News release from Mayor Bill Finch:
On Sunday afternoon, City police and firefighters along with Mayor Bill Finch and other city officials went door-to-door in coastal flood-prone areas of the city to warn residents of the need to evacuate their homes in advance of Hurricane Sandy.
“This has potential to be a very serious storm. For all of those residents living in the flood-prone areas–please evacuate your homes,” said Mayor Finch.
Public Safety staff, who had contacted 13,000 residents during the afternoon canvass, found that most people had evacuated to find shelter with friends or family on higher ground. However, by 8 p.m., Sunday, there were only 170 people at the City’s three shelters. Police and Fire Department staff will be hitting the streets on Monday morning to make sure all residents in those areas are aware of the mandatory evacuation and are able to get to a shelter, if necessary.
Three shelters: Jettie Tisdale School, 275 Hollister Avenue; Geraldine Johnson School, 475 Lexington Avenue, and Cesar Batalla School, 606 Howard Avenue are currently open and accepting residents who have evacuated.
The Bridgeport Board of Education’s Nutrition Center will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner at the shelters on Monday. These three shelters will remain open for the duration of the storm. Residents who have questions about the evacuation or other storm-related, non-emergency needs can call the Emergency Operations Center at 203.579.3829.
On Sunday night, Bridgeport Police Department barricaded the entrances to St. Mary’s by the Sea with sandbags. Emergency personnel can access the barricaded areas, if necessary. All Bridgeport parks are closed until further notice, and police are urging sightseers to stay away from both St. Mary’s by the Sea and Seaside Park.
“We are in for a very serious storm. The meteorological conditions heading our way are very severe–this storm has the potential to be unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime,” said Mayor Finch. “It is imperative that everyone in the coastal flood-prone areas (see list of coastal flood prone areas below) evacuate now. We’re preparing for Category 2 type hurricane flooding, which we’ve never experienced.”
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall near northern New Jersey early Monday afternoon. The strongest winds of 40 to 60 mph are expected into Monday night. Gale force tropical winds are expected to begin hitting the Bridgeport area by Sunday night. The gale force winds have the potential to last 24-30 hours with gusts up to 70 mph. A full moon together with the astronomical high tide will cause flooding over three cycles with the highest tides falling on Monday evening near midnight. According to the NWS, it is possible for the Bridgeport area to receive up to 10-foot storm surges on Monday evening.
Residents can follow the Mayor on Twitter (@MayorBillFinch), or @CityofBptCT and @BridgeportEOC, and use the hashtag #BPTSandy to get the most up-to-date information. Residents also can ‘like’ the City’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/City-of-Bridgeport/348103748292, or the Mayor’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Bill-Finch/6411019014, or the Bridgeport EOC at www.facebook.com/pages/Bridgeport-Emergency-Operations-Center/192730720742140 to find updated information on the storm.
Bridgeport Public Schools will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. All second shift school personnel must report to work on the first shift on Monday and Tuesday.
City Hall and Margaret E. Morton Government Center will be closed on Monday. All non-essential City of Bridgeport Employees should stay home on Monday.
All Bridgeport Parks are closed until further notice. Beardsley Zoo will remain open on Sunday, October 28.
Port Jefferson Ferry is running on its regular schedule on Sunday, and will shut down service on Monday and Tuesday.
Greater Bridgeport Transit is suspending bus service at 8 p.m. tonight and will remain closed until the storm has passed. Service will resume when it is safe to do so.
Garbage and recycling pickups will occur as scheduled on Monday. Residents are asked to secure their garbage and recycling bins as soon as the pickup occurs.
Those who are planning on staying in a shelter should pack a blanket, pillow, medication, personal identification, and snacks. Pets are allowed at all shelters, but they must be on leashes or in cages, and pet owners are asked to supply food for their pets.
If you live in the East Side or East End please go to: Jettie Tisdale School, 275 Hollister Avenue.
If you live in the South End, please go to: Geraldine Johnson School, 475 Lexington Avenue.
If you live in the West Side, West End or Black Rock please go to: Cesar Batalla School, 606 Howard Avenue.
The following streets encompass the coastal flood-prone mandatory evacuation area:
Southern Broad Street–East to the Harbor
Bostwick Avenue at Osbourne to the south including, Morris and Anthony Streets
Lower areas of Ferris Street, Arthur Street, Yacht Street, Brewster Street
Black Rock Yacht Club Area, southeast of Grovers Avenue
West of Dewey Street–between Edgewood and Salt Street
Atlantic Street near Broad & Main
South of Wordin Avenue–Washburn Street, and Howard Avenue south of Wordin Avenue
Gregory Street–South Lower end of Iranistan Avenue to Columbia Street
Atlantic Street Near Iranistan Avenue
Newfield Avenue–Streets to the southeast of Newfield including Jefferson, Trowel, Adams, and DeForest DeKalb and Seaview Avenues