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Update: New Rochelle Prepares for Storm

Hurricane Sandy could be a major storm with heavy impacts on the Sound Shore.

9 a.m., Oct. 27, 2012: Sandy had been downgraded to a tropical storm, but its winds intensified and it has been upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane again.

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New Rochelle, and the rest of the east coast, is bracing for what could be devastating storm.

Hurricane Sandy has already caused deaths in the Caribbean and forecasters say the now Category 1 storm could make landfall early Tuesday morning in New Jersey.

The New Rochelle Public Works Commissioner Alexander Tergis said his crews have been making sure catch basins are cleared and are removing as many leaves as possible.

"The prediction is the rain is not going to be the biggest factor," he said. "That is good news.

"The bad news is we are looking at extremely high tides," Tergis said.

City crews have opened up all the valves on lakes and ponds so they can take on more water hoping to reduce flooding.

Tergis said crews are moving vehicles and equipment out of low-lying areas so they won't be compromised by flooding.

Assistant City Manager Omar Small said the city has been monitoring the storm, communicating with various agencies and now is in waiting mode.

"The thing about a hurricane is that it gives you plenty of time to get ready," he said, adding that residents should themselves start preparing. One resource for emergency preparations can be found on the city's Web site.

New Rochelle firefighters have been preparing for the possibility of bad weather, according to a statement issued by Byron Gray, president of the New Rochelle Uniformed Fire Fighters Association.

"Regardless of how bad weather conditions get, New Rochelle's fire fighters will be out there responding to every type of medical emergency, major car accident, fire and smoke condition, gas leaks, and with projections of high winds and soaking rain comes calls related to live power lines and burning transformers that have been knocked down," he said. "We are ready for what Mother Nature has in store for our region."

The Sound Shore Medical Center is ready to implement its disaster plan, if necessary, with plans to provide uninterrupted care.

"In the event of power outages, the [Sound Shore Health] System has backup generators, staffing is assured with onsite housing and food and potential increase demand on supplies has been addressed," spokeswoman Trish Feathers said.

"As a New York State designated Trauma Center, with specially trained staff available around the clock, our facility is equipped to manage individuals with multiple, life-threatening injuries," she said. "All of our patients will continue to receive the highest quality of care by the SSHS's highly qualified and dedicated staff." 

As of Friday, there were no cancellations of events, classes or activities in the New Rochelle School District, Monroe College or the College of New Rochelle.

Iona College announced the cancellation of two events: An election round-up with journalist David GIbson scheduled for Monday and a speech by Waleed Nasser on social media in the Egyptian uprising scheduled for Tuesday.

If readers know about other cancellations as the storm progresses, please put them in the comments section below.

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