The Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director, with support of the Chief of Police, has made the determination that power will be shut off to selected streets along low-lying, flood-prone areas as a precautionary measure. This decision was based in part on the fires in December 2010 which were caused by an inability to shut power off after a house fire had started and an arcing wire jumped to an adjacent home (see photo below). Two homes were lost as result. The situation created by the live electrical lines in the house posed a grave threat to the firefighters who battled the blaze in chest-high water.
Wind-driven waves can permeate structure walls and start electrical fires, posing a significant hazard in thickly settled areas where there is flooding and storm debris.
This following communication was distributed by Reverse 911 earlier this evening to residents in the 200 homes in the affected areas:
“Due to the potential severity of this coastal storm we are going to shut power off to certain homes later this evening. This is an effort to reduce the potential for a house fire which would likely spread to multiple homes. The fire department may not have access to these areas due to sand and debris restricting travel. The affected roads are Lighthouse Road, Rebecca Road, Turner Road, Oceanside Drive and Surfside Road “