Old Lyme Emergency Management Office is strongly urging residents in the beach communities and low-lying areas to seek shelter in other locations no later than 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The notice to evacuate is voluntary, not mandatory at this point. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy will be holding a conference at 10 a.m. on October 28 to discuss which areas should be evacuated, and whether those should be handled on a voluntary or mandatory basis.
East Lyme Emergency Management Director Richard Morris said East Lyme will made a decision regarding evacuations following that conference. However, he notes, if the storm surge is as high as predicted—with current estimates putting tidal surges at anywhere from 5 to 10 foot or 7 to 15 foot through up to four tide cycles—the entire shoreline, including Four Mile River and the Niantic River will be affected.
"You could potentially have water on Main Street," said Morris.
With storm surges occuring during higher than usual tides due to the full moon, combined with strong winds of 30 to 50 mph and heavy continuous rainfall, "sustained flooding on the coast, in low-lying areas and along rivers and streams is a near certainty," Old Lyme Emergency Operations Director David Roberge wrote in a press release announcing the voluntary evacuations at 9 p.m.
Old Lyme Emergency Operations Center (EOC) recommends that people who plan to evacuate:
- Secure valuables
- Turn off the main electrical breaker to your home
- Turn the propane tank off and make sure the tank is secure
- Take all important documents with you
The Old Lyme EOC (Emergency Operations Center) will be open Sunday morning and stay in continuous operation throughout the storm and its aftermath. The town of Old Lyme has declared a Localized Emergency, and all town emergency departments, including fire, police, EMS, special services, etc., are implementing emergency response protocol.
Residents with questions or need assistance in seeking alternate shelter are urged to contact the EOC Call Center at 860-598-0120.
Old Lyme Emergency Operations Center will issue storm updates, including the emergency shelter location, regularly as information becomes available. The regional emergency shelter for people and pets who need overnight accomodation is East Lyme Middle School, which at this point is scheduled to open at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Patch will have an update on that, and on the plans for evacuation, following the press conference tomorrow morning.