Fairfield ramps up preparations for Hurricane Sandy
Updated 4:56 pm, Thursday, October 25, 2012
Even though the trajectory of Hurricane Sandy was far from certain Thursday, Fairfield officials started gearing up in the event the storm surges through the region with what forecasters say could be pounding rain, high tides and flooding, and damaging winds.
Fairfield Beach Road resident Paige Herman also is taking no chances.
On Thursday morning, Herman, head of the Fairfield Beach Residents Association, said she cleared the beach in front of her home of boats, kayaks and chairs.
"I always take a nor'easter serioulsy, let alone possible hurricanes," Herman said. Adding to the drama is the full moon on Monday that could pull storm-tossed tides even higher just as Sandy pounds the region.
She said when officials get a better handle on what Fairfield will be facing, she will send out the word to her membership.
At Fairfield University, public safety officials are also monitoring the situation, and the college's Incident Management team is expected to meet Friday morning. Many of Fairfield Beach Road's seasonal residents are university students. "We have experienced this situation in the past and will implement appropriate measures to ensure the safety of our entire community, both on campus and our students who reside at the beach," university spokesman Martha Milcarek said.
"It looks fairly certain we're going to get some kind of bad weather," Deputy Chief Art Reid said, adding officials have already begun meeting to coordinate a storm response. "We've already coordinated with the Board of Education about the use of emergeny shelters," he said, and the Community Emergency Response Team and Medical Response Corps are on notice.
Reid said it will probably be Saturday before officials know to any certainty what type of storm may hit town.
"The rest of it is just wait and see," he said. "Indications are it will impact the Northeast in some fashion." he added that the astronomical high tides expected Monday, caused by the full moon, will ensure at least minor flooding across parts of Fairfield Beach Road.
"If it's a direct hit," Reid said, "it could be very similar to Irene, but it's still a day or two too early to call that."
Overnight parking is still banned at Veteran's Park on Reef Road, but that restriction will be reviewed throughout the weekend as an option for breach area residents, according to police Capt. Josh Zabin.