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Surge ‘wasn’t even close’ to breaching hurricane barrier in Stamford

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The highest recorded ocean level in Stamford Monday was 11 feet, with a 8.7 foot surge at 10:26 p.m., according to Ted Jankowski, the city’s director of public safety.

“The surge never breached the hurricane wall. It wasn’t even close,” Jankowski said shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday. “The hurricane wall is 17 feet, and the highest ocean level was 11 feet, so we had 6 feet to go.”

Earlier in the evening, Mayor Michael A. Pavia had ordered neighborhoods near the hurricane wall to be evacuated.

“Basically when the issue of the hurricane barrier came up in Stamford it was indicated that the hurricane barrier itself could be topped,” Pavia said Monday. “Hopefully it shouldn’t happen and we’re hoping that it doesn’t happen but we’re taking precautions in case it does.”

Pavia’s hopes seemed to come true as Sandy sailed through the area Monday afternoon and evening. There were no serious injuries reported in Stamford during the storm, according to Jankowski.

By early Tuesday morning, most of the water had receded, and Jankowski said he expected much lower water levels Tuesday.

“Tomorrow’s high tide is supposed to be 7 foot at the ocean level and a 2.3 foot surge,” he said.

But while coastal flooding will be much less severe Tuesday, Jankowski urged residents that the time for safety has not yet passed.

“We could still have high wind velocities Tuesday. When Stamford residents wake up, they should be careful of the winds and any projectiles, as well as downed trees and downed wires,” he said.

While more than half of the city was without power as of early Tuesday morning, Jankowski said there are 15 Connecticut Light & Power crews on the ground throughout the city and he expects the outage number to decrease steadily. In the mean time, there are more than 700 Stamford residents in the three shelters set up throughout the city. Stamford High School was at full occupancy Monday night with 500 people camped out there, while Rippowam Middle School had room to grow with 200 guests. There wasn’t a single person staying at Scofield Magnet Middle School, according to Jankowski.

“I think the emergency responders performed exceptionally. Most Stamford residents were prepared for this incident, and as a whole, the city did very well,” Jankowski said.

Categories: Weather
Maggie Gordon

12 Responses

  1. fuzzyturle says:

    @Secondhandrose probably doesnt care unless it impacts her.

    so to her this storm was not a big deal.

    not the case to about 8 million people in affected areas, or folks that lost their homes or their lives.

  2. angel9171 says:

    I feel lucky to have my lights etc. But my Dad had a tree fall on his just over the border in NY State 2 boys lost their lives do to a tree falling. I have family that lives on the water. People lost their homes not once but twice now. I believe that if the Governor didn’t do what he did with the highways etc. We could of had a bigger problem. My house shook for almost an hr. In Irene’s storm I didn’t even know it was that windy out. Be grateful that this wasn’t as bad as it could of been. But in each town & state the storm hit differently…

  3. To Secondhand Rose says:

    @second hand rose where do you live? most cities by the water were affected the most including manhattan. The pictures on the internet speak for itself. It seems like no one likes losing there power.

  4. Mailcarrier says:

    You may be looking out your door and things seem not so bad but I have been out in it and its very deceiving, When I woke and left for work this morning everything looked fine. I was lucky enough to still have power and there was just some minor debris in the road. I got to Ridgefield and it looked like a bomb went off. The damage is incredible, people have died in this town and to see others making light of the storm and calling it hype is like seeing them make light of the fact that lives have been devastated. Some of you people should be ashamed of yourselves, because for the grace of god it could have been you.

  5. sis abbott says:

    They kept comparing this storm to the hurricane of 1938.. the BIG difference was that at that time there was no early warning, no TV no weather station. and many people went to their attics and whole familys along with the houses were swept away. better too much Hype then none at all.

  6. eastcoasthoosier says:

    I agree with confused. I am sick of so many people and their negativity and pessimism. Here in Fairfield 97 percent are without power, dozens of houses have trees collapse on them and it’s flooded up to a mile from the shoreline. add to that the severe winds we experienced.

    I think you have been watching too many movies.. If you have nothing compassionate to say, say nothing at all. Many peoples property and lives have changed as a result of Sandy.

  7. eqpage says:

    Secondhand Rose

    It is one thing to be thought of as an idiot, it is another to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    There are people in which it was “real serious”. Some of them lost everything they owned. Thousands in damage to their homes and precious things they owned lost or destroyed.

    If you were blessed with a non event, great. Best thing to do is thank God, and instead of offering sneers, offer up help and prayers for those that were effected.

  8. Mark says:

    Secondhand Rose, you can’t judge the dangerousness of a tropical cyclone simply by it’s strength on the Saffir–Simpson scale. In fact, a lower strength (category 1) storm is generally wider (Sandy was a HUGE system), and therefore moves more water and often causes more flood damage than a stronger hurricane. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Over-reacting to a storm that turns out to do less damage is FAR better than under-reacting to a strong storm that devastates the area.

  9. BAM says:

    Obviously some people think it’s all about them. Instead of being thankful that they are safe they feel inconvenienced.

  10. roberrt says:

    over 60 percent of stamford is out of power–close to 90 percent of greenwich and darien is out of power—-so sorry the area did not completely flood to meet your storm expectations secondhand rose

  11. confused says:

    Secondhand Rose,
    I dont really understand your lack of empathy for the situation we all just endured. Lives were lost, homes were devestated, businesses shuttered. Have some compassion, or keep your miserable outlook and commentary to yourself.

  12. Secondhand Rose says:

    Another over-hyped storm. Gee, I wonder how they’ll react when a REAL SERIOUS storm shows up. For crying out loud, this hurricane was only a Category 1, and when it made landfall it wasn’t even THAT. But let’s panic the populace, by all means.