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Hurricane Sandy: East Haven Braces for Storm's Possible Impact

Written By imam santoso on Saturday, October 27, 2012 | 3:16 AM

A two hour storm preparation meeting in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy with Town officials and representatives from the local utilities was held in the office of Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr., late this afternoon.

In addition to the leadership of several of the Town’s Departments (Fire, Police & Public Services and Building), representatives from the United Illuminating Company, Greater New Haven WPCA and State Legislators, Senator Len Fasano and Rep. James Albis were also in attendance.

The Mayor received updates from each sector of preparations of the last couple of days, some of the highlights of which:

  • In line with some of the new UI procedures, the Town will have a Municipal Liaison stationed in East Haven’s EOC (Emergency Operations Center), once the center is officially opened. The Liaison will work throughout the storm response with Town officials to coordinate their “Make Safe” crews, which is critical to getting streets opened for emergency access. In addition the company will be initially getting all Tier 1 priority locations back on line in all their towns/cities and will then move to Tier 2 locations. UI is still lining up mutual assistance crews to assist them in their efforts.
  • WPCA has been working feverishly to have all generators ready to go and to have spare generators and pumps for pump stations and will also have a liaison in the EOC as needed.
  • Fire Chief and Emergency Manager Doug Jackson and Interim Police Chief Brent Larrabee and their staffs have been coordinating with each of their staffs and with each other, to ensure the ability to move their line staffs in to areas that may be affected the most.
  • Public Services this week worked on getting equipment ready along with clean out catch basin tops, trimming trees as much as possible, preparing traffic barricades for placement as needed and ordering sand for sand bags.
  • AT & T has been contacted and a request was made to have a satellite phone service truck in place if and when it becomes needed following the storm
  • Fire Department has prepped all generators and begun making plans to obtain the necessary items that will be needed if and when the Town will open its Emergency Shelter (at East Haven High School). In addition the department has reserved additional emergency light towers which will be deployed if needed following the storm.
  • Building Official Jim Bassett has spent extended time at the shore working with individual homeowners to ensure property owners secure their existing property, especially with respect to those still in active construction stage

Mayor Maturo emphasized ”that while it still may be premature to talk specifically about evacuations, that all residents along the shore and in very flood prone areas, should begin to have plans in place as to places where they could relocate with family and friends in the event it is necessary to do so. In addition while the major effects of the storm is not expected until possibly Monday, all homeowners should be prepared by securing all loose furniture, decorations, etc. and of course to have the supplies necessary in the event of an extended power outage. All items that are not tied down, including bulk trash and trash pails, should be moved indoors or secured, if possible. Since the entire town could be affected, I would like homeowners to assist Public Service crews by cleaning the tops of the storm drains in the immediate vicinity of your home. Your town government is doing everything possible to be as prepared as we can for the possibility of this storm and we ask you for your help and cooperation during this event”, Mayor concluded.

The Mayor will be meeting with his department heads and UI representatives once again late tomorrow and depending on the track of the storm, more specific decisions may be made as to the coordinated action necessary as the storm effects approach.

Should it become necessary, The Mayor and the Emergency Manager, Fire Chief Doug Jackson will issue automated emergency call messages to be sent to residents in specific areas of the town with area specific information that each resident should know.

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