Norwich – Emergency management personnel met this afternoon for a weather briefing by the National Weather Service and to also report in on the status of fire, police and emergency response teams.
The heaviest rain will develop Monday and the potential for heavy rain will take place Monday through Tuesday with 1 to 2 inches per hour, along with localized urban flooding and small stream flooding, Gary Conte, warning coordination meteorologist from NOAA’s National Weather service said this afternoon.
Conte also advised a high wind warning from 6 a.m. Monday through 6 p.m. Tuesday. The core of the wind will be around 50-70 mph with wind gusts of about 80 mph Monday evening, Conte said.
“(Sandy is ) basically forecasted to make a sharp left turn, moving west northwest toward our coastline and is qualified as an unprecedented track this far north, we’ve never seen this before,” he said
He is forecasting a dangerous coastal storm with its peak during the daylight hours on Monday.
“The difference with Sandy versus other strong hurricanes in the past is that Sandy is very large, moving very slowly and her angle of approach is toward the Northwest and west,” Conte said.“We’re on the drier side of the storm, highest winds, greatest storm surge.”
Strong, tropical force winds with hurricane gusts taking place for a long period of time will be the driver of the storm surges, he said.
Norwich Emergency Management Director Gene Arters said this afternoon that residents should remove all outdoor lawn furniture, flags and political signs.
“Anything that can become an airborne missile of destruction,” he said.
Residents should charge their cell phones to full power, turn their refrigerators up to the maximum, which Arters said will allow an extra 10 hours of cold if the door is kept shut, and fill their gas tanks. He also advised going to an ATM or the bank for cash.
Arters said that unless the need is “critical” residents should refrain from driving.
Norwich schools will be closed on Monday and Tuesday and Kelly Middle School will open as an emergency shelter today at 2 p.m. A homeless shelter behind the Buckingham Memorial Building on Railroad Avenue will open at 5 p.m.