Hartford – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said this morning that the forecasts have not changed and Connecticut will soon experience a devastating storm with high tides, powerful winds and potential shoreline damage worse than last year’s Tropical Storm Irene.
The governor urged all state residents to either remain in their homes or evacuate now if they live in an evacuation zone. State highways will close to trucks at 11 a.m. and to all non-emergency related vehicles at 1 p.m.
“We are still expecting all of the bad things we’ve been talking about to happen, and just about right on schedule,” Malloy said from the state's Emergency Operations Center outside the Capitol. “If you are in an evacuation zone and haven’t left, get out before you can’t.”
Malloy said today’s noon high-tide will be worse than during Irene -- “That’s bad for New London, it’s a lot worse for Bridgeport,” he said.
Winds will soon pick up and, between 3 p.m. today and 3 a.m. tomorrow, could reach sustained speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour, with guests as high as 90 miles per hour.
Power outages across the state are likely.
The forecasts calls for the worst storm surge at midnight, with surges 7 feet to 11 feet above normal high tide that could cause “unprecedented damage.”
“To put it in perspective, we’re talking about twice as much water in Long Island Sound than in Irene.”
While there would be no physical barricades at highway entrances this afternoon, “any who gets on at that point, you do so at your own risk,” Malloy said.
Malloy said 850 members of the Connecticut National Guard are now mobilized. Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are now in the state following President Obama’s declaration late Sunday night of a pre-landfall emergency in Connecticut.
Bus and train services have stopped and Bradley International Airport will close at 1 p.m.
“I’m not going to mince words,” Malloy said. “This is the most catastrophic event that we have faced and been able to plan for in any of our lifetimes.”
Malloy has signed an executive order extending the in-person voter registration deadline in Connecticut for the Nov. 6 election to Thursday at 8 p.m. The deadline was originally Tuesday night.