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UPDATED: Hurricane Irene

National Weather Service predicting strongest gusts in Providence could be between 2pm and 3pm. Another storm surge is also expected around 7pm.

Tropical Storm Warning • Flood Warning

August 26th Update from the City of Providence

Residents Advised to Take Precautions Against Hurricane Irene

Serious storm likely to cause flooding and power outages across Providence

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras and Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Peter T. Gaynor are advising Providence residents to prepare for the Sunday morning landfall of Hurricane Irene. Irene is a major storm with the potential to cause serious flooding, wind damage and extended power outages.

The Mayor urges all residents to take the necessary steps to secure their property, prepare for the storm, and have on-hand necessary supplies to weather the storm and extended power outages.

Residents should prepare today by making sure they have plenty of bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights, a hand crank radio, medications, pet food, and other essential items (see below for more information).

Flooding

Rain will begin in the area on Saturday night. Current forecasts predict that Irene will be a Category 1 or 2 Hurricane when it makes landfall in Rhode Island, with sustained winds of 45 to 75 miles per hour. We expect 5-10 inches of rain depending on how the storm tracks.

City officials are very concerned about flooding from the storm’s surge. Storm arrival corresponds with very high tides already increased because of the phase of the moon. City officials are carefully evaluating the track of the storm and will keep residents in affected areas updated over the next 24 hours. Evacuations are possible in flood-prone areas. Residents should follow news closely and be prepared to receive instructions from PEMA about possible evacuations.

Wind

Expect high winds. Property owners must take precautions in advance of this storm. Secure lawn furniture, trash cans and other outdoor items. Clean up yard debris and look for objects that could become dangerous projectiles if airborne.

The Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island has helpful hints to help property owners prepare for a storm, protect one’s home and property, and provide instructions for reporting your loss should one occur. We strongly encourage all property owners to review this check list: http://cityof.providenceri.com/PEMA/an-insurers-guide-to-protecting-your-home-and

Shelters

The City currently plans to open two shelters beginning on Sunday morning. They are:

The Department of Public Works has stockpiled sandbags and crews are checking storm drains to ensure that they are clear of debris. Officials will also closely monitor areas prone to flooding and work closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for operating the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier. It is expected that the barrier will be closed on Saturday in advance of the storm.

In the event of an imminent threat, PEMA also has the ability to activate its Reverse 911 system to quickly contact residents by phone and inform them of the steps they should take.

Trash

TRASH PICK UP WILL BE DELAYED ONE DAY. RESIDENTS SHOULD NOT PUT CANS OR BINS OUTSIDE ON SUNDAY NIGHT.

Schools

City and school officials are monitoring the storm closely to determine if storm effects may affect the opening of schools. Updates will be provided as necessary.

What To Do Now

The City will continue to update residents over the next 24 hours.

Residents are encouraged to monitor news broadcasts for up-to-date storm information, and to take the following steps to ensure they are prepared for the first 72 hours:

Create an emergency kit

  • 72-hour supply of water (at least 3 gallons per person for drinking and sanitation) and non-perishable food
  • First Aid kit
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio
  • Flashlight and plenty of batteries (avoid using candles)
  • A supply of essential medicines
  • Warm blanket or sleeping bag for each person
  • Extra clothing
  • Gas in cars
  • Cash for emergencies
  • Pet food
  • Books, puzzles, games or other activities for children

Create a family plan

  • Make sure everyone knows where to find the emergency supply kit
  • Determine the best escape route for your home
  • Plan where to meet if family members are separated or if your home becomes unsafe
  • Designate an out-of-area person as the contact person for and family members
  • Duplicate important documents like insurance information and social security cards and keep them off site

Residents with questions can call 401-421-2489.

RIPTA

RIPTA’s bus waiting room will be closed at the Pawtucket Transit Center on Saturday, Sunday, and possibly Monday due to Hurricane Irene. In addition, RIPTA’s bus waiting room at the Newport Gateway Center will be closed on Sunday.

How to prepare/what to expect

(from PEMA)

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for up-to-date storm information.
  • Prepare to bring inside any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, and anything else that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If shutters have not been installed, use precut plywood as described above. Note: Tape does not prevent windows from breaking, so taping windows is not recommended.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Recheck manufactured home tie-downs.
  • Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water, and medications.
  • Listen to the advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so.
  • Complete preparation activities.
  • If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows.
  • Be aware that the calm “eye” is deceptive; the storm is not over. The worst part of the storm will happen once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by the first winds can be broken or destroyed by the second winds.
  • Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen during a hurricane and after it passes over. Remain indoors, in the center of your home, in a closet or bathroom without windows.
  • Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground.
  • Keep listening to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for instructions.
  • If you evacuated, return home when local officials tell you it is safe to do so.
  • Inspect your home for damage.
  • Use flashlights in the dark; do not use candles.

Basic Disaster Kit Supplies

(from FEMA)

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Three-day supply of water – one gallon of water per person, per day.
  • Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit and manual.
  • Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
  • Matches and waterproof container.
  • Whistle.
  • Extra clothing.
  • Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
  • Photocopies of credit and identification cards.
  • Cash and coins.
  • Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries.
  • Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
  • Other items to meet your unique family needs.

Evacuation/Shelters

Social Media/Blogs

Share your photos

Though of course the priority is to stay safe… If you were to get some photos of the storm and its aftermath, we want you to share them with us.

Share your photos in our Flickr Group, on our Facebook Page, or via email. We’ll be posting photos on our site.

To be updated as more information is available.

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3 Responses to UPDATED: Hurricane Irene

  1. Jack August 26, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    That’s great it starts with an (Tuesdays) earthquake…………

  2. Jef Nickerson August 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Update from the City:

    Irene Recovery Efforts Underway

    Citizens are urged to avoid downed power lines and take all safety precautions in wake of storm

    PROVIDENCE, RI – Irene moved through Providence this morning and early afternoon as a strong and especially large tropical storm. No serious injuries have been reported in Providence.

    Rain is tapering off in Providence. Strong, potentially damaging gusts are still likely until mid-evening, gradually tapering off after 9-10PM. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by the first winds can be broken or destroyed by the second winds.

    A 3 to 6-foot surge is expected on Narragansett Bay this evening at about 7PM on the incoming evening high tide. Moderate flooding is possible in Fox Point and other low-lying areas.

    Citizens are urged to stay away from the India Point Park area, near the Shooters site, because of flying debris and unsafe conditions.

    City officials are reporting significant damage throughout Providence. Many roads are blocked, with downed power lines, trees and branches, and localized flooding throughout the city. More than 300 calls have come in to the City for assistance with trees and branches. Please avoid road travel if possible until crews can clear large trees from roadways. Hazards are likely to exist for some time; motorists should exercise extreme caution.

    Emergency response crews have been deployed throughout the city, and the Providence Fire Department is opening roads with ladder trucks and chainsaws.

    Do not touch any downed utility lines and stay away from fallen trees. Downed utility wires should be reported to the Fire Department at 274-3344.

    Citizens are also urged to stay away from the Hurricane Barrier – dangerous waves and gusting winds will continue throughout the day and into the late evening. Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way.

    City officials are working closely with National Grid to restore service throughout the city. National Grid is working to restore power to more than 12,700 households in Providence as quickly as possible. Power outages can be reported to National Grid at 1-800-322-3223.

    Please also call the Office of Neighborhood Services at 421-2489 if you need assistance recovering from the storm. As always, in the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

    Officials are advising residents of the following safety precautions:

    AFTER THE HURRICANE

    • Stay Informed – Use a radio for weather information and other public announcements.
    • Use Flashlights – Avoid using candles if possible.
    • Downed Power Lines – Watch for downed power lines. Don’t take any chances, assume all lines are live.
    • Avoid Flood Waters – Especially when driving.
    • Beware of Spoiled and Contaminated Food and Water – Identify and throw away food that may not be safe to eat. Do not assume tap water is safe to drink, stay informed.

    PARKING BAN
    A citywide parking ban remains in effect from until MIDNIGHT Sunday, August 28. For public safety purposes, cars in violation of the citywide parking ban will be ticketed and towed.

    TRASH
    TRASH PICK UP IS DELAYED ONE DAY. RESIDENTS SHOULD NOT PUT CANS OR BINS OUTSIDE TONIGHT.

    SCHOOL
    Reminder that the first day of school for Providence has been moved to Wednesday.

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