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Low-Lying Greenwich Areas Should Brace for Floods

With heavy rain expected through Friday morning, residents living in low-lying areas near streams and rivers in Greenwich need to be prepared for the possibility of floods.

"If flooding does occur we will communicate with residents as soon as possible, and the Department of Emergency Preparedness will be at the ready," said Denise Savageau, director of the town Conservation Commission.

A flood watch is in effect Thursday and into Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The approaching storm has the potential to bring 3 to 5 inches of rain to Greenwich. With past rainfalls and snow melt, rivers and streams are at high levels and have the potential to flood. If forecasted conditions change, the town may send a recorded message via the Reverse 911 emergency information system.

"We'll be monitoring road closures and giving notification if there's any kind of emergency," said Lt. Kraig Gray, spokesman for the police department. "Any kind of rescue effort will be left to the fire department."

Here are some tips from the Greenwich Department of Health for staying safe during the storm:

• Emergency supplies to have on hand include candles, flashlights and battery-powered radios; first aid items: bandages, blankets, First Aid handbook and all special medicines; a supply of non-perishable goods that require no cooking or refrigeration and a can opener; a minimum of one-gallon of water per person a day; materials such as wire, rope, chlorine disinfectant, fire extinguishers, extra blankets, lumber and sandbags.

• If your home or workplace is flooding, turn off the furnace and gas valve at the appliance. Never handle energized electrical equipment in wet areas. If your meter goes under water, shut off the gas valves and all appliances.

• Water may be unsanitary, could be fast running or power lines could be down, so never try to cross a flooded area on foot. If you’re driving, avoid driving through floodwaters because fast water could potentially sweep your car away. If you are caught in fast-rising waters and your car stalls, leave it.

• Never allow children to play in floodwaters, which are considered contaminated. If your home floods, make sure to clean all clothing, curtains and bedding along with furniture and floors with hot, soapy water. Wait until floodwaters are below basement level before trying to drain or pump the basement.

• Private wells that have been flooded must be disinfected and sampled before use, so drink bottled water. Well disinfection procedures are available by contacting the Department of Health’s Division of Environmental Services at 203-622-7838.

Keep these non-emergency phone numbers handy in case of flooding:

• Town of Greenwich: 203-622-7700

• Greenwich Fire Department non-emergency: 203-622-3950

• Greenwich Police Department non-emergency: 203-622-8003

• Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Service: 800-379-7700

• Department of Parks and Recreation Tree Division: 203-622-7824

• Greenwich chapter of the American Red Cross: 203-869-8444

Check back with TheDailyGreenwich.com for storm and flooding updates.

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