Dear Members of the Community,
The effects of Hurricane Sandy have impacted NH and specifically Durham. At 2:00 PM today, Durham activated its Unified Command structure at the Durham Fire Department such that Fire, Public Works, and Police personnel could operate seamlessly from the same venue thereby efficiently allocating emergency personnel as needed.
Here is what is happening …
We have had steady and ongoing calls for service throughout the community over the afternoon and early evening. Roadways are littered with broken leaves and broken branches. Strong gusts of wind persist intermittently. Please drive slowly and be cautious if you must venture out.
Three homes have had trees fall on them: one on Canney Road, one on Orchard Drive, and one on Madbury Road.
Trees/power lines are down on Durham Point Road between addresses #32 and #139. All residences within these locations are presently stranded. PSNH is reportedly en route but the trees down are substantial.
Trees/lines are down and roads are closed at:
- Wiley Road/Ffrost Drive
- Sunnyside/York Drive
- Adams Point Road
- Durham Point Road (between #32 and #139)
- Main Street at Technology Drive
Power lines were arching along Route 108 with sporadic power loss on either side of the roadway.
The Route 4/Back River Road traffic light was inoperable and a number of residences in that part of Durham were without power but at this time have been restored.
The Durham Police Department has on and off through the evening lost power.
Comcast email and internet capability has failed at the Durham Town Office due to ongoing power surges. Restoration is being attempted at this time but it is possible that numerous functions at the facility will be inoperable, including Motor Vehicle Registrations, until Comcast can make repairs.
OYSTER RIVER COOPERATIVE SCHOOL DISTRICT CANCELLED FOR TUESDAY, 10/30
The Oyster River Cooperative School District has cancelled school for Tuesday, October 30th. Again, this was a prudent decision based upon prevailing conditions and various roadway issues being experienced.
DURHAM PARKS AND RECREATION CLASSES CANCELLED FOR TUESDAY, 10/30
All Durham Parks and Recreation Department classes will be cancelled on Tuesday, October 30th.
NO CHANGE FOR TRASH COLLECTION ON TUESDAY, 10/30
The Public Works Department DOES plan to collect trash and recyclables on Tuesday morning.
UNH HAS CURTAILED OPERATIONS FOR TUESDAY, 10/30
The University of New Hampshire has curtailed operations due to Hurricane Sandy. Representatives from the UNH and Durham met on Sunday afternoon and again Monday morning to coordinate plans and resources for the storm.
The UNH Co Generation Plant is once again operable.
Holloway dining hall will reopen 9 a.m. Tuesday; Philbrook is not scheduled to open.
The Memorial Union Building and Hamel Recreation Center will reopen Tuesday at 9 a.m. as long as there is power.
The Dimond library will open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday as long as there is power.
Durham has been working closely with the Health and Safety Council of Strafford County to plan for sheltering if needed due to the storm. To integrate and maximize resources as region in order to best serve citizens across Strafford County, we have designated the Rochester Middle School as a primary shelter location for use by Durham residents if necessary. (The Oyster River High School has been designated as a secondary location if needed.)
As of 2 PM, Monday, 10/29, the Rochester Middle School had been activated as a shelter. Durham has sent one firefighter to assist at the regional Rochester shelter.
The address for the Rochester Middle School is:
Rochester Middle School
47 Brock Street
Rochester NH 03867
It is important for residents to bring their medications when they evacuate to any shelter. Residents are also encouraged them to bring personal sleeping bags or blankets for their comfort.
The Strafford County Citizen Corps has been placed on alert and asked to support area shelters from Monday evening through Thursday.
HURRICANE SANDY INFORMATION
Governor Lynch declared a State of Emergency as of 10 AM 10/29/12.
Hurricane Sandy will move northwest and into NJ by evening (10/29). Heavy rain and strong winds will spread into NH and Maine this afternoon and evening as the system moves ashore and weakens. The remnant low will drift across the Northeastern US through the remainder of the week keeping rain chances in the forecast.
National Weather Service (NWS) expects New Hampshire impacts of Sandy to include:
Rain/Flooding: Rainfall amounts strongly depend on the storm track. The National Weather Service has a high degree of confidence that New Hampshire will receive between 1 to 3 inches of rainfall Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning, with up to 4” possible in the White Mountains that could cause flash flooding. Total rainfall for the week, with continued off/on rain, could total up to 6” in some locations.
Winds: Damaging winds and associated widespread power outages are likely. Wind damage may be exacerbated as most trees still have foliage at the current time. Inland NH could experience sustained 30-40 mph winds with gusts of 50-60 mph. along the coast, winds of 40-50 mph with gusts 60-70 mph may occur.
High Seas: Sandy is predicted to cause unusually high seas (25 feet +/-) off the coast of New England with seas building Sunday evening and peaking Monday and Tuesday. Strong gale and storm force winds are expected with hurricane force gusts possible. Seas will be dangerous and potentially life- threatening, even for large vessels.
Coastal Flooding: Coastal flooding and beach erosion is expected during the Monday and Tuesday high tide cycles; 2-3 foot surge is expected along with battering waves. High tides on Monday are at 1128 and midnight, Tuesday at 1230 and Wednesday at 0100.
Current Watches and/or Warnings for New Hampshire: High wind warning is in effect for all counties. Coastal storm warning is in effect for Rockingham and Strafford Counties.
FORECAST FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE (MONDAY PM)
for South East NH
Monday Night: Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Patchy fog. Low around 57. Windy, with a southeast wind 31 to 36 mph decreasing to 22 to 27 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Tuesday: Rain likely. The rain could be heavy at times. Cloudy, with a high near 62. Breezy, with a southeast wind 16 to 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Tuesday Night: Showers. Low around 54. Southeast wind 10 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Wednesday: Showers likely, mainly before 9am. Cloudy, with a high near 59. Southeast wind 9 to 13 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Wednesday Night: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 45. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible
HOW TO CALL PSNH OR THE NH ELECTRIC COOP
Call PSNH daily to report a power outage at 1-800-662-7764. Do not assume PSNH knows you do not have power! During these storm events, PSNH works to reenergize areas of town neighborhood by neighborhood but they do not always know individual service lines to homes are down. If an individual service is down, but a neighborhood has been “restored”, PSNH will not know you still do not have power – unless you let them know. So call PSNH and don’t be shy.
If you obtain power through the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, please contact NHEC directly at 1-800-343-6432.
NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN NH WITHOUT POWER (MONDAY PM)
There are around 8000 NHEC customers without power as of 5 PM, Monday, 10/29.
Across NH, there are an estimated 120,000 people without power as of 7 PM, Monday.
At this time, the PSNH Epping Area Work Center which services Durham has the following crews on hand to help area residents and restore PSNH power. More crews are en route:
15 line crews
1 digger crew
6 tree crews
COMCAST CONTACT INFORMATION
If your are have power but your internet, phone, or television service provided by Comcast is not operational, please contact Comcast directly toll free at 1-888-633-4266. If PSNH lines are down and intertwined with Comcast lines, Comcast must wait for PSNH to repair them before it can restore cable service.
PORTABLE GENERATOR SAFETY INFORMATION
Safety tips follow:
- Portable generators should be placed 10 feet from any structure, with the exhaust facing away from the building openings. Deadly exhaust fumes can enter the building through any opening resulting in severe injury or death to unsuspecting occupants.
- Never place portable generators on or near combustible surfaces such as decks, porches, or tool sheds. Heat generated by the motor, or improper refueling methods can start a fire.
- Never run portable generators inside any building, including basement areas and garages. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can build up in minutes injuring occupants with little to no warning.
- Allow plenty of time to cool the generator before refueling. Gasoline vapors can easily ignite from hot surfaces causing a flash fire and severe injuries.
- Always store approved gasoline containers a safe distance from generators while in service.
BE SURE TO CHECK IN ON NEIGHBORS WHO MAY NEED ASSISTANCE
Please take the time to touch base with your neighbors and/or friends within the community, particularly those who may need assistance, to ensure they are alright if there is a power outage. If you know of someone who the Police or Fire Department should check in on as part of a wellness check, please call 868-2324.
WHO TO CALL IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE?
If you need assistance, do not hesitate to contact the Durham Police Department at 603-868-2324. In an emergency situation, please call 911.
Durham’s Unified Command Center will remain operational to respond to calls throughout the night.
All in all, Durham has fared quite well to date.