Posted by: Public Affairs
Hartford, Conn., August 29, 2011 --FEMA Federal Cooridinating Officer Gary Stanley (blue jacket) responds to a question during a meeting with Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, as part of the ongoing collaboration between federal, state, local and tribal officials following Irene.
Even though Tropical Storm Irene has dissipated, the inland flooding that it has left in its wake still poses a very real and immediate threat. There are many areas where inland flooding may yet occur or worsen, don’t put yourself at risk; follow the instructions of local officials. In some areas rivers have not crested yet. Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack will visit North Carolina, while Administrator Fugate will go to Vermont to meet with state and local officials and survey damages of the ongoing effects from Irene.
Yesterday, President Obama declared a federal emergency in Vermont due to the flooding, allowing the federal government to provide additional assistance in supporting the state’s response efforts. The state has also requested a Urban Search and Rescue team to support ongoing life saving actions, and Massachusetts Task Force -1 is currently in Vermont. We are also closely monitoring potential flooding in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
As we often say at FEMA, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergencies is a team effort – and we commend the efforts of emergency responders, voluntary and faith-based organizations who continue to work tirelessly to meet the immediate needs of those impacted by Irene.
If you’re in an area that is experiencing flooding, listen to direction given by local officials regarding evacuations and wait to return home safely until they give the “all clear”. For additional tips, see this previous blog post with tips on staying safe during and after a flood.
Significant power outages are also being reported across the area affected by Irene, and the Department of Energy continues to support the federal family’s efforts to support critical infrastructure in response to Irene’s impacts. If you are experiencing power outages, contact your local utility company to report the outage.
The entire federal family continues to lean forward to support the states in their ongoing response efforts as they work to save lives, and we will continue to provide updates on our blog as our role continues.