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City Preparing for Tropical Storm Henri

For Immediate Release: 8/20/2021 12:39 pm

As Tropical Storm Henri moves north with an anticipated landfall in Southeastern Massachusetts sometime Sunday afternoon, the Department of Public Works & Parks, along with Emergency Management and the City Manager’s Office, are taking proactive measures to ensure safety among Worcester residents. The storm is expected to arrive Sunday afternoon and last through most of Monday, but be aware that this is only a predication and the path of the storm may change at any time.

Among safety measures being taken in anticipation of the storm are the following:

• Barricades are being placed in known low lying areas prone to flash flooding for quicker street closure response
• MassDOT will have crews standing by to monitor state roadways
• All forestry trucks and other equipment being fully fueled and outfitted for emergency response, additional crews on standby
• Catch basins and culverts/brooks are being cleaned and cleared of any existing debris to assist with storm water run off
• Increased interdepartmental communication with Emergency Communications/Dispatch and DPW&P for quicker response to stranded motor vehicles and downed trees/debris
• Potential to activate Emergency Operations Center (EOC) if conditions warrant
Motorists are urged to stay off the road during periods of potential inundation and flooding. For those that must be on the road, they should be aware of the potential for manhole covers to become dislodged due to water pressure, which can be extremely dangerous upon impact as well as leaving an uncovered surface in the road. Motorists should never risk driving through pools of storm water, the depth of which is often deceiving. It doesn’t take much for a motor vehicle to get carried away; even the bigger and sturdier trucks and SUV’s can be vulnerable with hurricane force winds and pooling storm water.

If storm conditions follow the current forecast trends, there is a high likelihood that trash and recycling collection will be suspended on Monday and other facility operations could be impacted, such as yard waste/recycling drop off centers, aquatics, etc.

In addition to flash flooding, there is a concern for high winds in Worcester County. Residents should prepare by having an emergency kit and generators ready and bring light/loose items indoors.

Residents should report downed trees and debris to (508) 799-8606 or (508) 929-1300. Downed power lines and outages should be reported to National Grid at (800) 322-3223. In an emergency, residents are advised to call 911.

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