Looking ahead at what may come, Bristol’s department of public works is prepared to assist fire and rescue by clearing any downed tree limbs in roadway. In the aftermath of the storm, the DPW will also focus on removing other storm debris that impedes residents’ travel. In order to do that, the plan is to suspend trash pick-up for the first part of the week.
“There will be no trash pick-up Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” said Jim Galuska, DPW director.
Residents are asked to hold their trash and recycling until the following week’s scheduled trash day.
Expecting the worst from Hurricane Sandy, town officials took preemptive steps to minimize the impact of what might come, coordinate efforts for those hours during the storm, and set the stage for quick and efficient clean-up after the storm subsides.
And while the total impact of the storm is unknown, based on past storms of this kind, town officials need residents to be prepared.
“There’s going to be flooding, that’s for sure,” said Fire Chief Bob Martin.
Bristol Town Administrator Diane Mederos met with the town’s department heads and town council leadership, on Friday and Saturday, and will meet again on Sunday to ensure that all emergency management systems are in place and coordinated.
As with tropical storm Irene, this storm will arrive during a full moon, which results in exceptionally high tides. In addition, forecasters said the storm is slow moving, which could mean it will hover over the area for two tide cycles.
“We’re on top of it and ready to go,” Chief Martin said.
During the latter part of the week, DPW crews cleared leaves from catch basins to allow for water run-off. They also filled hundreds of sandbags that are given to resident for free so they can protect themselves from rising waters.
“We filled about 100 bags,” DPW director, Jim Galuska said on Friday.
By Saturday they were gone and another 200 were filled and ready for residents to pick up.
Harbormaster Joe Cabral inspected moorings in Bristol Harbor to ensure that boaters who didn’t pull their boats from the water were fastened securely to withstand the storm.
“My main concern is the boats on the docks,” Mr. Cabral said on Friday.
On Saturday, local marinas and public boat ramps were busy hauling boats from the harbor.
In a worst case scenario, said Chief Martin, Bristol and its residents will have to rely on themselves for 72 hours.
“If we get to the worst case, those 72 hours are on us,” he said.
If necessary, Franklin Court, 150 Franklin St., will be used as an emergency shelter.
As part of storm preparation, residents should:
Be sure prescription medications are filled
If evacuation is necessary, be sure to bring medications with you
Have enough food, water, batteries, and other supplies to last 72 hours
Full charge electronic communication devices, such as cell phones, etc.
Ensure that pets have enough food and water and are evacuated with their owners, if necessary
“I don’t want people to alarmed, but I do want them to be prepared,” said Ms. Mederos. “(Tropical storm) Irene was good practice.
“We’re going to have some tidal issue,” Mr. Galuska said.