.

UPDATE: Downtown Parking Ban In Effect; Mandatory Evacuation Zone Expands

Earlier, the mayor closed school and city buildings through Tuesday; state police said they will close the Gold Star Bridge if sustained winds exceed 40 mph; Crystal Mall is closed Monday; L+M cancels all elective surgery; EB cancels all three shifts.

12:50 a.m. update:

Electric Boat announced on its website that 1st and 2nd shifts on Monday and 3rd shift on Tuesday were called off at all Connecticut and Rhode Island locations except for workers involved in storm prep and emergency services.

10:01 p.m. Update:

The Crystal Mall in Waterford announced late Sunday night it would be closed on Monday. The status for Tuesday has not been decided yet.

9:40 p.m. Update:

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital announced late Sunday that all elective surgeries scheduled for Monday at the main campus and Pequot Health Center have been canceled and patients have been called or are being called. In addition, all L+M Physicians Asociation offices will be closed Monday. 

All elective surgery at L+M scheduled for Monday has been cancelled. Patients who were scheduled for procedures have been called or are being called.

Additionally, all L+MPA (Physicians Association) offices are closed Monday.

9:08 p.m. Update:

The city enacted a downtown parking ban Sunday night in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy's fury, and mayor Daryl Justin Finizio urged businesses to close at 11 p.m.

"I understand the burden that this places on local businesses, but the City should exercise caution during this upcoming storm," he said in a release.

Also late Sunday, the mayor expanded the mandatory evacuation order he issued earlier in the day. Streets whose residents are now required to evacuate in advance of the storm are (see original list below):

  • Shaw Street (From Hamilton to traffic circle)
  • Hamilton Street and Howard Street to traffic circle
  • Peqout Avenue from traffic circle to Converse Place (both sides)
  • All of Neptune Park (including Park Street and Stuart Avenue)

The governor also reminded residents of the relocation shelter set up at Winthrop School and the regional relocation center at East Lyme Middle School on Society Road in Niantic. For additional information, call 860-440-6687.

Also Sunday night, state police said they would close the Gold Star Bridge if winds exceeded 40 mph, which could come as soon as early this morning.

Original Story:

Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio kicked New London's preparations for Hurricane Sandy into high gear Sunday afternoon, closing schools and city buildings through Tuesday and ordering a mandatory evacuation of flood zones.

The mayor, in a press conference Sunday afternoon, also fully activated the city's Emergency Operations Center at fire headquarters on Bank Street and opened the relocation shelter at Winthrop School earlier than expected at 3 p.m.

According to Finizio, Gov. Malloy said in a conference call this morning that the storm surge — a wall of wind- and tide-driven water that is swept in the direction of the prevailing winds in a storm like this — is supposed to be 2-to-4 feet higher than that of the devastating hurricane of 1938. The governor said that New London should prepare for a worst-case scenario and that all coastal communities should plan for Category 4 hurricane storm surges.

Along with the closure of schools and city buildings, non-essential city personnel have been ordered to not come into work on Monday and Tuesday. Essential employees and emergency management personnel will still report to work. Wednesday's schedule has yet to be finalized.

The streets affected by the mandatory evacuation are:

  • Admiral Drive
  • Chapel Drive
  • Elliot Avenue
  • Elm Street (Between Lincoln and Garfield)
  • Glenwood Avenue to the intersection of Lower Boulevard
  • Guthrie Place
  • Hamilton Street
  • Ledyard Street
  • Lincoln Avenue
  • Lower Ocean Ave. (from Jerome to Ocean Beach)
  • Lower Montauk Avenue (from Lower Boulevard to end of Montauk)
  • Lower Boulevard
  • Mott Avenue
  • Mott Court
  • Neptune Avenue
  • Neptune Court
  • Parkway South
  • Pequot Avenue (Water side)
  • Quinnepeag Avenue
  • Requinn Street
  • Rocbourne Lane
  • Rodgers Street
  • Stuart Avenue

Other important things to know:

  • If you need a ride to Winthrop School, call 860-440-6687.
  • All garbage and recycling pickup in the city has been canceled until further notice.
  • The Connecticut State Police will close the Gold Star Bridge to traffic if there are sustained wind speeds of 40 miles per hour or greater
  • Avoid hazards and exercise caution. If you see a hazard, notify the Police Department.
Carol D. Fox October 29, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Emily: Put on your thinking cap. If they are union employees and are non-essential employees, the City does not have the right to ask them to work at shelters or anywhere else. If you choose not to understand this, then it is your problem. EB employees are home sitting on their butts. They are all union employees and I am sure they are getting paid.
Emily Kendall October 29, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Carol, are the municipal tax payers paying the EB employees?
Carol D. Fox October 29, 2012 at 04:49 PM
My point to you which you failed to understand is that they are union employees.
ElComandante October 29, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Emily, we municipal CITIZENS (paying taxes is just one thing we commit to do as self-governing people) should extend our employees a fair deal. As a public, we are competing with the private sector for good people, so let's not try to squeeze our employees dry.
S.E. October 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Funny what happens to some people when they get cooped up at home. I agree, there are much more important things at hand. If your concern is for the taxpayers and the misplacement of funds, go to your next city council meeting and raise your voice there, where it counts. I'm sure we could all make suggestions about how to make storm preparedness a smoother process. I agree with you, J. Maybe some camomile tea instead, though!

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