Islanders brace for Hurricane Irene
The sun was shining Friday as Jamestowners prepared for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, a major storm expected to hit Rhode Island on Sunday.
Jamestown Finance Director Christina Collins said Friday morning that town officials were doing everything possible to make sure that the island was ready for the hurricane.
Collins is supervising the town’s hurricane preparation while Town Administrator Bruce Keiser in on vacation.
The mandatory evacuation of Ft. Getty campground was ordered on Thursday afternoon, Collins said. Campers have been asked to remove their recreational vehicles no later than noon on Saturday, she added.
According to the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center, Jamestown was under a “hurricane watch” as of Friday morning.
Collins said town officials would decide Friday afternoon when to open the emergency shelter at Melrose Avenue School. The Lawn Avenue School has been designated as the town’s emergency pet shelter.
Collins also said the town was taking precautions to make sure that the police and fire departments were prepared for the storm and its aftermath. The town also has water buffalo ready to deliver non-potable water if needed.
The workers were busy at the town four boatyards on Thursday and Friday hauling boats in preparation of the storm.
The town’s official Hurricane and Evacuation Plan lists the following as potential flood zones:
• Ft. Getty campground
• East Shore Road near the Newport Pell Bridge
• Seaside Drive
• Sheffield Cove and West Ferry
• Low-lying areas of the Dumplings
• Waterfront properties on Beavertail
“Most major storms results in the flooding of the town beach and road at Mackerel Cove. All areas west of Mackerel Cove, from Ft. Getty to Beavertail, are likely to be cut off until the water recedes and any debris has been cleared away,” the plan states.
Collins urged island residents to prepare their homes and boats for the storm.
The town’s hurricane plan advises islanders to do the following to prepare for a hurricane:
• Clear your yard of all loose objects.
• Fill any prescriptions, fuel vehicles and purchase any food and emergency supplies.
• Board or tape vulnerable window.
• If you are in a possible evacuation zone, assemble items you will need to take with you.
• Haul or secure boats and moorings.
• If you expect to be evacuated or intend to leave your home, let family or friends know that you are leaving and how to contact you.
• Check media reports and weather warnings every few hours.