Shoreline Towns Watching Hurricane Florence, Prepare For Potential Storm Impact

Emily Archacki
September 11, 2018 - 11:58 am

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTIC) Many Connecticut shoreline town officials are keeping a close eye on the progress of Hurricane Florence.

Even though the storm is forecast to make landfall in the Carolinas and Virginia along the Mid-Atlantic coast, it may still have the potential to impact the state.

“I think what we’re seeing now is behind Florence there is a great deal of tropical activity taking place,” said Michael Finklestine, East Lyme Police Chief and Emergency Management Director for the town. “So even if Florence is not something that comes our way, we also have the possibility with something behind it.”

The goal for the town of East Lyme is to have supplies and planning in place in order to be self-sufficient for several days in the potential aftermath of a storm.

“We certainly are going to continue to watch to make sure that there isn’t a northerly turn because that’s obviously what our concern is going to be. That it skirts the coast and travels up the coast. Or comes back out from inland, and kind of strikes us as a tropical storm or other type storm,” said Finklestine.

Significant concerns with any tropical system include the potential for prolonged power outages and flooding that can make parts of town inaccessible.

Coastal flooding may immediately come to mind when thinking of shoreline towns impacted by tropical storms. But it is not the only concern when it comes to flooding due to the large amount of rain the systems produce.

“We also do have places where we have dams that are going to be overrun; rivers and tributaries that are going to flood,” said Finklestine. “Any place that we know or residents know there is a flooding issue, certainly making sure storm drains are cleared out and passes are freed up.”

Finklestine also says that even if Florence has no impact on the state, it provides an opportunity to fine-tune emergency response plans.