CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice from the Town of Grand Bank

Public Advisory: Communities and Residents Encouraged to Prepare for Impending Storm

The current path of Hurricane Igor has prompted Environment Canada to issue a tropical storm watch and rainfall warnings for most areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Provincial Government, through Fire and Emergency Services - Newfoundland and Labrador (FES-NL), is encouraging all citizens to be prepared for flooding, power outages, and other potential impacts.

As of this morning, Hurricane Igor was a Category One storm system tracking north-east of Bermuda, heading across the Atlantic Ocean and anticipated to cross the Grand Banks Tuesday with heavy rains and high winds. The hurricane is expected to change to a tropical storm soon after it reaches the Grand Banks, and it is anticipated most areas could see precipitation amounts as high as 100 to 150 mm in areas including the Avalon, Bonavista, and Burin Peninsulas and Central Newfoundland. Rain is expected to begin this evening and continue throughout the morning on Tuesday, creating hydroplaning conditions for much of the province's roadways. Caution is advised for those having to travel throughout the next 24 hours.

The amount of rain forecast means residents and communities must be diligent in emergency preparations to ensure minimal impact.

Residents and municipal officials should assess their individual situations to determine the steps they can take to ensure their safety and security during this weather event and continue to closely monitor the forecast. Municipalities should also ensure that all storm sewers, culverts, bridges, and drains are free from debris and that emergency personnel are available should the need arise.

Some important tips to keep in mind before and during weather events:

Be aware of all local emergency numbers;

Ensure sump pumps are in working order;

Keep all drains free from debris, clean out window and door wells, keep windows firmly closed;

Safely remove dead tree branches from any trees which could pose a hazard or threat;

Ensure all patio furniture, barbeque equipment and yard tools are secured to avoid potential damage in high winds;

Secure any and all exposed marine equipment and vessels;

Ensure all cell phones are charged and fresh batteries available for a portable radio in the event of a power outage;

Cordless phones will not work in a power outage, therefore a hard-lined phone for the home could also be of benefit;

In the event of basement flooding, ensure the power is shut off at the main breaker before stepping into the water to avoid the possibility of electrocution. If you are unsure, call a licensed electrician;

If you become aware of excessive flooding on streets or blocked culverts or drains, contact municipal officials to advise them of the situation;

Should you notice downed power lines in your area, do not touch or attempt to move, but instead advise your utility provider immediately.

If a household includes someone with a medical condition, mobility issues, or other special needs, plan for their specific requirements. Residents are also reminded to ensure pets that are normally kept outdoors are safe from wind and rain and those who are aware of neighbours living alone are asked to check to ensure they are safe.

If an emergency requiring assistance occurs, residents are reminded to contact their local fire department and/or police for assistance. If flooding occurs, residents should contact their municipality. Should communities become unable to cope with local emergencies, they may contact FES-NL for assistance.

Residents and officials should keep the following emergency numbers close at hand:

* Fire and Emergency Services - Newfoundland and Labrador - 709-729-3703
* Royal Newfoundland Constabulary - 709-729-8000
* RCMP - 1-800-709-7267 or 709-772-5400
* Newfoundland Power - 1-800-474-5711 or 1-888-491-5066
* Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro - 1-888-764-9376

Citizens are asked to exercise extreme caution as this weather system approaches and throughout the course of this event.

The latest information on Hurricane Igor can be found at: www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/hurricane/track_e.html

More information on personal preparedness can be found at: www.gov.nl.ca/fes or www.getprepared.ca