MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The village of Mamaroneck will declare a state of emergency Sunday in preparation for the possibility that Hurricane Sandy will hit the tri-state area, and has advised residents in its flood-prone areas to be prepared to evacuate if the effects of the storm are significant enough, Village Manager Richard Slingerland said.
Neither the town of Mamaroneck nor Larchmont have decided to declare a state of emergency. The town will make that decision Sunday, but has activated its emergency management plan, Town Supervisor Stephen Altieri said. This includes lowering the reservoir and picking up leaves in flood-prone areas, which the village has also started doing.
All three municipalities will decide whether to evacuate Monday, which is when the brunt of the storm is expected to make landfall. Declaring a state of emergency will allow the village to suspend all parking restrictions so residents in low-lying, flood-prone areas can move their cars to higher ground, as long as they don’t block driveways or fire hydrants. The village will also suspend noise regulations so it can use power equipment and construction vehicles to prepare for the storm.
Preliminary forecasts say Hurricane Sandy will produce 4 to 6 inches of rain during the storm and a possible tidal surge of 4 to 6 feet, Slingerland said in an email. Rushmore Avenue and Flagler Drive would likely close as a result.
In the event of an evacuation, a temporary shelter will be set up at the Mamaroneck High School Post Road gym and open to residents of the village and town of Mamaroneck and Larchmont.
The town will decide Saturday whether to open a smaller shelter at the town Senior Center on 1288 Boston Post Road, Altieri said. This shelter, which can handle 70 to 100 people, would be opened if a small portion of the town required evacuation because its easier to operate. If more room is needed, it will refer its residents to the Mamaroneck High School gym.
“We have met, and continue to meet, with the senior administrative and emergency response personnel to coordinate our response,” Assistant Village Manager Dan Sarnoff said. “The forecasts for the storm are still not known, so in this scenario, it is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.”
Current projections indicate the storm will either continue on a northward trajectory toward the New York metropolitan area, or shift west and touch down off the coasts of Delaware, Virginia and Maryland, said Slingerland, who added Hurrican Sandy’s course will become more clear in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Forecasters say that, no matter where it comes ashore, its effects will be felt here because the storm system is so big.
In the meantime, residents are advised to remove any piles of leaves they have placed in the street so they’re not washed into drains, which could cause further flooding and slippery roads. The Village has been clearing catch-basins and removing leaf piles in areas that are at risk for flooding.
Residents should also secure all items in yards or other open areas, stock up on batteries, flash lights, candles, water and non-perishable foods that do not require cooking.
Residents can also:
• Fill up your car and back-up generator gas tanks
• Fill your prescriptions ahead of time to avoid running out of medication during and after the storm
• Be prepared with an emergency plan and up to date supplies
• Get extra ice and dry ice to help keep food cold
• If you lose power, keep refrigerator and freezers closed as much as possible
• Ensure your oil tanks are filled and securely capped to avoid floating, tipping and oil spills
• Tanks at grade level should have their vents covered with plastic to prevent water from getting inside
• Avoid unnecessary travel during and immediately after the storm, to give utility and road crews time to clear trees and downed wires.
The Daily Voice will have updates throughout the weekend as well as during and after the storm.