Just a year after Snowtober hit the area, many folks around Brewtser, Southeast and greater Putnam spent Friday preparing for the possibility of another autumn mess.
Representatives from towns and villages all over the county met to discuss emergency preparedness around 3 p.m. They exchanged phone numbers and heard from County Executive MaryEllen Odell about plans for additional crews from electric companies to arrive Sunday. They also confirmed that communication to residents will occur through NY-Alert, the state's online system that allows municipalities to contact residents.
"It's basically just a waiting game," Southeast Councilman Bob Cullen told Patch Friday evening. He said he expects to know more as the weekend progresses. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed it won't be that bad. It doesn't seem like there'll be any snow involved."
Experts are calling for Hurricane Sandy to mix with the storm from the Midwest, and potentially slam the East Coast late in the weekend or early next week. The threat prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency for New York. He directed the Emergency Operations Center in Albany to begin operating 24 hours a day. State agencies have been in contact with local officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Weather Service.
Whatever precipitation Sandy brings, highway workers with the Town of Southeast and the Village of Brewster are ready.
Both departments have salt on hand, and they spent the latter part of the week readying equipment. Town of Southeast Highway Department Superintendent said leaves are the "big concern," so his crews focuses on clearing debris and leaves from catch basins and ditches, which helps prevent flooding.
"We're in pretty good shape, we spent the day fueling the trucks, doing last-minute checks on the emergency generator," he said. "We're just going to deal with it like we do everything else."
Palmer also said he thinks local folks are more prepared for a major storm, given what happened last October. Many had already begun to stock up on batteries and water, as well as milk and bread, Friday afternoon.
At that time, all the essentials were still available at Kobacker's Market in Brewster, according to owner Frank Milano. He is expecting additional deliveries of batteries, bread, milk, water and other items in the next day or so. He said the store will stick to regular hours, no matter what the weather brings.
Managers at A&P and DeCicco's in Southeast said the same, stressing that they don't plan to run out of key items. Palmer Brothers Hardware on Route 22 expects the batteries and flashlights to be gone sometime Saturday. The store—which will only close in the event of a prolonged power outage—had about a dozen two-gallon gasoline cans left.
"It goes back to the basics, having batteries, food in the house, water, having the car filled up," Brewster Mayor Jim Schoenig said. "No one knows right now how it's going to be."
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