(WTNH) — The most destructive storms in American history have all hit late August and beyond. As we come to the peak of hurricane season, emergency officials are warning everyone to be prepared before it’s too late since it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“This is serious business,” said Rick Fontana, New Haven Emergency Operations Director. “Sometimes we tend to underestimate Mother Nature.”
People who live along the East Shore of New Haven have recent memories of Mother Nature’s destructive power.
“Water does come up,” said Morris Cove resident Vin Brennan, speaking about Hurricane Sandy. “We had 10-foot waves breaking over the wall.”
FEMA has updated New Haven’s flood maps, including more homes that are considered now to be in flood plains. The new maps mean city officials also have to be prepared in the event of emergency evacuations.
“It’s concerning for us because we’ve got to move more people out of the area,” Fontana said. “If not, we’re putting people at risk.”
During both Irene and Sandy, the East Shore was put under a mandatory evacuation. Emergency personnel want people to heed the message, but not everyone chooses to listen.
“There was a car going around with a microphone telling everyone to evacuate,” said Alexa DePonte, as she recalled her memories of Sandy.
“We weather it all the time; it’s New England,” Brennan said. “The last one, they evacuated the area, but we didn’t leave.”
But even if there’s not an evacuation order, it’s a good idea to have supplies ready in the event of power outages.
“We’ve been fortunate,” Fontana said. “Last couple of storms we caught a break. Sandy could’ve been a lot worse.”
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