By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Region – It's not certain exactly where Irene will be concentrating her energies the most yet this weekend but by all accounts, she will be here and she will cause some havoc. Local towns are urging residents to be prepared for everything from power outages, downed trees and possible flooding from the expected heavy rains. Several communities have also already announced plans for shelters in case residents find themselves in an unsafe situation at their home.
Here's a recap of announced plans the Community Advocate has received so far –
Marlborough –The city will be opening an emergency shelter at the Kane Elementary School located at 520 Farm Road beginning at 8:00 p.m. Saturday evening, August 27. Officials are requesting that residents choosing to use the shelter should come prepared with any individual requirements such as medications, special dietary needs, bedding, and self-care items.
“It is important to note that heavy rain could lead to potential flooding, especially in low-lying areas of the city. Similarly, sustained winds could knock down trees and branches, causing potential power outages and other public safety concerns,” Don Cusson, Director of Emergency Management for the City of Marlborough, said. “We encourage residents to take some basic steps to remain safe and secure in the event of an emergency.”
The city's website is http://www.marlborough-ma.gov.
Hudson – Town officials will be posting public notices regarding any hurricane-related news on the town's website page, www.townofhudson.org , leading up to and throughout the storm. Residents may sign up to receive email notification of these announcements on the bottom right of the home page by clicking on the link entitled “Email Subscriber” and then follow the indicated directions. Residents should select the “News and Announcements” check box when signing up.
If the town decides to open a shelter, that news will be posted on the town's website, as well as being relayed to residents via the reverse 911 telephone system. If a shelter is opened, it will be located at the C.A. Farley School, 119 Cottage St.
Shrewsbury – Residents are asked to call 508-841-8500 to report power outages or downed power lines. Outage updates can be found online at www.twitter.com/selconews or residents can receive outage updates via text messaging by texting “follow SELCOnews” to 40404. Town of Shrewsbury storm notices will be posted to the Town of Shrewsbury website (www.shrewsburyma.gov) and to channel 26.
Westborough – The town has announced that if necessary, the Westborough High School's gymnasium, 145 West Main St., will be opened as a shelter. Check the town's website for future details, http://www.town.westborough.ma.us.
Northborough – The town has not yet announced any plans for shelters but does have valuable information regarding emergency planning on their website, http://www.town.northborough.ma.us.
Southborough – Southborough has also not yet announced any plans for opening emergency shelters but residents may want to periodically review the town's website http://www.southboroughtown.com/ for any new updates.