Shelves at a number of local grocery stores were emptied of their contents by Sunday afternoon, from batteries to bottled water, canned goods to other emergency supplies, as people prepare for Hurricane Sandy to make landfall, a storm that has emergency officials worried due to a number of factors.
According to the National Weather Service, Sandy is currently moving north-northwestward and is accelerating, expected to bring life-threatening storm surges, coastal hurricane winds and heavy snowfall in the Appalachian region. Sandy, now a Category 1 hurricane, will most likely make impact on the New Jersey coastline later today, reported City of Norwich Emergency Management Officer A. Wesley Jones, and locally, “we should begin feeling the effects by midday today.”
Winds are expected to increase rapidly, possibly beginning late this morning, as the system approaches. Stronger winds are expected tonight, said Jones, as rain develops throughout the day. Both wind and rain have potential to increase overnight, with winds expected to diminish come Tuesday morning.
A number of county school district’s will release students early today, including Bainbridge-Guilford, Greene, Afton, Otselic Valley and Oxford, due to the storm. First Transit has announced it will cease operations at 2 p.m. today and remain closed through Tuesday. Service is expected to resume Wednesday. In addition, Bert Adams Disposal will suspend garbage pick-up Tuesday, and city officials are asking that all residents refrain from putting out their trash cans and recycling bins.
Said Mayor Joe Maiurano, “Do not put your garbage out.”
Jones reported wind gusts of 15 miles per hour as of this morning, and said the public has been extremely responsive with preparations for the storm.
“People are doing what they need to do to prepare and hopefully they have made the right decisions and heeded the warnings,” he added. “If we’re lucky, it won’t be as bad as they say, but we’ll find out. We’re as prepared as we can be at this point.”
Said Maiurano in a Sunday press release, “We ask city residents to take a common sense approach to this storm. There’s no need to panic, but people should be prepared in the event of extended power outages due to downed trees and power lines.”
Jones and Maiurano also urged people to secure anything that could become a projectile, which could lead to serious injuries or damage. Those looking for information on the storm’s local impact can visit norwichnewyork.net/emergency, follow the city’s Emergency Management Office on Twitter at twitter.com/NorwichEMO or follow the office on Facebook at facebook.com/NorwichEMO.