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State Officials Prep For Irene

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HURRICANE IRENE

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Governor Malloy is urging Connecticut residents and businesses to prepare for storms that could hit the state at the onset of the hurricane season.

Malloy issued the call Wednesday, a day before he is scheduled to receive an update on Hurricane Irene and how emergency officials are preparing for it.

Officials said Irene could cause flooding, power outages or worse as far north as Maine, even if the eye of the storm stays offshore. Hurricane-force winds were expected 50 miles from the center of the storm.

Check the website of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection for hurricane preparation tips.

State emergency officials want residents to prepare family emergency plans, listen to TV and radio for warnings from public safety officials and get hurricane kits. The kits should include water, canned food, a whistle to signal for help and other supplies.

New York City officials had begun preparations to evacuate residents from low-lying areas of the city if necessary. The city’s subway stations and tunnels would likely be flooded in places, and officials plan to shut the system down ahead of time to reduce damage to the infrastructure.

“The sense is that we’re going to be facing a strong tropical storm” with winds of 40 to 60 mph, said Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno.

Roads and bridges in Massachusetts are likely to bear the weather in good condition, said Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. But the agency is planning for flooding and is keeping an eye on the 3,000 public and private dams throughout the state.

The Office of Dam Safety regulates about half the dams in Massachusetts and earlier this year a state audit rated 100 of those owned by 62 cities and towns as unsafe or in poor condition.

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