Wolcott Ready for Hurricane

by Christopher O'Brien

As Hurricane Sandy bears down on New Jersey and the Connecticut shoreline, Wolcott is ready for coping with the storm. Mayor Thomas G. Dunn is informing residents to be prepared. As of Sunday evening, traffic was sparse around town and some were topping off their cars with gasoline just in case. Yet, many area businesses still have plenty of provisions of batteries, bottled water and other necessities if residents still need to stock up.

If a shelter is needed to be opened, residents will be notified through the emergency notification and reverse 911 system. Residents with cell phones should register with the town’s alert system right now so that they can be notified should phone service also be interrupted. The link to do so is here.

Mayor Dunn tells the Whisper that a decision to open the storm shelters will be done when the need arises. The Senior Center was used last year for a temporary shelter and housed about thirty residents. Tyrrell School is the designated shelter for the town and has capacity for residents to sleep overnight.

Almost all roadwork in Wolcott has been completed, so flooding is not expected to be an issue. In fact, only 3 inches of rain is being forecasted, so road washouts are unlikely. At any rate, the industrial park around Nutmeg Valley and Town Line Roads have been repaved with improved drainage systems in place. This storm will be the first test for those improvements. The area suffered washouts last year.

A 100 foot section of Potoccus Ring Road remains unpaved between Lyman and MacCormack Drive, but shouldn’t be an issue.

The storm’s winds are expected to be hurricane force (at least 74 mph) and even intensify as the system intertwines with a cold front from the west and north. This combination may intensify the storm. This could bring down telephone lines and trees in the Wolcott area. Because damage is expected to be widespread across the northeast, it could be several days before power is restored. Political signs, loose furniture and other outdoor objects should be brought in. We don’t want debris or projectiles being flown into buildings or windows.

Storm surge is the largest concern within Connecticut, as an unprecedented storm surge could bring the mean ocean elevation about 15 feet higher than normal. This means increased flooding in the downtown portions of Norwalk, Bridgeport, Milford and New Haven. Beach houses up and down the entire coast of Long Island Sound could expect to suffer severe damage worse than what was experienced during Hurricane Irene.

As of Sunday evening, Wolcott Schools are closed on Monday and will likely be closed on Tuesday. Trains are closed, and all busses will be shut down in Connecticut through Tuesday. Bradley Airport is open, but almost all flights are being cancelled. Tweed New Haven is closed.

 

All residents are being urged to remain in place from mid-day Monday through Tuesday. There is still a little time to complete preparations, but not much. Make sure you have adequate water supplies on hand, including water to flush toilets, clean, and use for drinking water. Refilling milk and juice jugs with tap water is a good idea. And above all – as damage occurs and power goes out, try to touch base with your neighbors, especially if elderly.

911 is available, but keep in mind that responders may be delayed. Stay away and report ANY downed powerline. Treat them all as live. CL&P can take any reports through a mobile application available HERE, or by calling 1-800-286-2000.

If you have pictures or information to report in your neighborhood, send them to the Whisper at WolcottWhisper@gmail.com . We can also be contacted at 203-558-5817. We will attempt to update this website as often as we can. Please spread it around.

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