As forecasters plot the course of Hurricane Sandy, local and statewide emergency management officials in Vermont are watching and mobilizing for a potentially dangerous storm.
State officials gathered late Friday afternoon at the Vermont Emergency Operations Center in Waterbury. They said there’s still a good bit of uncertainty about the path of the storm, but they’re confident about one thing – this won’t be another Irene.
"I can’t stress enough that this is not going to be a repeat of Irene in regard to the quickness of it and I certainly don’t anticipate from the models that we have now that we’re gong to have the amount of rain we had when we had Irene," says Keith Flynn, Commissioner of the Department Of Public Safety.
While there are still concerns about flooding, it seems more likely that the storm will bring high winds and accompanying power outages. Scott Rogers of the Agency Of Transportation says crews are prepared.
"Chain saws are sharpened. We’re ready to cut trees. So if we get the high winds we’ll be ready," he says.
Meanwhile communities continue to follow the storm and prepare.
Jim Baraw is Emergency Management Director in Northfield, which was hard hit by Tropical Storm Irene.
Baraw says the town is preparing for a worst case scenario, which means bracing for another flood. He says Northfield residents in threatened areas are making their own preparations.
"We’ve already heard reports of people thinking about sandbagging certain areas that were a problem last time," Baraw explains. "I’ve had a couple of people say that the night of the storm they’re going to a hotel, they’re going to this weekend move everything off the lower levels of their house."
Northfield will open an Emergency Operations Center Monday morning.
State officials say they’re aware that memories of Irene might make many Vermonters anxious about the coming storm. While this one will be different and unlikely to bring devastating flooding, its still important to be prepared.