Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst has declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Sandy's arrival on the East End, and ordered a mandatory evacuation of Dune Road and low-lying Category 1 flood zones.
The villages of Quogue and Westhampton Beach are also in states of emergency, and the whole of West Hampton Dunes is under a mandatory evacuation order.
According to Lt. Lawrence Schurek, the emergency preparedness liaison for Southampton Town, declaring states of emergency allows local officials to take necessary actions to protect life and property.
"The town supervisor’s office, and other emergency services, continues to monitor the progression of Hurricane Sandy as fire departments and other emergency responders prepare to begin evacuation action," Schurek said.
Emergency responders in various fire districts began to go door-to-door in areas subject to evacuation at 2 p.m. Schurek added that resident can assist emergency responders by voluntarily evacuating as early as possible to avoid clogging roads and putting themselves at risk as the weather worsens.
Town residents can use this link to determine if their home is in an evacuation zone.
"This storm brings a high risk of flooding from heavy rains as well as a 6- to 11-foot tidal surge," Schurek noted. "If you think you may be in an 'at risk' location, err on the side of caution and evacuate. Residents who experienced ground water flooding back in August of 2011 should evacuate until the storm passes."
Shelters for evacuees have opened at Hampton Bays High School at 88 Argonne Road in Hampton Bays and Riverhead High School at 600 Harrison Avenue in Riverhead. The Cutchogue Building of the eastern campus of Suffolk Community College, at 121 Speonk-Riverhead Road in Speonk, is a pet-friendly shelter.
The town advises evacuees to pack a blanket, pillow, medicine, snacks, bottled water, reading materials, a flashlight and batteries, and to let a friend or relative know where they are going.