State, shoreline communities prepare for Tropical Storm Hermine’s arrival

HARTFORD - Governor Dannel P. Malloy said Saturday that all state park campgrounds will close by noon Sunday.

He also cautioned shoreline residents about potential flooding from Tropical Storm Hermine, especially those in low-lying, flood prone areas.

Malloy will also partially activate the state emergency operations center in Hartford beginning at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

"After assessing the current forecast with emergency management officials, I have decided to partially activate the state emergency operations center on Sunday evening to monitor conditions across the state. This will also allow us to better coordinate any assistance to our municipalities that may be necessary," Malloy said in a statement. "If you live in a low-lying, flood prone area, please stay alert to changing weather conditions, especially during high tide cycles over the next few days."

Campers at state parks will be able to receive full refunds for the nights they will not be able to use their reservations. Reserve America will be directed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to issue refunds to campers who had reservations for Sunday night. Additional refunds will be made to those campers who have reservations beyond Sunday night at Hammonasset Beach State Park and Rocky Neck State Park, which will both open later in the week.

The 11 state park campgrounds, which provide more than 1,400 campsites, include:

  • Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison
  • Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme
  • Black Rock State Park, Watertown
  • Macedonia Brook State Park, Kent
  • Housatonic Meadows State Park, Sharon
  • Kettletown State Park, Southbury
  • Hopeville Pond State Park, Sprague
  • American Legion State Forest, Barkhamsted
  • Mount Misery State Campground, Voluntown
  • Mashamoquet Brook State Park, Pomfret
  • Lake Waramaug State Park, New Preston

Meanwhile, The Norwalk Fire Department and Office of Emergency Management is encouraging residents to prepare in advance of Tropical Storm Hermine, giving residents the following tips:

  • If you live in an area that flooded during Sandy or Irene, make sure to secure anything outside, especially grills, propane tanks or spare propane tanks.
  • If you are not in an area prone to flooding and planning on riding out the storm at home, gather adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are unable to leave
  • Prepare for power outages by charging cell phones and electronics and setting your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. If you use electricity to get well water, fill your bathtub with water to use for flushing toilets.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full. Pumps at gas stations may not work during a power outage.
  • Secure or bring in outdoor objects (patio furniture, children's toys, trash cans, etc.) that could be swept away or damaged during strong winds or flooding.
  • Clear clogged rain gutters to allow water to flow away from your home.
  • If damaging winds are expected, cover all of your windows. If you don’t have storm shutters, board up windows with 5/8” exterior-grade or marine plywood.
  • Go tapeless - taping windows wastes preparation time, does not stop windows from breaking in a hurricane, and does not make cleanup easier. In fact,
  • taping windows may create larger shards of glass that can cause serious injuries.
  • Prepare for flooding by elevating items in your basement, checking your sump pump, unplugging sensitive electronic equipment, clearing nearby catch basins, and parking vehicles in areas not prone to flooding.
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. Turn off propane tanks if you are not using them.
  • If you have a boat, remove it from the water. If you cannot, prepare your boat for the storm to reduce damage.

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. issued the following statement:

"Although not expected, based on current forecasts, all residents along the shore and in very flood prone areas should have plans in place, as to places where they could relocate with family and friends in the event it is necessary to do so. In addition while the major effects of the storm is not expected until possibly late Sunday or Monday, all homeowners should be prepared by securing all loose furniture, signs, decorations, etc. and of course to have the supplies necessary in the event of any extended power outage. All items that are not tied down, including bulk trash and trash pails, should be moved indoors or secured, if possible. I would like homeowners to assist city crews by cleaning the tops of the storm drains in the immediate vicinity of your home. Finally since this storm is expected to cause possible moderate flooding along the shore and possible beach erosion and dangerous riptides I have asked our Recreation department to remove all equipment from the Town Beach such as Lifeguard stands and any other loose items."