NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Melanie McGuire was starting to worry a little as she heard the news about Hurricane Sandy approaching New Canaan and the rest of Connecticut.
While she shopped at Weed & Duryea on Thursday, McGuire remembered how her home was without power for eight days after Hurricane Irene hit in August 2011.
She moved to New Canaan shortly before Irene hit town, and she’s hopeful there won’t be a repeat. She has some supplies ready, including a halogen lamp and a generator. “I will come back over the weekend,” McGuire said. “I’m hoping it won’t be a big storm.”
The specter of a major storm has alarmed some residents, said Barry Coleman, retail manager at New Canaan’s only hardware store. He’s expecting people to visit the store to get storm supplies this weekend. “People are getting stuff now. We’ve got a flood of lanterns, flashlights and batteries,” he said. Coleman said he’s also received about 10 calls from people asking about generators.
The town’s Emergency Operations Center will be set up by Friday at the New Canaan Police Department, First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III said, but it will not be activated until officials know more about how the storm will affect the town. “We want to make sure it’s functioning,” Mallozzi said. “We’ve seen this before. We have a good and thorough idea of what to do.”
Michael Handler, the town’s emergency management director, will make the call on activating the emergency center, Mallozzi said. Town officials have been in contact with Connecticut Light & Power and the Community Emergency Response Team, a corps of volunteers that help emergency responders.
So far, no town services or events for the weekend have been affected, the first selectman said.