Town warns of winter storm's impact, voluntary evacuation of coastal areas encouraged

A little more than a week after Hurricane Sandy struck, the town is urging residents to take precuations as a winter storm hits the area Wednesday and a voluntary evacuation of immediate coastal areas is being encouraged.

Using the town’s reverse-911 system, GPD Capt. Mark Kordick said that the storm is expected to increase in intensity as it moves into Greenwich on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Capt. Kordick said that the latest forecast models show an extended period of high winds and potentially moderate flooding in low lying areas. Winds will intensify after dark and are forecast to reach 25 to 30 mph sustained speeds with gusts between 45 and 60 mph.

Because of the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy’s damage to the town, this winter storm could have a serious impact. The storm damaged sea walls and in some areas changes the outline of coastal areas and inlets so when high tide occurrs in Greenwich at 5:01 p.m. and 5:35 a.m. there could be surge-related flooding that is several feet over normal.

 

“The high tide flooding we are all accustomed to during previous storms may be very different with Winter Storm Athena,” Capt. Kordick said.

He added that with many trees and structures already compromised by damage from Hurricane Sandy, there is significant potential for wind-related damage. Residents are being asked to remain indoors during the storm – especially during periods of high winds.

The emergency shelter at the Eastern Middle School remains open on a 24-hour basis.

Greenwich is still without power for some of its residents after the hurricane. According to Connecticut Light & Power, 1% of the town is without service, but that represents 433 customers who have been without power for more than a week. First Selectman Peter Tesei has requested that the utility keep its resources in town to be able to make emergency repairs if necessary.

Check Greenwich-post.com and twitter.com/greenwichpost for more information as it becomes available.

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