“This is the real thing,” said Branford Fire Department Assistant Chief Shaun Heffernan as he addressed volunteer crews and the Fire Police this morning.
“People need to use common sense,” he said. “People need to know their neighborhoods and know what happened last time.”
There have been mandatory evacuations of Branford's coastal neighborhoods. If you’re thinking about leaving, he said, you should.
If you’re wondering if you’re in a flood zone, please check out the attached maps. The orange zone indicates flood area if a category 1 hurricane hits; the green and blue show potential flood areas if a category 2 or 3 was to hit. Many areas will become “islands” the fire department said with out access in or out. Local street flooding is anticipated.
Pawson Park off Linden Avenue, where the road gave way last year, is one area of concern for crews as is Short Beach and Indian Neck. The Fire Department will be trying to access these neighborhoods in emergency situations but they remind residents that driving through water might not be an option. Residents should be prepared to be without access to food and water for 72 hours.
For breaking news and Hurricane Sandy updates, check out Branford Patch Facebook and Twitter and on our Topic Page.
Heffernan and Chief Jack Ahern said they anticipate three high tides during the storm’s impact period from Monday morning to Wednesday afternoon. These high tides could make the water level appear consistently high for coastal residents as if there is no low tide. A full moon is also expected to affect tide levels.
Right now the Fire Department anticipates the storm to be triple the force of Irene. Tropical storm winds are expected to start affecting Branford Monday morning with the worst of the storm hitting Tuesday around 2 a.m.; the strong winds should subside by Wednesday afternoon. Check out our most recent weather forcast.
Residents are asked to remain indoors during and after the storm. One of the biggest problems during Irene was residents “sight-seeing” after the storm while emergency responders were trying to assist residents. Don't assume the power has been killed to electric lines, the fire department cautioned as well. Also, residents need to be reminded that water can be contaminated by sewage. Several firefighters were hospitalized with pneumonia following Irene, which was believed to be the result of spending extended period of time in contaminated water.
Residents are asked to secure items around their homes as well, especially if they live in flood-prone areas. Propane tanks should be secured – last storm they were like floating bombs, the fire department said.
The Fire Department will be posting notices on their volunteer headquarters in each neighborhood. You can also follow them on Facebook for updates.
Branford Fire Departments
Branford Fire Department Headquarters
Indian Neck Pine Orchard Company 9
Short Beach Hook Hose & Ladder Company 4
M.P. Rice Company 2
Stony Creek Company 5