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October 31, 2012

North Country lucks out

For us, Hurricane Sandy only an emergency drill

LEWIS — A few minor power outages from Hurricane Sandy were all the North Country saw overnight Tuesday as the storm fizzled out.

Essex, Franklin and Clinton counties operated their Emergency Operations Centers for 24 hours, and all three reported few problems as the storm moved through.

‘GREAT EXERCISE’

There was no reported damage, Essex County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish said Tuesday morning, after spending the night at the center in Lewis.

“There were 88 people without power in Minerva. It was a great exercise in preparation. We erred on the side of public safety. If we hadn’t geared up for this and something happened, we’d have been unprepared.”

The Franklin County Emergency Services Dispatch Center in Malone fielded just five storm-related calls Monday, and County Manager Thomas Leitz lifted the state of emergency at noon Tuesday.

The handful of emergency calls involved reports of two trees down in Fort Covington and Westville.

Clinton County saw a few scattered power outages, including one in Saranac.

“I can say that we are aware of very little damage,” Clinton County Office of Emergency Services Director Eric Day said. “Only a few minor power outages were reported, and NYSEG did a great job with getting power restored.”

NOT AS FORECAST

“It was the mega storm that wasn’t so mega,” said National Weather Service observer David Werner of Malone. “We didn’t get much locally.”

He said as of 7 a.m. Tuesday, the area had .15 inches of rain, bringing the October total to 4.07 inches, which is slightly above the average of 3.90 inches with one day still to go in the month.

Malone has seen 31.09 inches of rain since Jan. 1 and the average should be 32.77 inches, Werner said.

“We’re pretty close to normal,” he said, adding that the maximum wind gust he recorded overnight was 40 mph “which isn’t anything like the 50 to 60 we were told to expect.”

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