Update: CT-Alert and Tropical Storm Ida

The following email has been received from Jacob Manke, Regional Coordinator of DEMHS Region 2.

CT Alert Questions 3 messages
Manke, Jacob Jacob.Manke@ct.gov
Fri, Nov 5, 2021 at 2:09 PM
To: *************
Cc: “Gustafson, John” John.G.Gustafson@ct.gov, “Kenny, Robert” Robert.Kenny@ct.gov, Chief Tom Mahoney tmahoney@branfordfire.com
Good Afternoon Mr. Shaw,
I would like to respond to your questions to assist you with your fact finding mission. I apologize for the delayed response as I have been out sick for an extended period.
Please note the responses after your questions in BOLD and Underlined.
V/R Jake
Thank you, Jake.
I had a long conversation with Bob Kenny. My concern (along with others here in Stony Creek) was the
12 hour delay on Sept. 1, between the issuance of the NWS-NY Tweet warning of life-threatening flash
flooding from TS Ida and the Branford issuance of a CT-Alert at 8:10 p.m.after the rain had already started.
The Creek is prone to both tidal and extreme rain flooding. On Sep. 2, 1:30 a.m. a driver was rescued from
the waters under the Amtrak overpass, the only road in and out of the Creek.
It should be emphasized that for an aging population with medical issues and many with only landlines, timely E911 alerts
are essential.
So I continue to have questions:
1) According to your response, CT-Alerts are governed at the state level, not the regional level. Did
the state issue a state-wide TS Ida CT-Alert? No We did not receive one from the state, only one from Branford belatedly addressing specific local flood hazards. See the alert attached. The State would only issue a CT-Alert that would affect a large area of the State with imminent threat to life safety. This would be a local responsibility to notify you (Branford).
2) Is it up to the town emergency managers to issue alerts for advancing regional weather events in
addition to local specifics? In the State of CT it is the responsibility of the local Chief Executive Official to issue an alert for a threat in this manner. The CEO would delegate this in most instances to the Emergency Manager, either verbally or in the Local Emergency Operations Plan.
3) How are, for example, citizen flood notifications handled in regional response planning, in our case, Region 2? The Regional Plan (RESP) does not include policy / procedure for emergency notifications to include flood notification. This is a local (Branford) policy and DEMHS and DEMHS Planning Regions have no authority for Regional notification. The only notifications regionally of weather events are done by the NWS.
Finally, the only source for town weather alerts appears to be through Everbridge communications with emergency managers and town officials. In addition, DEMHS apparently publishes on Twitter using a published protocol (App.E) that also depends on Everbridge.
4) Given the above, DEMHS’s Twitter account retweeted NWS-NY at 9:30 a.m., why was the Branford CT-Alert belatedly issued at 8:10 p.m.? This is a question for Branford. DEMHS/State of CT would not instruct Branford to issue an alert. This is the responsibility of the CEO of Branford.
I hope these answers help.
V/R Jake
Jake Manke Regional Coordinator, DEMHS Region 2 Phone: (860) 685-8105 Cellular: (860) 250-250-3453 24-Hour Pager: (860) 708-0748 Email: jacob.manke@ct.gov State of Connecticut
Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security 1111 Country Club Road | Middletown, CT 06457

COMMENT: On Sep. 1, 10:08 p.m., Ryan Hanrahan, Chief NBC Meteorologist forwarded this Tweet.

“This is the first FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY ever issued for Connecticut. This is an unusually serious, dangerous and life threatening situation. Move to higher ground if you need to and do not drive through flooded roads. #nbcct

Connecticut Emergency Management did not send a single state-wide CT-Alert to residents on September 1, 2021 in spite of the first NWS flash flood emergency declaration in CT history.

Connecticut Emergency Management did publish this Tweet that re-tweeted the NWS flash flood emergency, but mislabeled it as “flash flood warning”, not “flash flood emergency” . Conveying NWS alerts by retweeting is NOT informing the public through the citizen-subscribed CT-Alert system designed for the purpose.


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