Governor Cuomo: "There are pockets that are dangerous and people have to take caution this morning. If you see standing water and you're not sure how deep it is, don't drive. We have a number of situations where people thought they could drive through the water. That could tend to be a mistake. You have high wind gusts still, so really please exercise caution because it is dangerous in spots."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called into Spectrum News to provide an update on the emergency response to flooding in Dolgeville this morning.
AUDIO of the interview is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's interview is available below:
Devon Patton: Right now we have a very special guest joining us by phone, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who's visiting the Mohawk Valley today. Good morning, Governor.
Governor Cuomo: Good morning. Well it's not really a good morning, but
Devon Patton: It's not really. Yeah, we were talking earlier about you driving up from Albany to Herkimer. What was that drive like and what did you have to deal with just getting in?
Governor Cuomo: Well, Halloween trick or treat, Mother Nature had a trick for us. It was very bad overnight, Devon, you know you had wind gusts 60, 70 miles per hour. We have about 230,000 people without power across the state. It goes from Erie County, where we've had flash flooding, you had 4 or 5 inches of rain with the high winds, so it goes from Erie County, less across the middle of the state, about 6,000 people in Onondaga, and then up north, the North Country, the Ausable Creek overflowed, they evacuated people there. We're in the Mohawk Valley right now where Herkimer and Dolgeville, Little Falls area has an emergency situation where people are being evacuated and we have the State Police in swift water rescue on site now. on site now. And it goes down to Dutchess, as far down as Dutchess County.
Devon Patton: How many people do you know right now are actually having to be evacuated there?
Governor Cuomo: Several hundred across the state. You know these storms now tend to come in flash pockets. So it is not a blanket, Devon. It is spotty, but you have had people evacuated in spots all across the state, even Long Island had problematic areas. But we have certainly in the hundreds across the state who are evacuated. One of the worst situations is here in Herkimer and as I said you have people being evacuated from the second floor of their homes, et cetera. And we have all the appropriate watercraft on site, airboats, et cetera, to make sure we are doing the best we can to help people in this emergency.
Devon Patton: So far have you heard anything along the lines of people getting injured or God forbid someone losing their life? Have you heard any of those reports yet?
Governor Cuomo: We have one report of a fatality that is not confirmed yet. The state police cant access the site because of high water, but as soon as it gets a little more light we are going to start to use drones to survey the situation. Hopefully that turns out not to be true but we do have a report of one fatality.
Devon Patton: And lastly here, I know you've been keeping an eye on the CSX railroad bridges around the area. As far as you know right now, have they been, I know we wanted to rise some of them, have they been taken up yet or is that still a project that needs to be done?
Governor Cuomo: We've repaired many, you know they are CSX bridges and we have to deal with CSX which is more cumbersome and difficult than when we control it ourselves. We've had a number of bridges that have been affected by this flash flood that have been possibly undermined and we're sending out crews already this morning to inspect the bridges to make sure they're safe. We don't have any bridges right now that we believe have to be taken out of operation but we do have some bridges that have been temporarily blocked off because they're being inspected.
Devon Patton: Yeah, we've reported on one CSX bridge this morning that, it was getting close, the water is getting very close, but so far people are still able to drive over or get by there. It's not creating too much of a problem yet but we are keeping an eye on it. But Governor Cuomo, we thank you for joining us this morning. It's early and we really do appreciate you getting us all the information that you're getting and passing it along to our viewers. Hopefully this will do something in the way of getting responders out to some areas and maybe keeping some people safe. Maybe stay off the roads and stay home. But thanks again.
Governor Cuomo: Devon, for your viewers, there are pockets that are dangerous and people have to take caution this morning. If you see standing water and you're not sure how deep it is, don't drive. We have a number of situations where people thought they could drive through the water. That could tend to be a mistake. You have high wind gusts still, so really please exercise caution because it is dangerous in spots.
Devon Patton: Thanks again, Governor. Governor Cuomo here on Spectrum News.