Friday, October 26, 2012

What Milford needs to know about Hurricane Sandy


MILFORD—City officials are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst for Hurricane Sandy as it barrels its way towards the coastline town.
“Our biggest concern is coastal flooding because even if the storm stays to the south with the moon and tides, we are expecting low lying areas to receive flooding even if the storm doesn’t hit us directly,” said Robert Healey, interim fire chief.
At least seven members of the Fire Department, including Fire Chief Louis LaVecchia and Assistant Chief Alan Zingaro, will technically be retired by the time the storm hits Milford.
“Anytime you lose people it leaves a small gap,” Healey said. “But we have good people who will step up.”
Members who technically retired volunteered to help the department if the storm hits Milford hard, Healey said. LaVecchia is also still the management emergency director for the City.
Jonathan Law High School has received the initial preparation to serve as a 100-bed shelter if it is needed, said Mayor Ben Blake.
Some people, such as Milford resident Christa Kelly, still haven’t had their houses fixed from Tropical Storm Irene.
“It’s truly a nightmare,” she said.
Her house is still on stilts waiting for a permit so a contractor can go ahead with raising the house. In the meantime, she pays about $1,300 a month for the house to remain on the stilts. On top of it, she has to pay rent because her house is uninhabitable at this point.
Contractors told her that the house should be fine when Sandy passes through; however, she is worried about whether or not dirt shifting will have any effect on the project.
“It is what it is at this point,” she said. “Let God do with it as he will.”
The Fire Department has placed members of its staff into different quadrants of the City, said fire spokesman Capt. Thomas Thornberg. Firefighters are prepared in case the city is effectively cut in half by floods.
The City will request large evacuation vehicles from the state as needed, Blake said.
Officials tested warning sirens to alert residents to flooding.
“Milford has 17-and-a-half miles of coastline and we do get flooding quite frequently,” he said.
The Fire Department won’t be entirely all hands on deck for the storm, however, there are contingency plans to bring people in as needed, Healey said.
Police will be patrolling evacuated areas to deter burglaries, said Chief of Police Keith Mello.
Call Rich Scinto (203) 789-5748

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