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CT leaders urge residents to prepare as Hurricane Henri approaches

Leaders in Hartford ask people to stay home if they can while officials in Groton are recommending a voluntary evacuation along the shoreline.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Officials from around the state are asking residents to prepare ahead of Tropical Storm Henri's arrival to the state tomorrow. 

New Haven officials are recommending evacuations in certain neighborhoods ahead of the hurricane. 

Mayor Justin Elicker said the main areas are on the eastern shore, including those who live along the Mill River in Fairhaven, Haven Street, and John Murphy Drive, and at City Point along South Water Street. They are recommending evacuation over concerns of flooding. 

"It would be difficult for our emergency crews to access if people are experiencing an emergency at that time," said Elicker. 

Career Regional High School, Nathan Hale School, Jepson Magnet School, and  King/Robinson Interdistrict Magnet School will open at 7 p.m. Saturday as a shelter for those who need it.

"If you go to a shelter please be sure to bring a few this switch you like your medications. Make sure you have a cell phone if you have one, bring a blanket or pillow," said Rick Fontana, Director of Emergency Operations. He also said people should bring important documents and hygiene products. 

For any storm-related issues, residents can call the Emergency Operations Center at 203-946-8224. 

"We are expecting a lot of power outages around the city," said Elicker. "Frankly a lot of the work we do is after the storm is over."

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said that the ground is saturated following the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred passing over the state last week. Hartford saw several inches of rain in about a two-hour time span which caused localized flash flooding on surface streets and the highways.

"We are very very attuned to the possibility we will see significant flooding over the next couple of days as well," said Bronin. 

Bronin said they don't know exactly what they'll see, but the city has to be prepared. Hartford's Department of Public Works has been going around and clearing catch basins ahead of the storm, according to Bronin. 

"We're prepared to call in other resources we think we might need from our police and fire departments to ensure that we're able to provide all the assistance as necessary any rescue support that's necessary," said Bronin. "Last week our teams were out there bringing a lot of people to safety from floodwaters and stranded cars. They're prepared for what needs to be done."203 

RELATED: What you need to know to prepared for Tropical Storm Henri

City officials said people should expect road closures and power outages and ask that if it's possible, just stay home. 

“We just encourage people if you see something, call us early. In a storm like this, the more time goes by, the more water falls, the worse things get," said Police Chief Jason Thody. 

The City of Groton is recommending a voluntary evacuation for some areas beginning today.

According to the city's Facebook post, the voluntary evacuation is recommended to start at 10 p.m. Saturday, August 21 for residents living on the following streets: 

  • Shore Avenue
  • Beach Pond Road
  • Pine Island Road 
  • Jupiter Point Road

The Facebook post continued by saying the city will provide more updates as information becomes available.

In preparation for Henri, Gov. Ned Lamont has declared a state of emergency.

Lamont held a press conference at 4 p.m. and urged residents to "Stay safe, stay home." He also encouraged everyone to prepare and help neighbors that live alone.

The Connecticut State Emergency Operations Center will become partially activated on Saturday, August 21, and fully active Sunday morning.

As part of the order from the Lamont, Adjutant General and Commander of the Connecticut National Guard  Major General Francis Evon is calling 200 Guardsmen and women to state active duty. 

“We’ve learned from Super Storm Sandy and Hurricane Irene that preparation at staging areas ahead of the storm making landfall is key to a quick and effective response,” Evon said. “We are standing by to support the state and the lead agencies however we can and we will be prepared to bring in additional Guardsmen and resources if asked to do so.”

Hurricane and Storm Surge warnings are in effect for the Connecticut shoreline. The latest track from the National Hurricane Center has Henri making landfall as a category 1 hurricane in Connecticut Sunday afternoon. If this happens, it would be the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since Hurricane Gloria. 

Impacts include:
- Storm surge: 3 to 6 feet
- Flooding rain: 2"-6" around and to the west of where the storm tracks
- River flooding
- Damaging winds: hurricane conditions possible near and right of the storm's track
- Long duration power outages: From a combination of winds and a saturated ground

This could change if the storm continues to track farther west or east.

RELATED: Lamont declares a state of emergency in advance of Tropical Storm Henri



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