Jim Marpe: “Safety Is The Utmost Priority”

First Selectman Jim Marpe issued this statement, before the expected storm:

A blizzard warning is in effect throughout Connecticut, and is anticipated to heavily impact the area tonight through Tuesday.

Safety is the utmost priority. If there is a power outage, repairs will be made when it is safe to do so. At the height of the storm, due to high winds and potential for impassable roads, CL&P will not send linemen to repair downed wires until it is safe to do so.

Several factors make this storm dangerous:

  • Expected snow accumulations of 18-24 inches will make driving extremely dangerous, including possible whiteout conditions, tonight and into early Wednesday morning. Governor Malloy has announced that a travel ban for all roads is in effect beginning at 9 p.m. tonight.
  • Strong winds may result in downed electrical lines and loss of power.
  • Frigid temperatures may create additional hardships for some of our citizens, particularly the elderly.
  • There may be some shoreline flooding.

Proactive measures have been taken to prepare for the storm:

  • Westport sealWe have activated the town’s Emergency Operations Center.
  • Snow plows and supplies are ready. Key personnel will remain at a Public Works facility to ensure our streets become passable for emergency vehicles and residents in the shortest period possible.
  • CL&P is in continual contact with the town’s emergency management staff, and will have additional resources available to repair electrical problems.
  • Westport’s Emergency Operations Center is monitoring the situation and will provide emergency updates as necessary via CodeRED. Citizens with questions or concerns may contact the Emergency Operations Center (203-341-5000).
  • All schools and Town Hall will be closed on Tuesday.

Information and updates will be provided via the town’s website (www.westportct.org), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/westportct.gov) and Twitter (@westportct.gov) as well as Staples Radio WWPT (90.3 FM).

The Westport/Weston Health District has additional information on its website:   http://wwhd.org/

Contact CL&P at 1-800-286-2000 to report an outage or speak to a customer service representative.

It is recommended that residents take the following precautions:

  • Do not drive.
  • Do not park vehicles on any town road. Vehicles parked on town roads impede snow removal and prevent emergency vehicle access.  If a parked vehicle is impeding plowing operations or a public safety response, it will be towed.
  • In anticipation of an outage, residents may wish to increase the thermostat temperature in their homes a few degrees to build up residual heat.
  • Check on neighbors who may require additional assistance.
  • Subscribe to Westport’s CodeRED system, available through the town website (under Public Safety) to be notified of emergency situations.

woodstoveThe current expectation is that this will be a shelter-in-place event. The safest place to spend this evening and tomorrow is warm at home.

However, if you are using your fireplace or woodstove, please use utmost caution and let the ashes remain in the fireplace for several days until there are no remaining hot embers.

If you use portable space heaters in your home, be extremely careful and remember that space heaters require SPACE—nothing that can burn should be within three feet of any part of the heater.

2 responses to “Jim Marpe: “Safety Is The Utmost Priority”

  1. I thought priorities were “more bank branches and nail salons?”

    Matt

  2. Where were these warnings back in the 70’s?
    Somehow we managed. Floods, blizzards, inchworms…
    Hold on just another day!