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Hurricane Sandy Storm Surge Could Double Irene's

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Sunday evening that he fears some residents along the shoreline and tidal rivers are not taking the storm surge threat seriously.

Calling Hurricane Sandy "the largest threat to human life that our state has experienced in anyone's lifetime," Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said late Sunday that he has asked President Barack Obama for a declaration of disaster before the storm hits Connecticut. 

In his mostly strongly worded warning to date on the storm, Malloy Sunday evening again urged all coastal residents to heed local evacuation warnings and orders and get out of their homes to higher ground before it's too late.

"This is a real warning of possible death of drowning," Malloy said during a storm update at the State Armory. "I know it's hard to leave your home. But I can't be any clearer. Anyone on the waterfront must take this seriously."

He said the biggest threat would come tomorrow night during one of four high tide cycles Long Island Sound will experience during the 36-hour time frame of the storm.

"I can't be any clearer. Anyone on the waterfront must take this seriously. We can't get people out tomorrow night. That's an impossibility."

If you need to find a local shelter or get additional information on the storm and evacuations, Malloy said residents should visit ct.gov/sandy and 211ct.org.

He also had blunt advice to any thrill seekers who go out into the storm: "Don't be stupid." Last year two people were killed when they went out during the storm.

An early declaration of disaster by the federal government, Malloy said, would get federal money flowing faster once restoration efforts are underway.

The latest forecasts call for sustained high winds that will force more water into Long Island Sound than the sound can handle. That will create a storm surge now estimated between seven and 10 feet, Malloy said.

"That would lead to unprecedented flooding. The last time we saw anything like this was never."

By comparison, he said, Tropical Storm Irene last year saw a four-feet storm surge in the sound, which was enough to destroy some homes along the coastline.

That surge, in turn, will force water up tidal rivers in the state, including the Connecticut River. The surge in that river, Malloy said, could reach Middletown and beyond.

Malloy urged those who live near tidal rivers and streams to also be aware of water levels and to get out if they feel the water level is becoming a danger.

He said he is worried that too many residents still don't comprehend the power and danger of Hurricane Sandy because they are used to intense storms of short duration, like Irene.

Sandy will last for up to 36 hours, with some forecasters saying the storm could essentially stall out once it makes landfall. Hurricanes, nor'easters and other storms in southern New England have typically lasted for 12 hours or less, Malloy said.

"This is a very difficult concept for people to wrap their heads around," he said.

The governor has ordered all non-essential state employees to stay home tomorrow and the state's Judicial Department has also decided to close all offices and courthouses on Monday.

Malloy also issued an executive order to extend the deadline for voter registration from Tuesday, Oct. 29 to Thursday, Nov.1.

Utility officials said they are continuing efforts to bring as many crews into the state as possible ahead of Sandy. William Quinlan, vice president of emergency planning for CL&P, said there are currently 1,060 linemen in the state that are being dispatched tonight out to the towns. That's three and a half times as many linemen than the utility had during Hurricane Irene restoration efforts, he said. In addition, the utility has 550 tree workers.

Still, widespread and prolonged outages are expected from the storm, officials said. Quinlan said CL&P is particularly concerned about two underground substations, one each in Norwalk and Stamford, that could go underwater if flooding occurs.

United Illuminating vice president John Prete said his company has 290 linemen at the ready and 200 tree workers and has hired another 600 linemen and tree workers have been hired from outside the company to help with restoration efforts.

As reporters pressed both utility officials for information on how long they think the restoration effort will take, Prete issued the heartfelt request: "Say a prayer that no resident of Connecticut has serious harm and that workers who have to get out in the storm get back safe to their families." 

Pogo October 29, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Understand, What an odd thing to say.
Mr Mike October 29, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Grumpy Guy, You missed the point. If the roads are closed before people are given enough time to get home, then the situation becomes worse. So Gov. Malloy should close bussinesses first, allow sufficient time, and then if required close roads that have been impacted, not just willy-nilly closures. But then upset owners might reduce campaign contributions in future, right. So leave it to the worker bee to be adversly impacted. By the way, original comment was supposed to end up after Rob G's.
Anne October 29, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Mr. Mike...the governor has no authority to close businesses, or to make people evacuate. He can simply issue recommendations and warnings. Also, the comment about "willy nilly" road closures - what does that mean? Personally, I've never seen one - road closures that have occurred have been because of downed power lines, flooding etc. It is so tiresome that everything, and I mean everything, has to turn into a political commentary. Give it a break, and let's just all try to do the right thing and look out for our neighbors and ourselves.
Gary October 29, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Yeah... I keep leaving my garage & basement cleaning for a "rainy day" I still don't feel like doing it
Grumpy Guy October 29, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Problem is, I dont think the gov has the authority to close private businesses. He can only close state agencies and roads.
Mr Mike October 29, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Anne and Grumpy Guy, I really do not know if Govenor has authority to close private business. Seems NJ Gov may since he seems to have closed casinos, etc in Atlantic City? But, if businesses can't be closed, then maybe the roads and particularly the highways should also remain open unless they have been impacted specifically by fallen trees flooding, etc.. Having driven all of I-84, I don't recall many places that would be impacted by fallen trees or downed power lines or flooding and if there were, they could most likely be routed around. Also, most things today, unfortunately, are influenced in some way by politics. I do not like it either, but it's a fact of life.
sebastian dangerfield October 29, 2012 at 07:18 PM
So if I have it straight, Malloy says to people along the shore " Get out--you need to leave" then, closes all the roads.
Lani October 29, 2012 at 08:29 PM
First the governor stopped tractor trailer traffic on highways- they are hazardous in high wind to others. Then he closed highways. Overpasses, bridges, etc are dangerous in high wind to all. The Merritt is tree lined. It also encourages people to stay home. As to NJ and the casinos, if state regulated (as they are) he does have a right to close those. CT doesn't have anything to say about casinos on tribal land.
Lani October 29, 2012 at 08:30 PM
No, they were told to leave long before the highways closed. Not all roads closed.
Rob Gianazza October 29, 2012 at 08:40 PM
@Pogo, let's not turn this political, I dislike Malloy just as much as the next Conservative, but he made the right call. The goal is to get people off the roads and back into their homes. I really don't believe the State Police are going to arrest people for trying to get home.
sebastian dangerfield October 29, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Lani-- he didnt tell them long before, that he was going to close all the highways. He didnt say "get out before noon, even though the storm isnt going to hit until much much later, Im closing the highways now.
Lani October 29, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Actually, people were asked to evacuate by yesterday evening in most low lying areas. And since highways are not necessary to leave those areas, Gov doesn't need to tell them anything else. geesh
E. O. McKee October 29, 2012 at 09:21 PM
our family was ordered to evacuate yesterday. not sure where you are getting your information but it is wrong. these disasters are hard enough without ignoramuses spreading lies.
sebastian dangerfield October 29, 2012 at 09:50 PM
E.O. Ha. Can you copy and paste the order from Malloy (gonna be hard, when governors dont order such things, munipalities do--complete with the warning that highways would be closing down and to be out by Sunday. He said on Sunday that highways would be closing???? Lets see who is lying -E.O!!! (if youre saying he started recommending that people leave and stressing the danger, I wont disagree. The highway warning never came--until too late). Lani, geesh-- really? Yes you dont need a highway to LEAVE, but you most likely need a highway to get somewhere? Want to give me a few examples of what you would foresee as 'leaving the area' but not entering a highway to find safety? Geesh..... You wanna make me seem foolish, lets see how your scenario , in general works out. Geesh.
Lani October 29, 2012 at 09:56 PM
I never said that Malloy said he would close highways on Sunday. I said that people were told to evacuate in their municipalities for Sunday. Gov closed highways this afternoon. As for leaving low lying areas without using the highways... that is easy. I go to Milford without using highways, same for Stratford, Fairfield, etc. It takes longer but you don't need 95, 84, 91 or 15 to do it. Same at the other end of the state where I grew up... never used the highways to get in and out of Stonington, Mystic, etc, etc.
Retail Worker October 29, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I have to laugh at all of this. Yes evacuation notices were sent out yesterday, and this morning the Gov said he was closing limited access highways and state highways. Many businesses have closed ( Walmart at noon for example) but some can't close. I work for a grocery store and we are considered and emergency business, so I get to go to work no matter how bad the weather is, just like a nurse or doctor. Only difference is they are saving lives, possible the life of some idiot who just has to get to the store for another loar of bread or bag of potato chips!
sebastian dangerfield October 29, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Whatever.....i said its rather ridiculous to ask people to leave and shut down major avenues with which to leave. He didnt tell people ahead of time. And closing them at 1, when storm is hours and hours away? Makes little swnse. There is a knee jerk reaction to defend him by some....but unless you can explain why his move to close highway, with very little warning, with people slowly realizing they HAVE to leave? Sorry...i find it bizarre.
sebastian dangerfield October 29, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Lani-- Good luck finding a hotel etc in Milford, for those families that need to evacuate. Im thinking they need some highways to get to places quite aways away. geesh
Mr Mike October 29, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I have never heard of a grocery store being considered an emergency business. That's not to say it might not be. But who classified it as such? The Feds? The State? The Town? Or was it the owner/operator? If the latter, it's probably just for profits and not any kind of legal status.
Retail Worker October 30, 2012 at 12:01 AM
We can get letters from the manager of the store to show any police officer if we should get pulled over. Guess the gov't wants to make sure that people can get food when the weather is bad. Not like they didn't spend days doing that already!
Mr Mike October 30, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Just out of curiosity, have you got a copy of the letter? Who does it say declared the grocery store eligible/legal "emergency business", like a hospital, police, emergency service personnel/vehicles, etc. ? Have you ever checked what agency has this authority? Just guess I'm sceptical by nature.
Tom Falconieri October 30, 2012 at 02:23 PM
MR Mike i dont know about Grocery stores but CLOSING DD Would be catastrophic. Where would the COPS GO FOR DONUTS!!!!!!!!
Jimmy Pursey October 31, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Luca. what exactly is a "geesh"? Is that an expression in your native tongue? Us here in America have a similar expression, "Jeez"...or "Gee".
sebastian dangerfield October 31, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Jimmy, Once again, your desire to show me up, by demonstrating your own ignorance? 1- Why don't you ask "Lani" who was the original user of the term 'geesh.' 1a- I obviously am smarter than you, because it took me very little effort to understand what Lani, meant. Doesnt surprise me, though, the term eludes your ability to figure it out. I suggest , as I need to do with other people from Danbury, to play in the minor leagues. Trying to 'get' me, is simply beyond your capability. Correcting spelling , while spelling commas, with an apostrophe, (haha) is as close to scoring a point as you will get. Again--sometimes close, but as yet, your batting .000. hahaha just a suggestion--you cant win here---youre i.q. level doesnt allow for it.
Jimmy Pursey October 31, 2012 at 07:56 PM
You may once have been smarter than I, Luca. But your time has passed. Your general bitterness is proof of this. The world you knew so much of no longer exists, Pops. All you had to do was be polite, and show some common courtesy...but this too was beyond your grasp. Hence, I am the consequence you were not smart enough to see coming.
Mildred O'Reilly October 31, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Only the complete MORONS are trying to make political points on this disaster.
sebastian dangerfield October 31, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Mildred O'Reilly 4:40 pm on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Exactly correct Ipso. Mitt is also a coward, refusing to discuss view past statements when confronted. He is even afraid to appear on late night TV, Moron alert. Moron alert. Mildred O' Reilly---
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FiddleFaddle November 15, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Understand, Thanks for the link to the weather report in Pakistan. That was very useful.
Marybeth November 15, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Understand........ I think he was kidding.

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