Thursday, August 25, 2011

Somerville Prepares for Potential Impact of Hurricane Irene

Preparations underway for potential flooding, wind damage; City crews on call all weekend
Based on current predictions for the track of Hurricane Irene, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone has ordered storm preparations and is reminding all residents of necessary precautions in advance of the storm, which is packing unusually powerful winds and heavy downpours. Department of Public Works staff began storm preparations earlier today, clearing catch basins and storm drains throughout the City, with a particular focus on those areas that experienced significant flooding in past storms .

In addition, sand bags will be installed at the Public Safety Building, Capuano Early Childhood Education Center, and several other municipal buildings on Friday in anticipation of potential flooding. Hanging plants and other items at risk in high winds will also be removed throughout the City on Friday. Additional public safety staff will be on call beginning on Saturday and lasting for the duration of the storm, if necessary. Additional precautions will be taken as necessary as City officials continue to monitor the storm’s track northward.

“As with any potentially damaging weather event, we are taking every action with the assumption that the storm will make a direct hit in our area, and leaving no stone unturned in terms of securing our City for high winds and up to 10 inches of rain,” said Mayor Curtatone. “As we witnessed last summer, flash flooding can create major hazards in many parts of our city and with very little warning, We are moving immediately to secure these areas, particularly as this storm is likely to be both intense and sustained.”

“I also strongly urge all residents to take preventive measures in their own homes.. Stock up on food, water, and batteries, secure your windows and outdoor belongings, and have a plan in place in case of loss of power outages, structural or other hazards,” Mayor Curtatone added. “As this storm develops, we will continue to monitor the situation and keep residents apprised of our plans and precautions, but preparation is key in each and every household.”

Residents are also urged to check on elderly or disabled family members, friends, or neighbors who may require additional assistance during the storm this weekend. Important information will be maintained and updated on the City’s website,, throughout the weekend, however residents with emergencies are reminded to call 9-1-1 immediately. 311 may be used for non-emergency inquiries, but you should be reminded that phone lines may be busy and we encourage residents to use discretion for inquiries. Residents are advised to limit cell phone use as much as possible, as this may interfere with safety personnel needing to access phone lines.

If necessary due to extensive or prolonged power outages or flooding rains, shelters will be made available, however a determination will not be made until the storm’s track is confirmed, however it is advised that residents be prepared to shelter in your own home by following guidance available at Additional announcements will be made via Connect CTY and public safety officials.

If you have questions, please refer to the City website for updates:

If you have not yet signed up for CTY alerts, we urge you to do so by calling 311.

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