Old Saybrook prepares for weather ahead with Henri


OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — “If we’re asking you to evacuate, we’re not doing that lightheartedly,” said Old Saybrook Police Chief Spera.

The National Weather Service has issued several emergency alerts for a storm surge before Henri is expected to make landfall.

It is the first time Connecticut has seen a hurricane warning since Irene in 2011.

The Old Saybrook Police Department is creating a shelter at the town’s high school.

“We have 50% of our population that lives off well water, which means that if they have no power they also have no water to live on, so we have to stand up a recovery center to make sure that they get fresh water, they can take nice hot showers and stay sanitary,” Chief Spera said.

The chief says things will look a little different at the shelter in light of the pandemic.

“Sheltering two or three years ago was a lot of cots in a big gymnasium or cafeteria, it’s not that way, we’re actually using classrooms like mini little apartments so we can separate families, keep people apart and safe.“

The Hurricane Warning stretches from Milford to New Haven, Middlesex and New London county shorelines.

There is also a Tropical Storm Warning for the Fairfield County shoreline.

News 8 spoke to two women, Carol and Sybil, who say they’ve been through the thick of it — describing their experience with hurricanes in years past.

“My name is Carol and in 1955 it was hurricane Carol,” Carol said. “The water was up to my waist and I was walking to the bus station in that hurricane, it was horrible.“

These ladies ask that you heed the advice from the professionals as Henri creeps closer towards Connecticut.

“Stay home, stay in the basement, don’t come out until it’s all over,” were Carol’s words of advice this time around.

Old Saybrook has established a text information system for its residents to get emergency updates before, during and after the storm.  

Residents can sign up for free by texting HENRI to 888-777. The town says it will communicate at least once a day using this text communication system, with more frequent updates provided as needed.

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