The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane watch for various parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, including Northern Westchester, as Hurricane Irene makes its way towards the East Coast.
According to the alert, the storm could hit the area tomorrow night. “The worst conditions are likely late Saturday night into Sunday afternoon with increasing potential for damaging winds…flooding rains…and signficant coastal flooding across much of the region.”
In Bedford, the NWS forecast for Saturday night calls for a 100 percent chance of rain, with accumulations of about two to three inches and winds hitting as much as 46 mph. On Sunday, the chance of rain stays at 100 percent, with “tropical storm conditions possible.”
Bedford Police Chief Williams Hayes says they are “reviewing all of our procedures and plans” and working together with the other town departments to ensure preparedness.
He urged residents to sign up for the recently reinstated Nixle alerts so as to receive notifications via text or email from the department with updates on road closures, accidents and more. You can sign up for the alerts by going to the town website or at www.nixle.com.
Officials from the town supervisor’s office says that if the situation is warranted, the Bedford Hills Community House would be opened in case of emergency. The public will be notified of this from the radio and updates posted on the town’s website.
Bill Heidepriem, the superintendent of parks and recreation for the town says the department has been hard at work preparing for the storm, clearing catch basins, putting away trash bins and taking various other measures to try and lessen the damage.
As of now, the pools will likely be open for at least part of the day on Saturday, according to Heidepriem. He says that they’ll be monitoring the situation throughout the day and then determine whether or not to close the pools. They will likely be closed on Sunday, he said.
As for the parks, they’re open as well, although Heidepriem noted that if necessary, the department would “barricade park access roads.”
The American Red Cross also issued a “safety and prepardness checkist,” which can be found here and Westchester County is updating their website regularly with information on closures, outages and more, which can be found here.