The Woonsocket Emergency Management Agency is opening an emergency shelter at Cumberland High School at 5 p.m. today, and warns the biggest threat from Hurricane Sandy will be high winds and power outages.
The storm's track is expected to put landfall in southern New Jersey on Monday, according to a release from the city EMA this afternoon.
Rain is expected to start Sunday night and continue through Tuesday. Rainfall is expected to be showery with some tropical downpours. Rainfall in Woonsocket should be on the low range of 2”-4”.
The Army Corps of Engineers will be fully staffed on Monday and will be monitoring the Blackstone River. The Army Corps will operate the pumping stations and River Falls Flood Control as needed. The storm is expected to be a low Category 1 hurricane; Woonsocket’s greatest impact will be from the winds, which could cause power outages.
Winds will be 15-25 mph on Sunday night, increasing in intensity through Monday morning to 25-40 mph with gusts to 50 mph. The greatest threat from wind is expected from noon on Monday until 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
Any city resident that self evacuates may seek shelter at the American Red Cross’s regional shelter at Cumberland High School, 2600 Mendon Road, Cumberland. The shelter will open for displaced or evacuated residents today, Sunday, at 5 p.m.
There will be accommodations for pets at the regional shelter starting Monday. The shelter will be fully staffed by volunteers from the Red Cross and will provide food and drink and cots and blankets.
Governor Lincoln D. Chaffee has declared a State of Emergency and all residents are reminded to obey police commands in regards to this storm event. The Woonsocket Education Department has canceled district wide classes for Monday. Education Department staff are NOT to report to work. WoonsocketCity Hall will be open on Monday, but any employee may take the day off using vacation, compensatory or sick leave for the day.
Emergency “kits” should include water and non-perishable food for 3 days, prescription medications for 3 days, flashlights and batteries, fully charged cellphones and fueled vehicles in case of an evacuation order. Extreme caution should be used with power supply generators; ensure that they are wired according to electrical code and that they do not “back feed” the utility system.