Hurricane Sandy, bearing down on northeastern Turtle Island, could endanger the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Narragansett Indian Tribe, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Mohegan Tribe, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and Shinnecock Indian Nation, the United South & Eastern Tribes Inc. (USET) said on October 25.
“USET is working with FEMA, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Indian Health Service to make preparations for response and recovery,” the tribal agency said in Thursday’s media release.
“The storm is an unusual mix of a hurricane and a winter storm,” the Associated Press reported. “The worst of it could be focused around New York City and New Jersey. Forecasters on Thursday said there’s a 90 percent chance that the East will get steady gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and maybe snow starting Sunday and stretching past Wednesday.”
Sandy has already wrought havoc in Cuba, Haiti and the Bahamas, causing four deaths, according to reports. In the U.S. it was expected to hit either the mid-Atlantic or northeastern states and become trapped between a low-pressure weather system in the North Atlantic and a cold front to the west. Its clash with the cold front as it tries to move west is expected to generate snow on the western side of the storm, CBS News explained. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association warned residents to brace themselves.
“It’s going to be a high-impact event,” said Bob Oravec, a lead forecaster with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hydro-Meteorological Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, to the AP. “It has the potential to be a very significant storm with respect to coastal flooding, depending on exactly where it comes in. Power outages are definitely a big threat.”
USET urged tribes in the storm’s potential area of impact to contact emergency services for hurricane-preparation assistance at 615-467-1636 and speak to Harrell French, the senior project coordinator for emergency management.