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Tropical storm expected to bring heavy rain, possible coastal flooding Friday evening

Tropical Storm Fay is expected to bring heavy rain, strong wind gusts and possible coastal flooding Friday evening to southeastern Connecticut.

The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning and flash flood watch for southern New London County, which remain in effect. Winds in the area could reach 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph, the weather service said in an advisory.

The region will likely be spared from the brunt of the storm, said Gary Lessor, assistant director of the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University.

Scattered thunderstorms and showers are forecasted to start in the mid-afternoon with heavier downpours and tropical wind gusts along the shoreline expected after 6 p.m. More inland cities like Norwich and Colchester will likely get less rain and experience lighter winds, Lessor said.

Lessor estimated that the region will get between a half inch and one inch of rain as a result of the storm. "Trainings” of rain — repeated showers and thunderstorms over the same area — could lead some areas to get more rainfall, which could result in flash flooding.

Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera, who is president of the state’s emergency management association, put out a news release Thursday night saying the town would be readying its emergency shelter.

“If sheltering operations must commence, they will look very different this year. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and social distancing will be the main focus along with providing shelter form the storm,” the news release said.

Spera said the town’s first responders were placed “on standby” and supplies such as cots, water and personal hygiene items were being moved to the shelter.

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