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Coastal-Area Residents Take Final Precautions

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- In preparation for Hurricane Irene, Lloyd Landa will help his wife Janet secure their home in one of Mamaroneck's many low-lying areas that have been ordered to evacuate , before leaving to stay at his daughter's house in Larchmont Saturday.

"We are following the mandatory evacuation from Orienta," said Landa, whose neighborhood has experienced flooding in past storms. "I think the problem will be falling branches."

The Village and Town of Mamaroneck declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon and issued mandatory evacuation in several low-lying areas, including the neighborhood of Orienta.

"We have a lot of property along Orienta and Shore Acres and if we have significant storm surges and significant instances of down wires and trees blocking roadways, it may be very difficult for our emergency services to access certain areas," said Dan Sarnoff, assistant village manager. "I don't want to be alarming, but I want to make sure that residents are prepared for any eventuality."

Residents who have been ordered to evacuate by 5 p.m. Saturday will be able to access the community shelter at the Mamaroneck High School's Post Road gym beginning at 5 p.m.

Janet Landa, who volunteers for the Westchester Medical Center, will help out at the shelter Saturday.

Like Landa, Dan Natchez prepared his home on Otter Creek for Hurricane Irene, but will not be following the mandatory evacuation order.

"If we were having an 11-foot storm surge, I'd be moving," said Natchez, who lives at a high elevation in Shore Acres and has invited anyone in need of shelter to stay at his home during the storm.

Many residents spent Saturday searching for D batteries, which Natchez noticed were all sold out. "Nobody here has experienced a major storm," he said. "The good news is people started taking this seriously a few days in advance, instead of a few hours."

An emergency operation center will open Saturday at 6:30 p.m. where all emergency personnel will be stationed, said Chief Brenan Collins of the Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department, whose company has all volunteer firefighters on call. Both villages also have an emergency operation center, each containing rescue boats in case of flooding.

Officials from all three municipalities are asking residents to only call 911 in the event of an emergency. Residents with questions can call one of the emergency operation centers:

Village Fire Department - 914-698-0200 (emergency) or 914-825-8777 (non-emergency)

Town Fire Department - 914-381-2240

Larchmont Fire Department - 834-0600 (emergency) or 914-834-0016 (non-emergency)

Other useful numbers:

Con Edison (Electric and gas) - 1-800-75CONED Verizon (Telephone and cable) - 1-800-837-4966 Cablevision (Telephone and cable) - (914) 777-9000

Check back for Hurricane Irene updates.

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