States of Emergency Remain in Place in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester Counties
Second New York National Guard Deployment Mobilizing; Will Begin Operations Monday Afternoon
More than 85 percent of the 137,000 New Yorkers Without Power Reside in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester Counties
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the status of recovery operations in the Hudson Valley as communities there continue to recover from this week's destructive winter storm. For the past two days, state personnel have been on the ground in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester counties coordinating with, and providing recovery support and resources to, local governments. This storm caused extensive damage to electric utility infrastructure, including hundreds of broken utility poles and damage in remote, hard-to-reach locations, making the completion of restoration efforts extremely challenging. Thanks to the efforts of utility workers and thousands of individuals at the state, county and local levels working around the clock, power outages continue to steadily decrease. To continue progress, Governor Cuomo has deployed senior administration officials and 200 members of the New York National Guard to provide any and all assistance needed by localities. The New York State Emergency Operations Center also remains open to further support local and state partners during recovery operations.
"First responders, utility workers and thousands of other individuals have been working around the clock to help Hudson Valley communities recover from this week's winter storm and a great deal of progress has been made," Governor Cuomo said. "That said, with tens of thousands of New Yorkers still without power, a great deal of work remains and we will not rest until it is complete."
On Sunday, Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester counties in order to help expedite recovery operations. The Governor also doubled the number of National Guard members available out of Camp Smith in Westchester County to assist communities with recovery efforts ranging from debris clearance to traffic control. The total deployment now stands at 200.
Crews from the New York State Department of Transportation have also been dispatched to assist localities with storm cleanup and debris removal as well as to support for utility restoration operations. In the Southern Tier and Hudson Valley regions, the Department has deployed more than 1,000 operators and supervisors, 388 large dump trucks, 23 chippers, three tree crew bucket trucks, 12 signal trucks, and 91 loaders. Additionally, members of the New York State Police will be deployed to assist with traffic control at intersections in Westchester County that remain without power.
Senior administration officials remain on site in each of the four counties as they help lead recovery efforts -- Director of State Operations Cathy Calhoun has been deployed to Dutchess County, Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino is in Putnam County, Public Service Commission Chair John Rhodes is in Westchester County and New York Power Authority Senior Vice President of Public and Regulatory Affairs Kimberly Harriman and Regional Operations Superintendent Mark Olig are in Sullivan County. The New York State Emergency Operations Center also remains open to further support local and state partners during recovery operations
Currently, there are more than 137,000 customers without power as a result of the storm. Of that, more than 85 percent of the outages are centered in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester Counties. New York's utilities have a total of 4,910 in-house workers and contractors working on storm restoration efforts. National Grid and PSEG Long Island are finalizing their restoration efforts and will begin moving workers and equipment tomorrow to assist other New York utilities. National Grid will be providing 48 line workers to Central Hudson and 40 line workers to NYSEG. PSEG Long Island will be providing 85 line workers to Con Edison and 60 line workers to NYSEG. National Grid will also be sending an additional 114 line workers once it finalizes its efforts in Western New York. Utility contractors are en route or already assisting from as far north as Canada, and as far west as Texas.
The New York State Power Authority has deployed its transmission team to Central Hudson to help fix their 69 KV sub transmission system and 45 line workers and 15 bucket trucks from its municipal utility customers are assisting in the Central Hudson and NYSEG regions. NYPA has activated a contract with Michels, its utility contractor, to send up to 200 line workers from Wisconsin and Iowa to help with restoration efforts.
In addition, NYPA has requested support from ElectriCities of North Carolina via the American Public Power Association mutual assistance process. This Includes 18 utility workers and 5 utility trucks from ElectriCities to help Con Edison in Westchester County. ElectriCities has authorized sending additional resources, up to 50 utility workers and 15 utility trucks, as needed. NYPA also obtained resources from Niagara Peninsula, a municipal utility in Ontario, Canada for 10 utility workers and 7 trucks to help Central Hudson.
Below is a breakdown of outages by county:
Personnel from the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad have been working throughout the storm and the aftermath to clear scores of fallen trees, repair weather-related problems affecting signals, railroad crossings, and traction power infrastructure, and assist public utility companies as they attended to fallen utility poles blocking the tracks.
Long Island Rail Road
Most LIRR branches are operating on or close to schedule. PSEGLI and LIRR personnel are attending to fallen PSEGLI power lines and/or utility poles between Great Neck and Port Washington. As a result, LIRR is providing limited substitute bus service between Great Neck and Port Washington. The LIRR expects that PSEGLI will have all repairs completed in time for return of full normal service for Monday morning's rush hour.
Metro-North is operating on or close to schedule system-wide.
Prepare for Power Outages
Governor Cuomo urges residents to stay away from any lines that are down as they may be live, and should be considered extremely dangerous.
Motorists are reminded that State Law mandates that if an intersection is "blacked out" and the traffic signal is not operational, the intersection is automatically a "four way" stop. In the event of closed or blocked roadways due to flooding, downed power lines or debris, motorists are advised to exercise caution and obey all traffic signs or barricades in place, regardless of whether a roadway looks clear.
New Yorkers should also check on friends, family and neighbors, especially the elderly. Power outages can effect the ability of individuals to heat their homes, which could lead to dangerously cold temperatures in the winter months.
The Governor is offering these additional safety tips:
If You Lose Power
- Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities, visit the New York State Department of Public Service Check to see if your neighbors have power. Check on people with access or functional needs.
- Use only flashlights for emergency lighting - candles pose the risk of fire.
- Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed - most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat - they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
- In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors. Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.
After a Power Outage
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40°F (4°C) for two or more hours, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. "When in doubt, throw it out!"
- If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, it can be re-frozen.
- If you are concerned about medications having spoiled, contact your doctor.
- Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.