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Friday, September 19, 2003

Hurricane Watch: Watch and Wait

Hurricane Watch: Extra Personnel on Hand for Overnight Duty
Westports emergency management team met today to review the progress of Hurricane Isabel and ordered extra personnel on duty during the overnight hours tonight and early Friday just in case.

ғWell have extra manpower on hand to be sure we can respond rapidly to any emergency,Ҕ said Fire Chief Denis McCarthy. We think itӒs going to be more like an ordinary storm, but were taking no chances.Ҕ

McCarthy told WestportNow he has been in touch with National Weather Service representatives in Upton, N.Y. and they told him to generally expect winds in the 35 mile per hour range although there may be higher isolated gusts.

Local forecasters also warned of the increased danger of tornadoes during the day Friday.

The fire official said Connecticut Light and Power representative Chris Swan told him CL&Ps ғwar room would be open as of 5 a.m. Friday.  He said the utility has assured local officials they will be able to respond promptly to any outages.

Weather stations at the Longshore Sailing School and Bedford Middle School reported wind gusts up to 34 miles per hour during the day and this evening.

Just before 11 p.m., police and fire units responded to a call of a tree and wires down on Church Street South off Post Road East. The winds gained strength throughout the evening.

Dozens of Westporters visited Compo Beach tonight to watch the waves and experience the winds. Several young girls jumped into the waves as other beachgoers watched in almost a party-like atmosphere.

Earlier, the increased winds made for good surfing weather at Compo where several people were out on surf boards and windsurfers.

The National Weather Service issued an updated wind advisory issued shortly after 11 p.m.

“Tropical Storm Isabel will continue to move toward the northwest, passing over Virginia overnight and across western Pennsylvania and the eastern Great Lakes during Friday as it turns a bit more toward the north,” the advisory said.

“Elsewhere a strong high pressure system over northern New England will drift eastward. The pressure difference between these two systems has generated some very strong winds across our region.

“Although the east winds have slackened off a bit during the past couple of hours, sustained winds are expected to increase again to between 30 and 35 mph. Gusts between 40 and nearly 50 mph remain possible overnight into Friday morning.

“The winds will become southeast later tonight and south on Friday as they gradually diminish.

“These persistent and strong winds may down tree limbs and cause scattered power outages. Motorists in high profile vehicles should use caution, especially on bridges and overpasses, until the winds subside.”

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Posted 09/19/03 at 02:15 AM  Permalink



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