NORWALK, Conn. Norwalk is now in a state of emergency. Residents in low-lying areas are under a mandatory evacuation order.
Phones are ringing all over the city as residents are notified through the Notify Norwalk system. Mayor Richard Moccia says: "Attention Norwalk Residents, this is Mayor Richard Moccia. I am declaring a state of emergency in Norwalk due to the path the path of Hurricane Irene and the impact on our city. Beginning at 1 p.m. today, we will issue a mandatory evacuation orders for low-lying coastal areas or other waterways.
"At 3 p.m., the shelter at Brien McMahon High, at 300 Highland Ave., will be open for residents and pets. Please bring a bag with supplies such as medications and sleeping bags. Pets must be in a carrier and dogs must have rabies shots and you must bring your own supplies.
"Norwalk Transit will provide rides to residents at no charge to the shelter.
"Residents should first seek shelter with family or friends or at hotels. If you plan on evacuating to the shelter, please arrive before 10 p.m. For further updates, please check our website as I'm asking for your cooperation in this very serious situation. We will keep you updated with further information as the storm progresses."
Moccia said Friday that Gov. Dannel Malloy had granted mayors and first selectmen the power to make decisions about evacuations. "I think that makes sense," Moccia said. "If Malloy made the declaration and then it didn't hit hard it would cause problems. I don't have a problem with making the decision, and I don't think any of the first selectmen or mayors will think any differently. It rests with us."
He expected to use Notify Norwalk to send phone calls throughout the city Saturday. "The message I put out ... will depend on the track of the storm," he said.
There was also a text sent out. The Hurricane Irene Alert message also announced the evacuation of the low-lying areas of East Norwalk, South Norwalk and Rowayton.
Do you have to evacuate? Where are you staying?
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