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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rell Activates National Guard for Eastern CT Flooding

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that she has activated 150 Connecticut National Guard troops to assist towns and cities in eastern Connecticut with flood control efforts as streams and rivers continue to rise and crest over their banks.

The governor also announced she has directed the Department of Public Safety to reassign all available troopers in the field and from headquarters to eastern Connecticut to assist with road closures and other emergencies as they arise.

The governor also noted that her declaration for a state of emergency that was put in place in the wake of the March 13-14 nor’easter remains in effect.

“The relentless rain has created extremely dangerous situations, especially in eastern Connecticut. The Yantic River is expected to reach record flood levels and we are closely monitoring that situation,” Rell said.

“National Guard troops and state police will help local officials with sandbagging and will be at the ready to assist with evacuations should they be necessary.

“We are experiencing record rainfall and high-water levels in rivers and streams around Connecticut. Streets and basements are flooding and sewage treatment systems cannot keep up with the excess water.

“Those problems will likely persist for several days until the rains stop and water recedes,” Rell said.

One-hundred National Guard troops will be stationed out of the Norwich armory and 50 will be activated and stationed at Camp Rell in Niantic so that they are ready at a moment’s notice to help, Rell’s office said.

The governor has asked the Guard to begin moving water rescue equipment to southeastern Connecticut. Rell has also put the state’s Urban Search and Rescue Team on standby.

Rell has also requested that a Coast Guard rescue helicopter be stationed near the greater Norwich area should air rescue from swollen rivers be necessary.

The Connecticut State Police’s Trooper One helicopter is also standing by. The governor also ordered that all state-owned boats and vessel operators be mobilized to assist with any evacuations.

The governor said the state has a stockpile of 180,000 sandbags and directed the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to secure 300,000 more today.

Under the governor’s direction, the state’s Emergency Operations Center at the O’Neill Armory in Hartford opened at 4 a.m. today and will remain open indefinitely.

Several state agencies, including the Departments of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, have been monitoring the situation throughout the day, offering state assistance to local towns and cities.

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Posted 03/30/10 at 06:32 PM  Permalink



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