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'We're going to hit the ground running' | Gov. Lamont talks Henri prep at Emergency Response Center

State officials are anticipating heavy flooding and possibility of weekslong power outages ahead of Henri.

HARTFORD, Conn. — It's all hands on deck at the State Emergency Operations Center in Hartford, where multiple agencies are preparing for intense flooding and widespread power outages in wake of Henri.

Officials are anticipating anywhere from eight to 21 days without power in some areas.

"I promise you, we're going to hit the ground running," Gov. Ned Lamont said. "We're going to go after those biggest concentrations if there's an outage, take care of those folks first...no 21 days. No way."

From the National Guard to the American Red Cross, officials have set out an emergency response plan for servicing Connecticut residents before, during and after the storm.

While each municipality has its own emergency response teams and strategies, it's a collaborative effort between crews at all levels of government.

"We have EMT, we have utility vehicles, we have everyone out there trying to make sure that we get this storm behind us; that we get power up and keep you safe," Lamont said. 

RELATED: Why is it important to declare a disaster?

Lamont said a few nursing homes have already been shut down as evacuations are underway in hard-hit areas like New London and Groton.  

According to the governor, what the state needs most from residents is vigilance and patience. He emphasized the importance of keeping the roadways clear to allow crews to do their jobs.

"If there's extra cars on the road or big trucks, somebody spins out, they shut down a couple lanes of I-95, that interferes with our rescue efforts," the governor said.

President Joe Biden approved Sunday the governor's request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration. It'll allow Connecticut to receive both federal financial support, such as FEMA, and other resources in preparation for the storm.

"The jury is still out on how much damage there is going to be, but we're prepared for the worst," Lamont said.

Henri is a constantly changing situation as the Center monitors its path toward Long Island. But it's important to keep in mind that whether it's a tropical storm or hurricane, the potential dangers are real. 

RELATED: What to do when you lose power for an extended period of time

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