Wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph—so bad that repair crews are kept indoors rather than be exposed to the danger—and a midnight high tide expected to reach 11 feet above normal make the hours until about 3 a.m. the worst of the storm.
That was the message First Selectman Jayme Stevenson delivered to the town via the latest "Code Red" telephone robocall, sent out at about 7 p.m. Gov. Dannel Malloy gave out a similar message late this afternoon.
Stevenson also said that it's so unsafe outdoors that no one should even try going to the town's emergency shelter at Darien High School. It's safer just to stay put.
Here's the text of the Code Red message:
"We are moving into the most dangerous period of this storm system predicted to last 6 to 9 hours. Winds are sustained at Tropical Storm strength with gusts between 60 to 80 mph. Wind speeds have required public works and utility crews to suspend all response.
"Many main arteries are now closed due to trees and wires down. Travel around town is unsafe at this time. Please stay indoors. It is no longer safe to attempt to relocate to the emergency shelter.
See also: Hurricane Sandy News Center for Darien, a central spot for Darien Patch's coverage of the expected storm. You can bookmark the page and quickly find all of our coverage, organized to help you get to it quicker and easier.
"Do not go near or drive under downed trees or wires. Assume all wires are energized and dangerous.
"The next high tide cycle at midnight tonight will bring tidal surge of 11 feet above normal high tide. Hurricane strength on shore winds will create waves well in excess of the predicted tidal surge.
"The Emergency Operations Center is in full operational phase receiving damage reports and prioritizing response.
"Please call 911 for emergencies only.
"Your safety and the safety of our responders is our highest priority.