September 20, 2020

Hurricane Irene Update Issued by Chester Emergency Management Committee – Saturday 2 p.m.

Chester’s Emergency Management Committee met at 11:00 this morning to participate in a conference call briefing with the State of Connecticut Emergency Operations Center.  The State EOC forecast is as follows:

Hurricane Irene currently has 85 mph sustained winds and is moving NNE at about 15 mph.  Irene is forecast to move up along the New Jersey Coast early Sunday morning and make landfall in the Stamford, CT area around 11:00 AM as a Category I hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph and gusts to 95 mph.  The first effects from Irene are expected to begin this evening with rain and tropical storm force winds up to 73 mph moving into Connecticut between 11:00 PM and Midnight.  Hurricane force winds of 74 to 95 mph are forecast to arrive along the coast beginning 7:00 AM Sunday morning.  The rain is also expected to become heavy at times by midnight.  Very heavy rain at times (especially in Western Connecticut) is expected to continue from midnight tonight through the passage of the center of Irene around mid-day Sunday and into the mid-afternoon.  Rainfall amounts of 6 to 10 inches are expected.  The track of Irene means Eastern Connecticut, including Chester, will see stronger winds but lesser rainfall than areas to the west of the track.

Residents should make every effort to be wherever they need to be by nightfall this evening.  As the storm intensifies overnight, we are anticipating that downed trees and power lines will make roads impassable.

John Winthrop Junior High School in Deep River will be opening as a hurricane shelter at 5:00 p.m. Saturday for those who may wish to utilize this facility.  Please be prepared to bring with you basic items to make your stay more comfortable, especially any medications you may require.

Finally and most importantly, be safe.  Treat all downed power lines as live.  Be aware that fallen trees may conceal power lines within their branches.  Restrict travel as much as possible following the storm to allow public works and utility crews the time to clear roadways.

Call 9-1-1 for all emergencies.

Tom Englert