Though other states are bearing the brunt of Hurricane Sandy so far, Connecticut is coping with widespread flooding and power outages, with more than 225,000 residents left without electricity.
In Tolland, a small city on the state’s northern border, downed power lines have created more than a dozen hazardous areas.
TV reports show streets in East Haven under more than 3 feet of water, with a few drivers trying to traverse the flooding.
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Evacuations have been ordered for residents in Connecticut’s southern cities, with some communities reporting as much as 100% of its residents without electricity, the Hartford Courant reported.
Sandy has picked up speed, which is good news for New England. What was originally projected as a slow-moving catastrophic storm will instead move faster than expected, at about 28 mph, according to the National Weather Service’s most recent report.
Some cities in southwest Connecticut experienced flooding, but the water has since receded.
Still, no one is in the clear.
“We’re just asking people to understand the severity of the situation we face and to use the roads as sparingly as possible,” a spokesman for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told the Hartford Courant.
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Several state routes have been closed, and Connecticut Light and Power officials said some customers could be without power for up to five hours during the night, the Courant reported.
The company is building concrete dikes around one of its substations to protect it from floodwater.
Bradley International Airport, north of Hartford, has canceled all flights in and out through at least Tuesday morning.
"We're as ready for this storm as we have ever been for any storm in our history," Malloy told the Courant. "Having said that, this may be a bigger storm than any in our history.... I know the state has never been this well-prepared. The question is, is it enough? I'll tell you in 24 to 72 hours.”
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Waves could reach 12 feet. The storm surge is projected to hit during low tide, minimizing its damage.
Because of Sandy’s track – the center of the storm was expected to make landfall over New Jersey – Connecticut will not see the worst of it.
Sustained winds could exceed 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph, compared with the 90 mph to 100 mph reported in high rises in New York. Storm surge there could top 12 feet. Subways and public transportation in Manhattan have been closed.
More than 1.6 million people along the Eastern Seaboard were without power Monday afternoon, according to the National Grid, an international power company that provides electricity in New England.
Matthew Kauffman and David Owens of the Hartford Courant contributed to this report.
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