Steps taken across the state to prepare for impact of Hermine - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Steps taken across the state to prepare for impact of Hermine

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Gov. Malloy gets briefed at the Emergency Operations Center on Sunday morning (WFSB) Gov. Malloy gets briefed at the Emergency Operations Center on Sunday morning (WFSB)
Gov. Malloy orders closure of state campgrounds ahead of Hermine. (WFSB file photo) Gov. Malloy orders closure of state campgrounds ahead of Hermine. (WFSB file photo)

As Hermine moved closer to Connecticut, the state was taking steps to prepare for the impact of the storm.

Campers in Connecticut are cutting their long Labor Day weekend short after Gov. Dannel Malloy announced all state park campgrounds will close on Sunday afternoon.

State campgrounds, like the one at Rocky Neck State Park closed  at noon on Sunday in anticipation of the wind and rain expected to come with post-tropical storm Hermine.

The other state campgrounds that will be closed on Sunday are: 

  • Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison
  • Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme
  • Black Rock State Park, Watertown
  • Macedonia Brook State Park, Kent
  • Housatonic Meadows State Park, Sharon
  • Kettletown State Park, Southbury
  • Hopeville Pond State Park, Sprague
  • American Legion State Forest, Barkhamsted
  • Mount Misery State Campground, Voluntown
  • Mashamoquet Brook State Park, Pomfret
  • Lake Waramaug State Park, New Preston

Campers said it is best to play it safe and not take any changes with the weather. They said they are making the best of the situation and enjoying the last few hours.

"I was looking forward to having a good weekend, enjoying the nice weather, get the last bit of camping in for the season. A little bummed that we're going to have to cut it short,” said Andrew Kurasz of Norwich.

In a press release, Malloy said campers at state parks will be able to receive full refunds for the nights they will not be able to use their reservations. Reserve America will be directed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to issue refunds to campers who had reservations for Sunday night.  Additional refunds will be made to those campers who have reservations beyond Sunday night at Hammonasset Beach State Park and Rocky Neck State Park, which will both open later in the week.  

Malloy also announced the Emergency Operations Center will be partially activated at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

"After assessing the current forecast with emergency management officials, I have decided to partially activate the state emergency operations center on Sunday evening to monitor conditions across the state. This will also allow us to better coordinate any assistance to our municipalities that may be necessary," Governor Malloy said in a press release. "If you live in a low-lying, flood prone area, please stay alert to changing weather conditions, especially during high tide cycles over the next few days."

Old Saybrook is one of many shoreline towns bracing for the storm impact, and opened up a temporary shelter at 8 a.m. at the high school.

Officials said they were stocking the shelter with supplies, and it will be open to anyone in need of a safe place.

"We've been monitoring the weather just like everyone else...I'll be meeting with all of our beach area presidents to make sure their residents are prepared for the storm," said Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera.

At a press conference on Sunday morning, Gov. Malloy said residents can download a free emergency preparedness app, called the CT Prepares app.

You can also dial 2-1-1 if you need a shelter in your area.

Officials from Eversource said they are prepared to respond to any damage caused by Hermine.

“We continue to watch Hermine very carefully and stand ready to address any impacts to our system,” said Peter Clarke, Senior Vice President of Emergency Preparedness for Eversource. “We’re confident our ongoing technology upgrades, combined with our tried and tested emergency response plan, will enable us to safely and efficiently handle any issues that may arise.”

Extra Eversource crews will be in place, ready to respond to any outages reported.

Officials said with this year's drought conditions, tree crews have been looking for trees that have weakened because of the dry weather.

"The company’s rigorous tree trimming program, which includes removing hazardous trees along critical lines that serve high numbers of customers, plays an important role in identifying and removing drought-stressed trees along overhead electric power lines," a press release said.

For preparedness tips from Eversource, click here.

Follow the latest updates in the forecast with the Technical Discussion here.

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