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Tropical Storm Most Likely Will Bring Minimal Impact To State, Warning Issued For Parts Of CT

Morning forecasts have Tropical Storm Hermine moving further east and diminisheing the risk of impact to the state.

A tropical storm warning remains in force for coastal Connecticut, but meteorologists say Hermine most likely will stay far enough south and east to keep the worst of the wind and rain away from the state over the Labor Day weekend.

"The storm has continued to shift a bit further to the east, leading to lesser impacts for Connecticut," Fox61 meteoroloist Dan Amarante said in his morning forecast. "Although it will be breezy the next few days, it appears we should stay free of any significant problems. That being said, there still is a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for the immediate shoreline, so swimming and boating is discouraged for a few days."

The National Weather Service issued the warning for New Haven, New London, Middlesex and Fairfield counties because of the potential for wind and rain. Winds may hit speeds of 35 miles per hour along the shore, with inland winds reaching 20 miles per hour.

FOX 61 Meteorologist Sam Sampieri said Hermine may cause minor to moderate coastal flooding late Sunday into Monday, with scattered showers Sunday night possibly into Wednesday. Gusts may be up to 40 mph along the shore, he said.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy cautioned shoreline residents Saturday about potential flooding caused by Tropical Storm Hermine and announced that state park campgrounds will close Sunday at noon. The governor also plans to partially activate the state Emergency Operations Center in Hartford, at 6 p.m. Sunday.

"This will allow us to better coordinate any assistance to our municipalities that may be necessary," Malloy said. "If you live in a low-lying, flood prone area, please stay alert to changing weather conditions, especially during high tide cycles over the next few days."

At a press briefing Sunday morning, Malloy asked residents to be patient if the storm hits and causes power outages and issues with transportation.

The main effect of the storm will be seen on Monday into early Tuesday, with a good chance of winds and rain, Sampieri said.

On Saturday afternoon, a tropical storm watch was declared for Cape Cod and portions of Rhode Island.

Malloy said campers at state parks will receive full refunds for the nights that they will not be able to use their reservations. Reserve America will be directed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to issue refunds for campers with reservations for Sunday night.

Additional refunds will be made those with reservations beyond Sunday night at Hammonasset Beach State Park and Rocky Neck State Park, which will both reopen later in the week. The camping season in state parks ends Monday, with the exception of Hammonasett and Rocky Neck.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp's office released a statement Sunday afternoon saying city officials were prepared for the storm and were monitoring the situation closely.

"With that in mind, potential emergency shelters have been designated and coordinated with the American Red Cross should they become necessary, and public works, health department, and other city workers are standing by should their services be neede," the statement said. "Plans for the annual New Haven Road Race, scheduled to be run Monday morning, remain in place at this hour. City officials are working with race organizers to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators and will change plans for the race accordingly."

Norwalk is among the shoreline cities that is closely monitoring the storm, the city said Friday afternoon.

Members of Norwalk's Emergency Management Team met in the morning to discuss the potential impact in the city and will remain in touch with one another over the weekend, the city said in a news release.

In addition to updating its website and social media sites, Norwalk may use an emergency alert system to keep residents informed.

If the storm changes course hits the state hard, the American Red Cross will be ready, the organization said Thursday.

Red Cross workers and supplies are on standby and ready to help if needed.

The Red Cross encourages residents to prepare for the possibility of long-lasting rain and a storm surge along the coast.

"Now is the time to prepare," said Mario Bruno, CEO, American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region. "At this point, the models are saying different things, but it is important to get ready now in case things change and the storm takes a closer path toward our state. Take the time over the next few days to have your preparedness kit and plan ready."

Courant Staff Writer Christine Dempsey contributed to this story.

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