Sub base preparing for storm surge, possible flooding

Groton — The five submarines moored here at the Naval Submarine Base will stay put during the upcoming storm, the base's executive officer announced.

"Leadership and our emergency management team have been watching the forecasts closely," Cmdr. Michael Pennington said in a statement. "As a result of the latest information, we're focusing on storm surge that could cause flooding along our waterfront and lower base area."

Pennington, who commands Submarine Group Two, said the Navy will not be conducting "a sortie" of the submarines moored at the base.

"The five submarines in port will remain at (the base) during the storm and their crews are continuing preparations for experiencing severe weather at the pier," Pennington said.

With Hurricane Sandy's arrival expected at a time of full moon, added storm surge could top some of the base's lower piers, according to Navy officials.

The base is positioning more than 8,000 sandbags at designated lower base facilities today and expects to order their placement Sunday. Base personnel are also preparing for the installation of building flood gates at those lower base facilities designed for their use.

While base leadership does not expect sustained winds greater than 50 knots, personnel are continuing to remove or secure loose and outdoor material around the base.

Officials are also continuing to stress self-preparedness to Navy personnel and their families.

"We are facing severe weather and everyone needs to follow those key three steps: prepare a kit, make a plan, and stay informed," Pennington said. "I encourage Navy families to visit www.ready.navy.mil and the base Facebook page to learn more about staying safe."

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