October 28, 2012

Sandy shuts down Bristol schools for two days

Bristol schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday.
Superintendent Ellen Solek decided Sunday morning that forecasts justified the closure of the schools for two days.
The city plans to open its emergency shelter at Chippens Hill Middle School at noon Monday.
Mayor Art Ward said Sunday that he intends to open an emergency operations center at 9 a.m. Monday to coordinate Bristol's response to Hurricane Sandy. The shelter would open three hours later, he said.
Ward said that he expects heavy winds to start Sunday night and to see a prolonged storm during the next couple of days that could bring power outages, flooding and other woes.
Chippens Hill Middle School
Ward said that plans could shift if there is new information about the storm. He said city crews are getting ready to cope with the problems they anticipate after seeing what happened during several major storms a year, including the pre-Halloween snowstorm that knocked out power for many residents for as long as a week and a half.
Ward said one thing he won't do this year is declare Halloween cancelled.
If that happens, he said, it's going to be Solek's call. It's a school night after all, the mayor said.
Anyone who thinks they may need to use the city's emergency shelter should make preparations ahead of time.
If it's possible, bring clothing, bedding, sanitary supplies and other necessities. It's especially important to bring medications, oxygen and other critical health-related supplies that are not available at the shelter, officials said. The shelter will have cots, food and water. 
The city's backup shelter, at the Beals Senior-Community Center on Stafford Avenue, is not available this month because of ongoing construction there. Only Chippens Hill Middle School is ready to handle residents seeking shelter.
One thing that officials hope people will do to help themselves is to clear leaves and debris from storm drains. That will allow storm water to flow off the roads and prevent some flooding and keep streets open that might otherwise be unavailable.
They also urge residents to check on elderly and frail neighbors if the storm gets bad. They may need help.

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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