Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said late Monday that he held an emergency call with mayors and first selectmen of coastal towns to stress the severity of the flooding threat along Long Island Sound.
The governor had called previously for the towns to direct evacuations of the same areas, but he said that after reviewing new data he decided to issue the highest possible warning.
He said he is concerned particularly about Greenwich and Bridgeport, two municipalities with large population centers. He said “the situation is dire” and people in harm’s way need to be evacuated now.
Major flooding is expected with high tide arriving in the next few hours.
Sandy’s strong winds and flooding have knocked out power to more than 500,000 homes and businesses in Connecticut.
More than 476,000 Connecticut Light & Power customers were without electricity Monday evening, along with more than 90,000 United Illuminating customers.
Bill Quinlan, a senior vice president for CL&P, says the utility’s 400 linemen and 300 tree workers are being supplemented by more than 1,000 contractors. He says that’s 3 1/2 times as many as were in place for Tropical Storm Irene last year.
He says the company has put out a call for about 1,000 more out-of-state workers to help with the restoration effort.