Hurricane Irene is heading straight for New England. That means you should get prepared for the worst in Barrington even though the exact landfall is not known yet.
What you should know is where you live. When and where the hurricane sweeps over Rhode Island will determine the potential damage. If it’s a low tide, that’s good. If it’s a high tide, that’s bad.
A high tide could mean you will have to evacuate. Check with local officials to determine if you are in a low-lying area, such as Hampden Meadows, Bay Spring, and Mathewson Road, if you don’t know. A storm surge would push water much farther inland, meaning you could be in danger if you live in a low-lying area.
High tides are scheduled for 7:44 am and 8:05 pm in Barrington on Sunday, according to Rhode Island Harbors. Low tides are scheduled for 1:07 am and 1:08 pm. See the tide charts for yourself by clicking here.
Shelters will be opened as needed at Primrose Hill school and the Martin school in Seekonk. Each of those Red Cross-approved shelters has a generator to provide power if electrical lines come down.
As of Thursday morning, the exact time and location of Hurricane Irene’s landfall was unknown. But most of the major weather trackers, such as the National Hurricane Center and the Weather Channel, are all predicting that Irene will arrive sometime Sunday and hammer the region until Monday morning.
Follow the instructions below from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, the dealth department or go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the National Hurricane Center operated by the National Weather Service to get prepared.
When a hurricane watch or warning is issued:
- Follow hurricane progress reports from the National Weather Service or other storm trackers, such as the Weather Channel and local TV stations.
- Store drinking water in clean jugs, bottles, or in your bathtub
- Store or secure lawn furniture and other outside objects that can be blown away or that might shatter windows.
- Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container.
- Protect all windows with shutters or precut plywood.
- Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings, unless instructed by officials to turn off utilities.
- Fill your car's gas tank. (Gas pumps are electric.)
- Review evacuation routes and gather emergency supplies you would need if you have to evacuate.
- Evacuate safely, if ordered to do so.
After a hurricane passes through:
- Return home only after officials say it is safe to do so.
- Beware of downed or loose power lines. Report them immediately to the power company, police department, or fire department.
- Enter your home with caution.
- Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, quickly leave the building and leave the doors open. Call the gas company. (Do not use candles or open flames until you verify that it is safe.)
- Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or frayed wires, turn off electricity at the main fuse box. If there is standing water around your electrical box, call an electrician.
- If you suspect there is sewer or water line damage, call the water supplier.
- If a Boil Water Advisory has been issued for your water system, do not drink o rprepare food with tap water until notified it is safe to do so.
- Clean and dry out your home if there has been flooding.
- Take pictures of the damage for insurance claims and contact your insurance agent.