings and equipment out of harm’s way – this may mean elevating or moving belongings stored in basements or garages, moving a car to higher ground, etc.  Protect window wells or other areas of your home if needed based on your conditions and the storm predictions.
  • Do not walk or drive through flooded areas – whether in your home, yard or road.
  • Please do not discharge storm water to the sanitary sewer system – it is illegal and can cause sewer overflows.
  • Remember, drainage systems are not designed for flash floods or high intensity/large long duration storms – so preparing your home for such weather is important.  Storm water typically recedes quickly after flash flooding events.

Power Outages

  • Stay away from downed wires.  All wires should be viewed as live – with the potential to electrocute.
  • Report all outages to Eversource online at www.eversource.com or by calling 800-286-2000. Downed wires should be reported to 911.
  • If a traffic signal is out – treat signals as stop signs and proceed with caution.  Service will be restored as quickly as possible.

Storm cleanup

  • Please remember – the Town will clean up after downed Town trees in the right of way.  Please do not put your own property’s trees/branches or other debris out in the street – it will not be picked up.

Road blockages

  • You can report blocked roads to the Greenwich Police General Dispatch number at 203-622-8004.

Restoration priorities

  • Town priorities are oriented to health and safety, and focus on the hospital, The Nathaniel Witherell, police and fire facilities, residences for the elderly, emergency shelters, as well as wastewater collection system infrastructure (pump stations, low pressure sewer neighborhoods) and the treatment plant itself. 
  • From a traffic standpoint, the Town focuses on opening up major north/south and east/west arteries to facilitate both emergency and repair / cleanup response. 
  • DPW and the Department of Parks and Recreation, with its tree crews, work together with the utilities to help manage debris and reopen roads. 
  • Road opening is often a fluid process – the road may be cleared and open but may then be closed later for a time to reset poles or allow for additional cleanup. 
Additional information on developing your family’s emergency plan may be found here, via our Town Health Department.

***

Stay safe and all the best.

 

Fred

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