Simsbury schools, government offices, library and senior center will be closed on Monday as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall along the northeast coast.
Town officials announced Sunday afternoon that Simsbury schools, town hall offices, Simsbury Public Library, and the Simsbury Senior Center will be closed on Monday, Oct. 29 in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
"Only essential safety personnel will be required to report to work," a statement said.
Weather conditions are expected to worsen late Sunday night as the storm makes landfall. Current forecasts show Sandy making landfall on the New Jersey shore and moving northeast.
Sandy is expected to cause significant damage along much of the East Coast and as far west as Ohio, the National Weather Service says Long Island and Southern New England shore towns are particularly vulnerable to storm surge and severe flooding.
"We strongly urge residents to make the necessary preparations to shelter in place during the storm," Deputy First Selectman John Hampton said. "Winds are expected to be very high on Monday and the safest thing to do is to stay off of the roads. At a minimum, make sure you have adequate supplies of water, gas for your car and cash on hand."
Simsbury residents can find updated information from town officials on the town's Storm Information Center or here on Simsbury Patch.
Strong winds are expected to pose the greatest threat during the storm.
“At this point in time we expect a maximum of 5” of rain – not enough to cause the Farmington River to flood – and the real danger is winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour.”
The other threat posed by Hurricane Sandy is the duration of the storm. Sandy is expected to last 18-24 hours, as opposed to the 12 hours that Hurricane Irene took to pass over the region in 2011. Forecasts are not calling for snow during this storm, a relief to many who lived through the October 2011 snowstorm that crippled the region.
The Simsbury Emergency Management team met Sunday morning to make preparations for the arrival of the storm. Officials warned residents to avoid driving during the storm and plan to stay at home. Emergency shelters will only be opened if needed following the storm. Until the storm passes, transportation will be difficult and dangerous due to strong winds.
If emergency shelters are opened, there will be a pet area on the lower level at Simsbury High School, according to a tweet on the town's Twitter page. "Owners must bring pet food, kennel/crate, leash & pet meds," the tweet said.
Town officials also urge residents to take the following steps to prepare for Hurricance Sandy:
- Be sure to register with www.CTAlert.gov so that you receive critical safety notices. You can sign up for CTAlert and the Town’s Community Alert system by going to the Town’s website (www.simsbury-ct.gov) and clicking on the Storm Information Center.
- Be sure to notify CL&P if you lose power. Contact CL&P at 800-286-2000.
- If you lose power, be sure to listen to the radio for safety information. WTIC (AM 1080) has regularly provided public updates.