Shoreline towns under mandatory evacuations - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Shoreline towns under mandatory evacuations

© Town of Westport scraped the beach to make this wall of sand. © Town of Westport scraped the beach to make this wall of sand.

Residents in parts of East Haven, West Haven and New Haven spent Sunday evacuating from their homes after a mandatory evacuation was issued in all three communities.

The East Haven police and dive team were present at Cosey Beach and their mission was to get everyone off the beach and make sure no one comes back. Officers drove up and down the road looking for people trying to ride this one out.

Many residents still have not forgotten the damage caused by Hurricane Irene last year. By Sunday evening, Cosey Beach was a ghost town.

"I'm just nervous. I'm just watching the waves," said Jennifer Bishop of East Haven. "It's amazing because you can appreciate the ocean so much and then something like this - it's devastating."

There is a mandatory evacuation for anyone who lives within two blocks of the shore. However, there is a voluntary evacuation in flood-prone area as well.

The East Haven High School on Wheelbarrow Lane has been set up as an emergency shelter.

"My wife and I - we went out for a little while last night and I said 'you know, lets take a ride to the fire department and find out what's going to go on. They said they were going to be evacuating sometime Sunday morning,'" said Steve Buckmiller, who was one of the first people to evacuate his home. "So when I came home from work, I told my wife 'let's just wait until 10 o'clock, start readying the things we need and we'll evacuate.'"

It is unclear how many people will use the emergency shelter. However, East Haven Public Schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday and the shelter will remain open during those days.

Staff at the emergency shelter said they can stay open longer if needed.

In West Haven, one resident was preparing to head to his daughter's house in Monroe.

"I'm going to certainly start getting stuff packed and be ready to go. It's something we want to keep a close eye on," said Dave Killeen of West Haven. "Last year, when Hurricane Irene hit, the water came up pretty far and it was a little scary. This time I understand it's like the hurricane of '38. Nobody has seen anything quite that bad in awhile."

Residents in News Haven's Morris Cove, City Point and Fair Haven sections must be evacuated by 8:30 a.m. Monday. Flyers were handed out Sunday evening by firefighters and police officers.

"When the firemen came to our door, I was very surprised because it was the first time it ever happened to me," said Richard Briggs of New Haven.

Briggs and his wife are trying to stay in their home as long as possible, but do not want to endanger the safety of their children.

"I didn't think that we would have to leave. It's very scary," said Amanda Fry of New Haven. "I didn't think we'd have to leave our home."

Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.