AUSABLE FORKS — Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with first responders and emergency personnel here Sunday afternoon as Hurricane Sandy churned toward the Northeast.
He stopped in for about 90 minutes to make sure communication lines are open and clear, and first response staging ready for public safety.
It was Cuomo’s third stop around the state before returning to New York City ahead of the hybrid mega-storm poised to blow ashore just south of Manhattan today.
Flanked by National Guardsmen, state police and State Emergency Management Office coordinators, the governor urged people to pay attention.
“Citizens have a role also,” Cuomo said. “They have to be sensible. They have to be smart.”
He told local officials he spoke earlier Sunday with President Barack Obama about preparedness measures taking place all around the state.
And he was here to be sure local leaders have what they need ahead of the storm.
Department of Transportation has staged 200 big trucks and loaders in the North Country to help keep roads open, he said.
More than 1,000 National Guardsmen poised to assist.
“I wanted to find out how we plug in,” he told Essex County Supervisor’s Chairman Randy Douglas (D-Jay).
“It (disaster impact) almost always turns out to be a little different than you thought,” he cautioned.
“We don’t know what it is yet. The anticipation is frustrating.”
New Yorkers will know later today what is coming ashore. National Weather Service meteorologists are calling it to be part hurricane, part Nor’easter.
But devastation in this region usually involves roads, transportation issues, trees and power lines, the governor observed from his experience with Tropical Storm Irene last year.
As the governor met with Essex and Franklin County emergency workers, firefighters and town crews kept busy filling sandbags beside the AuSable Forks ambulance squad garage.