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School cancellations, shelters and town-by-town information

Day staff reports

Publication: theday.com

Published October 28. 2012 4:00AM   Updated October 29. 2012 9:42PM

Stonington, Groton, Ledyard, New London, Waterford, Montville, North Stonington, Norwich, Colchester, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook canceled school for Monday and Tuesday.

Dozens of roads throughout the region are impassable due to flooding and downed trees and wires.

Residents in East Lyme, New London, Groton, Old Lyme, Stonington, Old Saybrook and Westerly, followed mandatory evacuation orders for coastal and flood prone areas, while Norwich and Groton City issued voluntary evacuation orders.

Several towns in the region also opened emergency shelters Monday.

For more information, visit individual town websites, related Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

EAST LYME (Updated 5:30 p.m. Sunday)

The Town of East Lyme has ordered the mandatory evacuation of all coastal residences within 200 feet of any tidal body of water no later than 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 29.

The multi-town shelter opened at 4 p.m. Sunday at East Lyme Middle School, 31 Society Road. Showers at the school will be open from 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.

The shelter will serve the towns of East Lyme, New London, Waterford, Old Lyme, Lyme and Montville. Residents may bring pets, but they should also bring a collar, leash, cage and proof of shots, Morris said.

The facility will be operated by the American Red Cross. The pet shelter will be operated by the Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control Officer, he said.

For more information, call East Lyme Emergency Management at (860) 739-4434, monitor Channel 22 or go to www.ELTownHall.com.

There is no garbage pickup through Wednesday.

GROTON (Updated 4 p.m. Sunday)

The town has opened a shelter at Fitch High School as of 4 p.m.

Pets are welcome and residents are reminded to bring medical supplies, pet food, clothing and other necessities. There will be no pickup of trash in the city for at least 72 hours, so officials ask that trash receptacles not be placed outside.

Generators have been placed in some key municipal buildings, at the sewage treatment plant and at pump houses to avoid any sewage backups.

Residents can look for updates posted on the town website at www.groton-ct.gov.

LEDYARD (Updated 7:40 Monday)

The town has recommended that a small neighborhood at the intersection of Military Highway and Long Cove Road evacuate before high tide at around 9 p.m.

Police delivered letters to about 20 households in the neighborhood this morning recommending that residents seek shelter, said Mayoral Assistant Mark Bancroft.

"We think that they're going to experience water over the roadway and some water into some basements and some first-floor, ground-floor levels," he said. "It is not a mandatory evacuation, but highly recommended."

Bancroft said the low-lying neighborhood is prone to flooding from the Thames River, and that if residents do not evacuate, the town cannot provide them with emergency services between about 8:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. when the roadway is expected to flood with the high tide.

According to the CL&P outage map, about 4079 customers were without power as of around 7:45 p.m. Monday.

Town Hall will be closed Tuesday with the exception of the public information office and reception area, which will be open for phone charging and filling water containers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ledyard Center Fire Station and Gales Ferry Fire Company will be open 24/7 for the same services.

The shelter, at Fitch High School in Groton, has about 157 people from both Groton and Ledyard, Bancroft said.

There will be no trash collection on Tuesday. Town Hall will be closed for routine business on Monday. Town Hall will have water and a charging station available. Water and charging can also be done at the two fire stations. The emergency shelter at Fitch High School is available to Ledyard residents.

If there is a massive power outage in town, CL&P representative Jane Seidl will be in town, likely at the emergency operations center that would be set up in the basement of Ledyard High School.

Residents can find updates from the town through its website at www.town.ledyard.ct.us, local radio stations, the town's emergency alert system, Everbridge, the town's Facebook page as well as the Ledyard Gales Ferry Community forum on Facebook.

The town website has a number of reminders for residents at the top of the homepage, asking them to register for the town's emergency alert system for phone, email and text alerts; a link to the Red Cross website for tips on preparing a home survival kit; and a link to the Federal Emergency Management Agency website, where residents can review resources on hurricane preparation.

LYME (Updated 11:09 a.m. Monday)

Chief Tom Brown of the Lyme Fire Co. said the town's well-established procedures are in place and crews are ready to perform any necessary roadwork.

Brown said the town will keep its fire stations open during the storm and hopes to be able to provide residents with showers and drinking water, if needed.

Regional transport service 9 Town Transit will not run on Monday. A decision as to whether services will resume Tuesday is pending. Customers can get more information at www.9towntransit.com or facebook.com/9towntransit.

The Town has told residents needing overnight shelter to proceed to the regional shelter at East Lyme Middle School on Society Road.

After the storm, the Lyme's Senior Center on Town Woods Road will act as a respite center with food and water, the Town stated on its website Monday morning.

The Hadlyme and Hamburg Fire Stations are open and can provide access to showers, water and any charging of electronic devices.

Limited access highways, including Interstate 95, Interstate 395, Route 9 and Route 11, will close at 1 p.m. The Town Hall and Landfill will close at 12 p.m. The Town has also extended the deadline for in person voter registration to 8 p.m. on Nov. 1.

Please dial 911 for emergencies and 211 for information, the Town said.

MONTVILLE (Updated 7:15 p.m. Monday)

Recycling will not be picked up Tuesday because of Hurricane Sandy.

The Emergency Operations Center opened at 6 a.m. Monday.

The mayor was expected to issue an advisory Monday for residents in the low-lying areas by the Thames River to seek high ground.

Residents looking for more information can visit the town website at www.townofmontville.org or Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Director Ray Occhialini's emergency management Facebook page.

Recycling will not be picked up Tuesday because of Hurricane Sandy.

NEW LONDON (Updated 8:30 p.m. Sunday)

Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio announced a parking ban for downtown effective midnight Sunday. There will be free parking for residents at the Water St. Garage.

Finizio has also ordered winter parking ban rules be put in effect at midnight tonight. Parking is permitted on even side of streets only and no parking will be permitted downtown. There is free parking for residents in the Water St. garage.

Mayor Finizio also urges businesses to exercise caution and close at 11:00 P.M. tonight.

Schools and city Buildings have been closed Monday and Tuesday. Non-essential city personnel have been ordered to not come into work on Monday and Tuesday. Essential employees and emergency management personnel will be reporting and responding as directed by their department heads. Wednesday's schedule is to be determined.

There will be no bulky waste pickup the day after the storm. Residents may to fill their own sandbags at 109 Crystal Ave. Bring your own bags and shovels.

NORTH STONINGTON (Updated 3:45 p.m. Monday)

First Selectman Nick Mullane said there were not enough Red Cross personnel to staff a shelter at North Stonington Elementary School, so any residents seeking shelter should go to the regional shelter at Stonington High School in Pawcatuck.

No flooding has been reported and no evacuation orders have been made in town, Mullane said. There are no reports of downed wires, though the CL &P outage map reports about 1216 customers without power as of about 3 p.m.

Town Hall on Main Street will be open 24/7 for any residents who need to use phones or computers. State radios are also set up in the building. A CL&P representative is also in town coordinating power restoration.

Residents who evacuate can use the shelter at Stonington High School which opened Sunday afternoon. Town Hall will be open until noon on Monday.

The town has provided the following emergency contact information for residents:

• If you have an emergency, call 911.

• For general information about the storm, please call 211.

• If you need a non-emergency basement pump-out, call the North Stonington Volunteer Fire Company (860) 535-0937.

• To report downed trees or power lines please call the Public Works Department (860) 535-0924.

• For all other questions, the selectmen's office will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and may be reached at (860) 535-2877, ext. 10.

New Town Hall on Main Street will have someone staffing the building 24/7 beginning whenever the storm arrives to respond to anyone with any issues in town. Staff will have radio equipment and extra phones set up for any resident who may need them.

NORWICH (Updated 12:49 p.m. Monday)

Schools will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

A homeless shelter behind the Buckingham Memorial Building on Railroad Avenue will open starting at 5 p.m. Sunday.

All city offices, including City Hall, will be closed Monday.

The city emergency management director has called for a voluntary evacuation of all mobile home parks and flood-prone residences after 2 p.m. Sunday, when the city's emergency shelter at Kelly Middle School opens.

Residents have been arriving throughout the morning at the new shelter, with 29 people registered by noon at the shelter that is open to anyone in the region.

Red Cross shelter Manager Dave Beatty, Sr. said seven people spent the night in the Kelly Middle School gym.

For the first time, Norwich has a fully equipped pet shelter, also at Kelly Middle School across the hall from the gym. The large room has dividers to segregate dogs and cats.

No pets had been brought to the shelter by noon today. Pet shelter manager Debra Willner, a volunteer with the Community Emergency Response Team, said there are strict registration and pet care requirements.

Owners must bring valid vaccination records to be admitted. The shelter has crates for most dogs, but not very large dogs. Owners of very large dogs can bring their own crates or can shelter their dogs at the Norwich dog pound.

Unvaccinated pets and aggressive dogs also must be housed at the Norwich dog pound, Willner said.

Owners must bring their own food and take care of their pets. An outdoor area has been designated for dogs. Owners will be given a paper bracelet with the names of the owner and the pet. The pets will have similar paper collars, and only the registered owners will be allowed to care for the pets. A care timetable will be posted on the crates to allow shelter managers to make sure pets are being fed and taken out.

In anticipation of high winds reaching the city by Sunday night, the Norwich Public Works Department is canceling trash and recycling collections on Monday.

Collections throughout the city will follow a holiday week schedule, with most collections pushed back one day.

There are currently no power outages reported. If you lose power or see a downed line, call Norwich Public Utilities at 860-887-2555.

Follow Norwich Public Utilities on Twitter: @nputilities

OLD LYME (Updated 1:30 p.m. Monday)

The Town of Old Lyme has ordered all residents of beach communities and low-lying coastal areas, such as Pilgrims Landing, Ferry Road, Lyme Street, McCurdy Road and some sections of Mile Creek Road and Whippoorwill Road, to evacuate, according to an updated review of streets the Town issued.

"This order has been issued in response to the latest storm predictions, which forecast catastrophic flooding," the notice stated.

The list of roads to evacuate includes: Pilgrims Landing, Ferry Road from the DEP dock to Rt. 156, Ferry Road from Rt. 156 to Lieutenant River Lane, Caulkins Road, Devitt Road, Katherine Drive, Joel Drive, Noyes Road, Bailey Road, Meadow Lane, Olivia Lane, Pine Road, Hefflon Farm Road, Strawberry Lane, Foggy Meadow Road, Homestead Circle, Sill Lane from Griswold Ave. to Mill Lane, McCurdy Road from Lyme St. to Rt. 156, Mile Creek Road from Rt. 156 to Buttonball Road, Riverdale Landing, and River Road.

First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder also issued an email statement urging residents to evacuate immediately.

"I have just completed a tour of the potential flood areas of Old Lyme, and it is clear that this storm still has catastrophic flooding potential," she said in the statement. "The rivers are very high, even an hour past high tide. PLEASE, if you are in a flood zone and have not yet evacuated, you MUST get out NOW! Tonight you will NOT see the rising waters or waves, and you put your life at risk. Call the EOC call center if you need transportation, but do it now. 860-598-0120. PLEASE keep yourself safe."

The regional emergency center is at East Lyme Middle School at 31 Society Road. Call 911 in the case of a life safety emergency.

Bags and sand are available at the town garage at 3 Machnik Drive, off Hatchetts Hill Road, for residents who need them. Shovels are available at the garage.

Monday garbage collection is cancelled and rescheduled for Thursday. Regular Monday recycling pickup will take place and the full route is expected to be completed by noon. The Special Town Meeting scheduled for Monday night to fill the newly vacated Region 18 school board seat allocated to Old Lyme has been rescheduled. On Monday, Town Hall will be staffed with essential personnel only. The main phone number - 860-434-1605 - will be operational. The town said it will issue information on the storm daily. For additional information or questions, contact the Office of Emergency Management at (860) 434-1605, ext. 231. For further information on storm preparedness, click here.

Follow Old Lyme Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter: @OldLymeEOC

Regional transport service 9 Town Transit will not run on Monday, Oct. 29. A decision as to whether services will resume Tuesday is pending. Customers can get more information at www.9towntransit.com or facebook.com/9towntransit.

Tuesday evening's Connecticut Audubon Society community forum at the Old Lyme Congregational Church is cancelled.

OLD SAYBROOK (Updated 5:45 p.m. Sunday)

The town's police chief has issued a voluntary evacuation order for all residents and businesses south of Boston Post Road and at the same time opened the town's Emergency Operations Center this morning.

Police Chief Michael Spera posted the voluntary evacuation notice on the town's Storm Sandy web site, which was established to help give Old Saybrook residents up-to-date storm information. If necessary, Emergency Management will open the shelter located at the Old Saybrook Senior High School on 1111 Boston Post Road. If alternate shelter is not available to residents, it is recommended to bring personal toiletry items, snacks, medications, books or games, blankets, pillows, cell phone chargers, change of clothes, and towels to the shelter. Only service animals will be allowed at the shelter. In case a pet has to stay home, make sure they have an adequate supply of food and water.

Residents can visit www.stormsandy.com for more information. The town's Office of Emergency Management can be reached at (860) 395-3142.

First Selectman Carl Fortuna on Saturday declared a local state of emergency.

All municipal parks and beaches, as well as municipal buildings, will be closed at 2 p.m. Sunday. All sports and other extracurricular activities will also be canceled as of 2 p.m. Municipal buildings will remain closed until further notice.

The storm website is being updated with information and alerts. The town provided the following information:

On the mobile-friendly site, you will be able to interact with town Twitter and Facebook accounts. Residents may post pictures of storm damage, read a live blog from our Emergency Operations Center, view weather radar, listen to recordings of public safety messages, as well as report trees and wires down.

The site also will offer information such as where to take hot showers, and get water and food. It will list open fuel and food establishments, where to charge your electronic devices, as well as safety related information pertaining to creating a family disaster plan, what to bring to a shelter, and how to prepare your home for the upcoming storm.

If needed, the site will detail emergency evacuation information.

Regional transport service 9 Town Transit will not run on Monday, Oct. 29. A decision as to whether services will resume Tuesday is pending. Customers can get more information at www.9towntransit.com or facebook.com/9towntransit.

Elections and the storm

Adam Stillman, the Democratic candidate for the 23rd House District, is asking that residents take down his signs and keep them indoors until the storm passes.

The election's important, Stillman said. "But the fact is, we would feel horrific if someone got hurt if the signs were left out."

PRESTON

First Selectman Robert Congdon said the town applied for a $100,000 state capital improvement grant to replace the aging and unreliable generator at Preston Plains Middle School, the town's emergency shelter. The natural gas generator was installed recently and has been tested and works fine, Congdon said.

If necessary, the school would be opened for residents to take showers, recharge battery-powered devices and to obtain fresh water.

Congdon also has been in contact with the town's designated Connecticut Light & Power liaison, hoping that power communication problems from Tropical Storm Irene last year will be averted.

SALEM (Updated 5:50 p.m. Monday)

First Selectman Kevin Lyden said early Monday afternoon the town had checked on residents who use oxygen or have limited mobility and made sure they have proper generators in the event that power is lost.

A representative from Connecticut Light & Power was on scene at Town Hall, where the town has set up its emergency operations center. Those wishing to evacuate are encouraged to go to the regional shelter at Bacon Academy in Colchester. The town is offering to transport residents there.

The town was hit particularly hard last year by Tropical Storm Irene, and many were without power for days. Lyden said the expected length of the storm could cause similar outages. Ninety-nine percent of the town was without power as of early Monday evening.

"We're hoping it's not going to be as bad, but it depends on how long we have the sustained winds for and how high they get," he said.

STONINGTON (Updated 9:45 p.m. Monday)

Much of the staff at the emergency operation center went home at around 9:25 p.m. Monday in anticipation of a long day Tuesday.

Highway department crews have begun to clear some trees tonight. At 8:30 Tuesday morning, town officials and a CL&P representative will begin the process of planning power restoration efforts, which could take days.

There’s widespread flooding in Mystic, from Mystic River to Broadway and Route 27, and along with Route 27 in Old Mystic, flooding that rivaled that of the March 2010 flood.

Much of the borough has been flooded, as well as along the Pawcatuck River.

Borough Warden Paul Burgess asked that people not come into the borough Tuesday to see the damage because of the many downed power lines and trees and the need for the borough to begin the cleanup effort.

Water receded from many parts of Stonington that flooded Monday morning at high tide. Powerful winds Monday afternoon have knocked out power to much of the town and closed some roads.

First Selectman Ed Haberek said a partially downed utility pole is now hanging on power lines leading to the Pawcatuck Fire House, threatening to cut off access to the department's fire alarm systems.

North Water Street south of Route 1 is now closed after a tree took down power lines and caught fire. Drivers who are out on the roads are having to weave their way through a maze of downed trees and wires, sometimes stopping to clear the road.

Haberek said emergency officials are also dealing with problems with their communications system and have had to switch to using the public works system.

Seventy-six people are now at the shelter at the high school, and Haberek said he expected up to 150 by nightfall.

Earlier Monday, a large tree fell on the Stonington Free Library in the borough.

Schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday and a decision about Wednesday will be made late Tuesday.

After issuing a mandatory evacuation for residents in low lying coastal areas this afternoon, the town opened its emergency shelter at the high school.

During the storm, residents with medical needs can plug in equipment they need at the firehouses and police department. Haberek said the centers will not be for people looking charge laptops and cellphones.

WATERFORD (Updated 5:50 p.m. Monday)

The town's Utility Commission is requesting that anyone with town-maintained grinder pumps limit their usage of water.

"Depending on the amount of rainfall, our pump stations may be overburdened with surface rainwater inflow. Our priority is to attend to the needs of our community pump stations," an announcement on the town's Facebook page said Monday.

Those with grinder pumps who are connected to private emergency generators should call (860) 444-5886. This will ease the burden of the utility commission field staff.

For updates, follow @WUChiefEngr on Twitter.

HOSPITALS

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London expects to open its emergency command center at 7 a.m. Monday, spokesman Mike O'Farrell said.

All elective surgery scheduled for Monday has been canceled including those at Pequot Health Center. Patients scheduled for procedures have been or are being notified by L+M staff.

Additionally, all L+MPA (Physicians Association) offices will be closed Monday. You can find a list here:

http://www.lmhospital.org/locations/physicians.aspx

Ron Kersey, head of the hospital's emergency preparedness team, has been in regular contact with state and local officials about storm preparations. The main hospital, on Montauk Avenue, is north of areas of the city where Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio on Saturday asked residents to voluntarily evacuate due to the possibility of storm surge flooding. O'Farrell said L&M's main building is more than 50 feet above sea level, out of the flood zone identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Clearly this is going to be significant," O'Farrell said. "We have been preparing for this and our focus remains on patient safety, staff safety and facility readiness."

He said L&M is working with staff to plan for extended stays if necessary.

At the William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, the incident command team has been meeting throughout the weekend, spokesman Shawn Mawhiney said today.

"At this point we're planning on business as usual Monday morning," he said, adding that this applies both to the main hospital and Backus satellite facilities. "All surgeries scheduled for Monday are still on."

He added, however, that plans could change depending on the track of the storm. The hospital has canceled an open house in its birthing center scheduled for Monday evening.

Backus has begun making plans to accommodate staff who want to stay overnight at the hospital Monday to be at work on Tuesday. It is also making plans for backup staffing in case there are employees unable to get to work in the aftermath of the storm due to power outages, damage and other issues, Mawhiney said.

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

University of Connecticut (Updated 2 p.m. Monday)

All campuses are closed Monday and Tuesday. Non-essential UConn employees will not be required to report to work at UConn campuses on Tuesday.

Officials at the University of Connecticut campus at Avery Point are asking people not to come on campus to watch the storm, for safety reasons.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said the campus is closed and campus officials are asking visitors to leave.

In the event of a power outage, call UConn's 24-hour emergency information line on the Storrs campus: (860) 486-3768.

For more information on closures at the Avery Point campus during power outages, call (860) 405-9000/9020.

Sign up for UConn alerts at alert.uconn.edu.

Connecticut College

The college will close at 1 p.m. Monday and remain closed Tuesday.

Mitchell College

Mitchell College has decided to close the campus on Monday and Tuesday. Due to the threat of flooding and wind damage, the waterfront residence halls and Thames Academy are being placed in residence halls on upper campus away from the Thames River. Future communication will be available at www.mitchell.edu, through RAVE alerts, and through the regional media outlets.

Three Rivers

Three Rivers Community College will be closed Monday.

Courts

The state Judicial Branch has announced that all courts and administrative offices will be closed Monday due to the storm.

MORE

Cancellation notices

Send all cancellation notices to cityeditor@theday.com

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