10/28/2012 - STORM SANDY UPDATE: Storm has Potential to be ‘Very Severe’; Mandatory Evacuation Has Begun in Low-Lying Areas

BRIDGEPORT, CT (October 28, 2012) – Mayor Bill Finch joined city public safety officials for a briefing at 12:45 p.m. at the Bridgeport Emergency Operations Center (EOC), in preparation for Hurricane Sandy as the storm makes its way up the East Coast. The EOC has been fully activated and representatives from all departments and agencies are present. 

City police and firefighters have begun going door-to-door in coastal, flood-prone areas of the City to give residents notification about the mandatory evacuation. Mayor Finch issued the mandatory notice for coastal flood-prone areas of the City to go into effect as of 12 noon on Sunday.

 “We are in for a very serious storm. The meteorological conditions heading our way are very severe – this storm has the potential to be unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime,” said Mayor Finch. ‘It is imperative that everyone in the coastal flood-prone areas (see list of coastal flood prone areas below) evacuate now. We’re preparing for Category 2 type hurricane flooding, which we’ve never experienced.”

On Sunday, Mayor Finch declared a local state of emergency. Police officers, firefighters and volunteers fanned out in the coastal flood-prone areas knocking on doors, notifying residents that they are in the mandatory evacuation zone. Notices in both English and Spanish have been left at the doors of all those who are in the mandatory evacuation zone.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall near northern New Jersey early Monday afternoon. The strongest winds of 40 to 60 mph are expected into Monday night. Gale force tropical winds are expected to begin hitting the Bridgeport area by Sunday night. The gale force winds have the potential to last 24-30 hours with gusts up to 70 mph. A full moon together with the astronomical high tide will cause flooding over three cycles with the highest tides falling on Monday evening near midnight. According to the NWS, it is possible for the Bridgeport area to receive up to 10-foot storm surges on Monday evening.

“Thanks to the cooperation of our residents, and the hard work of all our departments and agencies we were able to get our residents safely through Tropical Storm Irene. All of the indications we’re hearing from our weather services are indicating that this has potential to be much larger than Irene,” said Mayor Finch. “Please stay informed, keep track of the storm through the local media and the City’s social media and website.”

Residents can follow the Mayor on Twitter (@MayorBillFinch), or @CityofBptCT and @BridgeportEOC, and use the hashtag #BPTSandy to get the most up-to-date information. Residents also can ‘like’ the City’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/City-of-Bridgeport/348103748292 , or the Mayor’s Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bill-Finch/6411019014 , or the Bridgeport EOC at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bridgeport-Emergency-Operations-Center/192730720742140 to find updated information  on the storm.

Mayor Finch urges all residents to heed the mandatory evacuation for the City’s particular coastal flood-prone areas (see list below). Three shelters: Jettie Tisdale School, 275 Hollister Avenue; Geraldine Johnson School, 475 Lexington Avenue, and Cesar Batalla School, 606 Howard Avenue are currently open and accepting residents who have evacuated. These three shelters will remain open for the duration of the storm. Residents who have questions about the evacuation or other storm-related, non-emergency needs can call the Emergency Operations Center at 203.579.3829.

“If you have friends or relatives who live on higher ground, then make arrangements now to stay with them for the duration of the storm,” added Mayor Finch.

Updates/Closings

  • Bridgeport Public Schools will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. All second shift school personnel must report to work on the first shift on Monday and Tuesday.
  • City Hall and Margaret E. Morton Government Center will be closed on Monday. All non-essential City of Bridgeport Employees should stay home on Monday.
  • All Bridgeport Parks are closed until further notice. Beardsley Zoo will remain open on Sunday, October 28.
  • Port Jefferson Ferry is running on its regular schedule on Sunday, and will shut down service on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Greater Bridgeport Transit is suspending bus service at 8 p.m. tonight and will remain closed until the storm has passed. Service will resume when it is safe to do so.

Shelter Information

Those who are planning on staying in a shelter should pack a blanket, pillow, medication, personal identification, and snacks. Pets are allowed at all shelters, but they must be on leashes or in cages, and pet owners are asked to supply food for their pets.

  • If you live in the East Side or East End please go to: Jettie Tisdale School, 275 Hollister Avenue.
  • If you live in the South End, please go to: Geraldine Johnson School, 475 Lexington Avenue.
  • If you live in the West Side, West End or Black Rock please go to: Cesar Batalla School, 606 Howard Avenue.

The following streets encompass the coastal flood-prone mandatory evacuation area:

  • Southern Broad Street- East to the Harbor
  • Seaside Village
  • Marina Village
  • Bostwick Avenue at Osbourne to the south including, Morris and Anthony Streets
  • Lower areas of Ferris Street, Arthur Street, Yacht Street, Brewster Street
  • Black Rock Yacht Club Area, southeast of Grovers Avenue
  • West of Dewey Street – between Edgewood and Salt Street
  • South Avenue
  • Atlantic Street near Broad & Main
  • Whitney Street
  • South of Wordin Avenue – Washburn Street, and Howard Avenue south of Wordin Avenue
  • Cottage Place
  • Henry Street
  • Ridge Avenue
  • Gregory Street- South Lower end of Iranistan Avenue to Columbia Street
  • Walnut Street
  • Atlantic Street Near Iranistan Avenue
  • Anchorage Avenue
  • Pine Street
  • Newfield Avenue – Streets to the southeast of Newfield including Jefferson, Trowel, Adams, and DeForest DeKalb and Seaview Avenues

A few tips to remember when preparing for a storm:

·         If you live in a low-lying area that floods or next to the coastline you should begin consideration of seeking shelter with a family member or friend until the storm passes. Evacuation shelters are on standby in the event we need to shelter any evacuated residents.

·         Businesses located in or near flood zones or along the coastline should begin preparations in safeguarded the facility and review their recovery plans.

·         Keep your radio and television tuned for latest weather service warnings and advisories.

·         When a hurricane approaches, also listen for tornado watches and warnings.

·         If power fails, use battery-operated radio or your car radio. Stay out of low-lying areas or areas that are prone to flooding.

·         Moor your boat securely before the storm arrives. When your boat is moored, leave it and do not return once the wind and waves are up.

·         Secure outdoor objects that might be blown away or uprooted, such as: garbage cans, garden tools, toys, signs, and porch furniture that can be lifted by hurricane winds.

·         Be sure you have a full tank of gas in your car.

·         Make sure you have an emergency kit with items such as non-perishable foods, medication, water, etc., if you have to evacuate your home and go to a shelter.

·         Please do not venture down any flooded streets or underpasses.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, converter or solar charger