Bristol-Warren schools closed Monday

Bristol-Warren schools will be closed on Monday in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.

That information was delivered by chief of police, Josue Canario, after meeting with superintendent of schools, Melinda Thies.

Chief Canario said that families will be notified via the Connect-Ed telephone system, as well as announcements through the news media.

At a mid-day meeting with Bristol town officials, Town Administrator Diane Mederos signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for the town of Bristol, effective Oct. 29. With that, Ms. Mederos also signed a mandatory evacuation notice. Residents in low lying areas are being contacted by members of the police and fire departments as of this post, advising them to leave the area by 6 a.m. on Monday. Those residents are requested to find shelter with family and friends prior to the 6 a.m. deadline.

The town’s emergency shelter at 150 Franklin St. will open at 7 a.m. Monday, allowign displaced residents a location away from hazardous conditions.

The mandatory evacuation notice includes a warning that applies to residents in all areas of Bristol: “Hurricane Sandy is a large and dangerous storm with severe flooding conditions expected due to a projected hazardous storm surge. People must understand that until the storm is over, potentially twenty-four hours or more, emergency services will not be available to people that fail to evacuate.”

Earlier in the day, Governot Lincoln Chafee held a tele-conference with RI’s mayors in coastal communities, Ms. Mederos said. The governor then declared a state of emergency for RI.

With the evacuation notice to target neighborhoods, Chief Canario offered additional advice.

“We highly recommend that you leave tonight to get where you need to be by 6 a.m.,” he said.

Rhode Island State Police will post troopers on both sides of Mt. Hope bridge in case winds reach sufficient speeds to necessitate closing the bridge. That decision will be made by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority.

“People shouldn’t be on the road, that’s the main thing,” Ms. Mederos said.

Due to the state of emergency, the citizens of Bristol are being asked to stay indoors and off the streets and public ways util the state of emergency is lifted.

Chief Canario emphasized the importance that people be mindful of any downed power lines, as well as manholes where covers could become dislodged.

The town administrator also recommended that, despite this being an election season, political signs that could become dislodged and blown away in high winds should be removed.

“I would love to see everyone take them down before the storm,” she said.

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