Shoreline prepares for the remnants of Nicole
WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Emergency crews were put on standby to deal with whatever Tropical Depression Nicole may bring to Connecticut.
Channel 3 issued an Early Warning Weather Alert for heavy rain gusty winds late Friday and early Saturday.
Nicole's impact on Connecticut
Preparations have been underway in places such as West Haven, New Haven and Milford.
While it was not expected to be the “storm of the century,” officials said it’s always better to be overly prepared than to be caught off guard, especially when it comes to an evolving forecast.
One of the top concerns for emergency crews around the state is flooding. Because of the time of year, leaves that have clogged storm drains is on people’s radar. Many cities said they have cleared what they could ahead of time to try and mitigate the possibility.
The West Haven Fire Chief said a section of Campbell Avenue is just one of several spots they’ll be keeping their eye on.
The main concern could be the wind, so he’s asking people to be smart and stay safe.
Inside the West Haven Fire Station, the sump pumps and hoses are ready to go, if the crew gets called to pump out any flooded basements.
“Right now we’re preparing sump pumps in case we have some coastal flooding,” said Fire Chief James O’Brien.
A shoreline community with plenty of low lying and poor drainage areas, O’Brien said whether it’s a major storm or just a good soaking rain, they have a number of spots that often flood.
“We have our primary flooding areas along the beach, the railroad bridges, so on and so forth. We monitor those, we take a pre-storm view of the shoreline and then we go back after the storm to see what the aftermath has laid out for us,” O’Brien said.
For Nicole or what’s left of it, the chief said he’s more concerned about the wind.
“The high winds 40-50 mph winds, they’re substantial. The winds won’t bother you, it’s the things and the objects flying through the wind that can cause someone to get injured and we want everybody to be safe,” said O’Brien.
Plenty of trees still have leaves on them, and that can make for quite the mess, with the potential downed utility lines and power outages.
“Most importantly if you lose power and there are wires down near your home, by all means, stay away from the wires, call 911, call public works,” O’Brien said.
Whether it’s the remnants of this storm or others as we head towards winter, the chief said if you can stay home, that’s your best bet.
“The main thing is stay indoors, ride it out, if you lose power, settle in and again, most importantly stay away from any wires that are down,” said O’Brien.
The chief couldn’t stress that enough, saying a couple from Florida was killed after encountering downed wires from Nicole. He said it’s a warning and a reminder that needs repeating.
“We’re New England, you’re used to these storms,” said O’Brien. “Make sure you have plenty of water on hand, three days worth of food in case you lose power, and most importantly, if you lose power and there are wires down near your home, by all means, stay away from the wires, call 911, call public works.”
State police urged drivers to be cautions if they have to drive on leaf-covered roads.
Another worry, according to shoreline town officials, was whipping winds that could knock down trees and power lines and leading to a surge in power outages.
“While this afternoon will feature at least scattered showers, downpours are possible by the evening commute,” said chief meteorologist Mark Dixon. “At the same time, the wind will intensify out of the south transporting muggy, tropical air into the state. [Friday night], the wind could gust to near 50 mph leading to a concern for isolated power outages.”
Eversource said it has been on standby to work on any outages. It sent a statement to Channel 3.
“This storm is forecasted to bring heavy rain and high winds and we’re taking steps to ensure that equipment is ready and crews are positioned where needed,” the company said.
Officials encouraged residents to avoid driving in storm conditions and to have a plan in place to stay somewhere else in case their homes are compromised.
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