October 28, 2012

Sandy update: Wind is biggest local danger


---- — PLATTSBURGH — Forecasters continue to predict that Tropical Storm Sandy will strike the North Country a glancing blow with 1 to 2 inches of rain and winds gusting to 70 mph.

Although the storm is still hundreds of miles away and the track may change, as of Sunday afternoon the National Weather Service predicted that heavy rain and wind will affect Northern New York beginning Monday afternoon.

Sustained winds are forecast to be 30 to 40 mph with occasional gusts reaching 70 mph possible. Winds are expected to peak between 5 p.m. Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday. At this time it appears that high winds are the greatest threat with power outages predicted.

Although 2 inches of rain is possible, and some isolated areas could receive more, most of the region will receive 1 inch or less, the Weather Service predicts.

In areas were lengthy power outages are possible, the American Red Cross suggests the following checklist:

• Water: one gallon per person, per day

• Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items

• Flashlight: Do not use candles during a power outage because of the risk of fire.

• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

• Extra batteries

• First aid kit

• Medications and required medical items

• Sanitation and personal hygiene items

• Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)

• Cell phone with chargers

• Family and emergency contact information

• Extra cash

• If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment, remember to include backup power in your evacuation plan

• Keep a non-cordless telephone in your home. It is likely to work even when the power is out

• Keep your car’s gas tank full.

• When using a generator, only use outdoors, not inside the house.


Local utility companies have also provided emergency information:

• Stay far away from downed power lines – even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly.

• Stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If a basement or home is in danger of flooding, customers should contact their utilities to turn off electricity and/or natural gas service.

For electricity emergencies and to report power interruptions:

• NYSEG: 1.800.572.1131

• National Grid: 1-800-867-5222 

For natural gas emergencies and to report suspected natural gas odors:

• NYSEG - 1.800.572.1121

• National Grid: 1-800-892-2345