Town’s Sandy planning underway


Email yesterday afternoon from Mike Sullivan –

FYI, Will forward additional information as received. Meeting tomorrow with Chiefs, Ken and Bob Maguire at 12;30 p.m. to get latest update from Taunton NOAA meteorologist and to plan for storm. Started cleaning culverts and lowering boards on dams today and getting equipment ready for use. Talked to NSTAR and they are bringing in additional crews for power restoration and clean-up. Mike


From: “Mannion, James A (CDA)”
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2012 4:53 PM
Subject: Situational Awareness Statement #4

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

Hurricane Sandy Situational Awareness Statement (SAS) #4

Date:  October 25, 2012

Time:  4:30 PM

Situation:

Hurricane Sandy, currently a Category 2 hurricane, is located in the Bahamas and is projected to move northward off the eastern Florida coast tomorrow into Saturday. It remains too early to determine Sandy’s precise track for early next week, but the probability of Sandy going out to sea is now very low. Current computer models are showing an increasing degree of confidence that Sandy will impact northeastern United States as a strong tropical storm, with a current projected landfall between Monday night and Tuesday morning. It is important to note that Massachusetts is still well within the margin of error for the predicted track.

 

National Weather Service now has a high degree of confidence that New England will experience significant impacts from Sandy regardless of the location of the landfall.  With landfall south of New England, Massachusetts is still likely to sustain significant impacts from this storm including damaging winds, associated power outages, and freshwater and coastal flooding.

 

A landfall in New England will bring a 3 to 5 foot storm surge to south- and east-facing coasts of Massachusetts. These storm surge totals are in additional to normal tide levels (although we are not expected to see astronomically high tides during this event). A landfall in New England will bring even greater impacts to the region, with Massachusetts potentially experiencing a historic degree of freshwater and coastal flooding, wind damage, and associated power outages.

 

Potential impacts of Sandy include:

 

High Seas: Sandy is predicted to cause unusually high seas (25 feet or greater) off the coast of New England beginning Sunday and peaking Monday and Tuesday. Seas will be dangerous and potentially life-threatening, even for large vessels.  Winds are expected to be at least gale to storm force occasional hurricane force gusts.

 

Winds: Damaging winds and associated widespread power outages lasting as long as a week are likely if Sandy makes landfall across Massachusetts. Wind damage will be exacerbated in southern New England as most trees still have foliage at this time of year. If Sandy makes landfall in or tracks near southern New England, isolated wind gusts of up to Category 2 hurricane strength (96-110mph) are possible.

 

Coastal Flooding: Both east- and south-facing coasts in southern New England have a high risk of minor to moderate coastal flooding beginning Sunday afternoon and lasting through Tuesday.  Moderate to major coastal flooding (up to 3 to 5 feet of storm surge) and significant beach erosion is possible if Sandy makes landfall in southern New England.

 

Rain/Flooding: While it is still too soon to determine where the heaviest rain focus will be, confidence is rising that southern New England will see potentially flooding rainfall from Sandy.  In a worst-case scenario, southern New England could receive as much as 7.5 to 8.5 inches of sustained rainfall, with pockets of 8.5+ inches.

 

The latest 5-day forecast map from the National Hurricane Center is included below.

 

State Actions:

MEMA is actively monitoring the storm and initiating preparedness activities. This afternoon, MEMA held a coordination meeting with state agencies. Tomorrow, MEMA will start holding daily coordination calls with local public safety officials and conducting pre-incident planning with select Emergency Support Functions.  MEMA will continue to monitor Sandy’s progress and issue additional SASs at least daily until the threat to New England has passed.

 

MEMA’s Activation Status: MEMA is currently at Level IV (Steady State).

 

Information for Local Officials:

MEMA encourages local officials to monitor Sandy’s progress and predicted track closely and undertake preparedness activities such as:

 

  • Reviewing emergency plans and procedures
  • Assessing areas that may be subject to flooding and developing plans for communicating with, and potentially evacuating people in these areas
  • Updating emergency contact lists
  • Testing communications and warning systems
  • Reviewing emergency contracts and available resource inventories
  • Testing generators and ensuring emergency fuel supplies for them
  • Assessing local emergency shelter readiness and capacity.

 

MEMA also strongly urges local officials to review their Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) inundation maps to pre-identify areas particularly at risk from storm surge flooding.  SLOSH maps and other hurricane preparedness resources can be found on MEMA’s website at http://www.mass.gov/eopss/home-sec-emerg-resp/plan-prep/natural-hazards/hurricanes/.  Please note that you will need to have Google Earth installed on your computer to access the online SLOSH maps that are available through MEMA’s website.

 

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for the General Public:

  • Stay informed by monitoring the storm via the media.
  • Be sure to have a well-stocked Family Disaster Kit in the event you lose power or are isolated for a number of days.
  • Clear clogged rain gutters. This storm brings the potential for torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding.
  • Secure outdoor items such as lawn furniture, trash barrels, hanging plants, toys and awnings that can be broken or picked up by strong winds and potentially become a projectile.
  • Elevate articles in your basement that could be damaged from even minor flooding.
  • Keep your vehicles fully fuelled.
  • Have a certain amount of cash available.  If power is lost, ATMs may not be working.

 

Ping4alerts!:

MEMA encourages smartphone users to download the free ping4alerts! app. This app is available free of charge for iPhone and Android phones and receives severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA based on the user’s location.  Learn more at http://www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.

 

Online Resources:

For additional information and resources, visit:

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at www.mass.gov/mema (Hurricane preparedness tips and other preparedness information are available through the “Hurricane” link on MEMA’s homepage).

MEMA’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA

MEMA Twitter: @MassEMA

Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.fema.gov

National Hurricane Center website at www.nhc.noaa.gov

National Weather Service/Taunton at www.weather.gov/boston

National Weather Service/Albany, NY at www.weather.gov/albany

Mass211 at www.mass211.org

 

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