Shoreline communities prepare for storm - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Shoreline communities prepare for storm

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NORWICH, CT (WFSB) -

Communities on the shoreline in eastern Connecticut are getting ready for Hurricane Sandy.

In Stonington, town officials are worried about the bridge to Mason's Island. If the timing is right, they predict a storm surge at high tide with a full "Hunter's" moon could cut islanders off from the mainland.

Public works crews are making sure their equipment such as chainsaws and trucks are working properly.

"Our biggest thing is to make sure the trees are trimmed and our preparation of catch basins and leaves are off as much as they can, especially if it's going to be a major rain event," said Stonington First Selectman Ed Haberek Jr.

In the Pawcatuck section of town, workers are also using 2,000 sandbags to reinforce the steel dike gate to prevent Pawcatuck River from flooding.

Community leaders from Stonington to Norwich said their biggest concern with Hurricane Sandy is sustained winds, which cause tree and limb damage and lead to power outages and downed wires.

In Norwich, fire, police, city and other leaders held an emergency operations meeting Thursday morning where they were briefed by forecasters and the National Hurricane Center.

"Store food. Make sure your house is safe and you have an evacuation plan," said Norwich Fire Chief Kenneth Scandariata. "Make sure you're able to communicate with the outside world with a portable radio that's battery operated. Check your batteries."

Norwich Public Utilities has taken precautionary measures and provided safety information to its customers.

"As in the past, NPU crews are prepared to handle whatever issues arise from this storm," said NPU John Bilda, General Manager. "Our standard procedure, once we learn of a potential storm approaching our region, is to begin organizing resources, positioning our assets, and preparing our crews."

Officials in other shoreline towns are expected to meet Friday.

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