Residents in New London are being advised to stay inside and off the roads after widespread damage caused by Hurricane Sandy on Monday afternoon.
New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said city employees and police officers had to evacuate the emergency shelter at Winthrop School because of the failure of a backup generator. People were moved by bus to East Lyme Middle School in Niantic.
The mayor has made it clear all residents, including emergency personnel, should seek shelter and stay inside. All rides to evacuation shelters were postponed.
The mayor's office is also asking cars not to drive through barricades and yellow tape because several vehicles have gotten stuck in water. There are many "areas of town which are no longer accessible by vehicle," according to mayor's office.
"This is a very high risk [situation] due to downed electrical wires under the water. This is a serious electrical risk to residents," said Zak Leavy, who is the executive assistant to the mayor. "Please notify all family and friends that are on the road to heed the emergency barricades and to get off the road."
Winds in the area have picked up in New London and have gotten faster than 75 mph. Emergency personnel are being asked to come off the roads. Winds have exceed 50 mph and emergency crews cannot be on the roads with winds more than 50 mph.
"Expected surge still planned to hit us during high tide tonight," Finizio said. "We urge residents to stay indoors, even in mandatory evacuation zones."
According to the mayor's office, there are downed power lines, trees and debris throughout the city as well as severe flooding.
"Public Safety may not be able to respond to assist you from this point forward," according to a statement from mayor's office.
Even walking could be "extremely hazardous," the mayor's office said.
Emergency officials in Stonington were called to three transformer fires as well as several branches being knocked down.
Waves smashed into boats along the Stonington area. A boat worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was destroyed.
Route 2 in the New London area also had several branches down as well.
Refresh this page and watch Eyewitness News for updates on this story.
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