2012-10-24 / Front Page

Putnam Valley declares State of Emergency

Haldane, Garrison, PV schools closed on Wednesday
Annie Chesnut
Tim Greco
Doug Cunningham

The Bandstand area in Cold Spring late Tuesday morning. Photo/Zac AilesThe Bandstand area in Cold Spring late Tuesday morning. Photo/Zac Ailes

UPDATED as of 7p.m. TUESDAY: All county schools must remain closed Wednesday, due to Putnam's continuing State of Emergency, Haldane Superintendent Mark Villanti reported Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, our reporter Annie Chesnut spoke with Putnam Valley Supervisor Bob Tendy, and things are much worse in Putnam Valley than in Philipstown. Here's the rundown:

Tendy has declared a state of emergency in Putnam Valley as of 8 a.m. October 30th, to continue for the next 5 days.  He advises that residents make every effort to stay off the road as much as possible for 2 reasons: 1)  they need to keep the roads clear for emergency services; and 2), there are trees down on a number of roads. He added that even though on some roads you can drive underneath the trees that are leaning, it's extremely dangerous and they would like as many residents as possible to stay off the roads entirely.

He told me that most of the town is without power and that NYSEG has not been here yet. 

As some may recall, the town had significant problems with their response time after Hurricane Irene. 

Tendy also said there were "a lot of trees down" and had been a "couple of house fires."

He said the Putnam Valley Highway Department crews had been out working on the roads since last night and will be clearing roads all day today. The Putnam Valley Senior Center will be open until 9 p.m. tonight as a comfort station. At 3 p.m. today the county will reassess the situation to see if they need to have anyone over night there. When I spoke to Tendy he had just gotten off of a call with key Putnam County representatives, including MaryEllen Odell, county executive.

The Supervisor urges anyone with questions or concerns to call him on his personal cellphone at 845-222-0980.

Flooding hit Cold Spring before noon Monday as Sandy moved into the area. The area shown here is near the Bandstand and next to the Hudson River. Photo/Dennis MazzucaFlooding hit Cold Spring before noon Monday as Sandy moved into the area. The area shown here is near the Bandstand and next to the Hudson River. Photo/Dennis Mazzuca

UPDATED as of 10:35 a.m. Tuesday: Central Hudson has set dry ice distribution for 11 a.m. at the Home Depot in Fishkill, for residents of Philipstown. The distribution is set to run until 6 p.m.

UPDATED as of 7:45 a.m. Tuesday: The Philipstown Recreation Center is open as a 'comfort station,' for those who need to stay warm and dry. The center opened at midnight Monday, earlier than expected, Councilwoman Nancy Montgomery said just before midnight.

Scattered rain is still hitting the area as of Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Indian Point's Unit 3 has shut down in an orderly fashion. From the news release:

Indian Point 3 Nuclear Power Plant Shut Down

Buchanan – Indian Point’s unit 3 nuclear power plant automatically shut down last evening at about 10:41 p.m. as a result of an electrical grid disturbance. The disturbance caused the main electrical generator and reactor to shut down as designed and there was no damage to equipment.

There was no release of radioactivity and no threat to the safety of workers or the public.

Unit 2 is currently operating at full power and has been online for 146 continuous days. Unit 3 had been online generating electricity for 201 continuous days prior to the shutdown.

UPDATED as of Midnight, Monday: Philipstown Councilwoman Nancy Montgomery reports that the Philipstown Recreation Center is opening at midnight as a "comfort station," where people can stay warm, dry, and have access to power and running water. The opening is earlier than expected, and will be a convenience for those who are without power. As of midnight, winds had eased slightly, but the rain was coming down at a steady clip in Cold Spring.

In a sad storm-related note, two boys, 11 and 13, were killed by a falling tree in the North Salem area, very near the Putnam County border. Extreme caution is advised until winds ease. While Cold Spring and Garrison are seeing more flooding, eastern Putnam has been hammered by downed trees.

UPDATED as of 5 p.m. Monday: The village reiterated its voluntary evacuation request for many areas west of the railroad tracks, including homes flooded during Irene. The village also has a small number of sandbags available.

Meanwhile, the town, Cold Spring and area first responders have also opened the Emergency Operations Center at the North Highlands Fire Department, Councilwoman Nancy Montgomery reported at 7:45 p.m. Monday. So far, it is dealing with minor issues, but stands ready as the storm worsens and winds that sound like a freight train bear down.

And, Philipstown Supervisor Richard Shea said that if an evacuation is ordered, the town is ready to shelter people at the Community Center. In any case, the center will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday for people to stay warm and have access to electricity and running water.

At the Cold Spring waterfront and Bandstand area, the water level had actually receded somewhat from the levels of noon and 1 p.m., and the water lapped at the shore even with the dock and with ground level. Most of the area west of the tracks was eerily quiet, though the occasional group of bystanders and curious walked by to check conditions.

Here's the village announcement:

Voluntary Evacuation Requested for Lower Main St/ West St./ Waterfront Area

DUE TO THE UPCOMING STORM AND ANTICIPATED FLOODING, THE VILLAGE OF COLD SPRING IS RECOMMENDING VOLUNTARY EVACUATION OF ALL RESIDENTS LIVING IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: LOWER MAIN STREET, WEST STREET, NEW STREET, BASICALLY THE AREA FROM MARKET STREET WEST. THIS INCLUDES ANY HOMES THAT WERE FLOODED DURING IRENE.

RAINFALL IS EXPECTED TO BE LESS THAN ORIGINALLY ANTICIPATED BUT STILL SUBSTANTIAL. TIDAL STORM SURGES OF FOUR FEET HIGHER THAN NORMAL ARE EXPECTED DURING THE STORM. HIGH TIDES WILL OCCUR AT APPROXIMATELY MIDNIGHT TONIGHT AND 12:40 PM ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM EMERGENCY CREWS, INCLUDING UTILITY COMPANIES, MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PROVIDE ANY SERVICES TO RESIDENTS DUE TO DANGEROUS STORM CONDITIONS.

THE VILLAGE HAS A LIMITED NUMBER OF SANDBAGS. TO OBTAIN SANDBAGS, PLEASE CALL THE VILLAGE  AT 265-3611. DURING THE STORM, THE COLD SPRING FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL NOT BE PERFORMING PUMP OUTS.

FOR EMERGENCIES PLEASE DIALL 911

QUESTIONS DURING BUSINESS HOURS, PLEASE CONTACT THE VILLAGE OFFICE AT 845-265-3611.

PUTNAM COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER: 845-808-4069 OR 845-808-4000

PHILIPSTOWN LOCAL EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER WILL BE ACTIVATED ON AS NEEDED BASIS –PHONE NUMBER WILL BE 845-265-7285

THE FOLLOWING AREAS WILL BE OPEN AS WELCOMING CENTERS PHILIPSTOWN RECREATION CENTER, ROUTE 9D, GARRSION.

THE COLD SPRING FIRE COMPANY WILL BE OPEN AS A COMFORT STATION, PROVIDING A LOCATION WITH HEAT AND ELECTRICITY.

ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT ARE WORKING TO ASSIST OUR RESIDENTS.

UPDATED as of 2 pm 10/29/12: Flooding has hit Cold Spring, with significant areas of streets west of the railroad tracks now under water. Mayor Seth Gallagher has called for residents who live west of the tracks in the village to voluntarily evacuate ahead of Sandy's full arrival. 

The voluntary recommendation Monday morning is part of the Village of Cold Spring making ready before hurricane Sandy reaches Philipstown, even as Haldane, Garrison, Lakeland, and Putnam Valley school districts have canceled classes for Monday and Tuesday. The village also is recommending that residents NOT go out trick or treating due to storm-related aftermath. This would be the second Halloween in a row to be disrupted by a storm.

Here is the latest Village of Cold Spring update, from Village Hall:

VILLAGE OF COLD SPRING HURRICANE RELATED INFORMATION

THE VILLAGE OF COLD SPRING POLICE DEPARTMENT STRONGLY URGES RESIDENTS TO AVOID TRAVEL, ESPECIALLY TO THE WATERFRONT, DURING THIS STORM. AT THIS TIME, THERE IS WATER ON WEST STREET. EVERYONE SHOULD STAY OUT OF ACCUMULATED WATER AS THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF CONTAMINATION AND ELECTRICAL SHOCK FROM DOWNED WIRES OR GROUND MOUNTED TRANSFORMERS.

IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT STORM INTENSITY WILL INCREASE AT APPROXIMATELY 5 P.M.

CONTACT NUMBERS

For emergencies only Dial 911

Putnam County Emergency Operation Center 845-808-4069 or 808-4000.

Philipstown Emergency Operation Center will be activated on an as needed basis. The number will be 845-265-7285.

WELCOMING CENTERS

Cold Spring Fire Company will be open as a comfort station offering heat and electricity.

Another location is the Putnam Valley Senior Center located at 265 Oscawana Lake Road, Putnam Valley.

The town center has not been activated but the public will be notified if it is.

GARBAGE PICKUP

The Village of Cold Spring Highway Department will not be picking up garbage on Tuesday.  Garbage pickup has been scheduled for Friday, with receptacles placed at the roadside on Thursday evening.  No recycling pickup will be held this week.

CONSTRUCTION & BUILDING DEPARTMENT INSTRUCTIONS

The village building department has temporarily suspended all building permits effective immediately. This will remain in effect until October 31st.  Homeowners, property owners and contractors are instructed to secure their work sites from strong winds and rain. Emergency work due to storm related damage can be made only as necessary. Please report all damages to structures to the village of Cold Spring for the safety of occupants.

PUMP OUTS

The Cold Spring Fire Company will not be pumping out residences during the storm itself.

HALLOWEEN FESTIVITIES

The Village of Cold Spring strongly recommends that no trick-or- treating be held on October 31st as we expect the storm may still be active. We suggest that Friday, November 2nd would be a better date for this event.

MEETING SCHEDULE

The Village of Cold Spring Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, 2012 has been canceled.
Cold Spring employees sucked up leaves with a vacuum truck Monday morning, clearing the streets of drainage obstacles in advance of Sandy hitting. Mayor Seth Gallagher said he believes the Village has prepared as much as possible and has taken extra precautions as Hurricane Sandy makes her initial approach into Cold Spring: “We have done a few things during the week; the Highway crew has been cleaning the storm water routes, including brooks and culverts.” The mayor reported that he has consulted with engineers about the upper and lower dams  levels on Lake Surprise Road: “The upper dam is down by at least two feet this morning.” Lowering the dams will increase the capacity for the abundance of rain that is forecasted for our area. “What we don’t want them to do, is to exceed the capacity of the spillway and overflow and erode the sides,” he said.

Village of Cold Spring workers clear leaves from drainage areas and Main Street Monday morning, ahead of Sandy's full arrival. The village also sought the voluntary evacuation of areas west of the railroad tracks. Photo/Doug CunninghamVillage of Cold Spring workers clear leaves from drainage areas and Main Street Monday morning, ahead of Sandy's full arrival. The village also sought the voluntary evacuation of areas west of the railroad tracks. Photo/Doug Cunningham

The major issue as the storm progresses is flooding in low lying areas of the Village.  Gallagher also said he was out working with the Highway Department and together they sealed and sandbagged the West Street sewer pump station: “Last time around that got flooded and shorted out, we tried to seal it as much as we could and surrounded it with sandbags.” Gallagher credited Greg Phillips of the Water and Sewer department for leading the effort and “working all day on shoring up the pump station,” even as Phillips’ own house is in the flood zone.  The crew also cleared leaves leading up to storm drains, so they will not clog up.

The Mayor is making this major storm the highest of priorities and is making every effort to be available throughout the day and will have informal meetings during the course of the storm, starting first by meeting with the Highway Department at 7:00 am, then meet with Trustees Ralph Falloon and Bruce Campbell, Deputy Mayor, to monitor the river’s tides. The expectation is that the high tides will be in the evening.

The Village also had a meeting with the town of Philipstown and the Fire Departments and Ambulance Corps on Friday, to go over emergency preparedness. The Mayor advises all residents to sign up for the Village of Cold Springs alerts online.

UPDATED as of 10/28/12 2:05 p.m.: As Hurricane Sandy winds its way up the East Coast, projections are becoming more and more certain that our area will feel big effects of the potentially historic storm. Transit service is being suspended, local officials are engaged in extensive hurricane preparations and planning, and firehouses are making ready.

Local and regional leaders are preparing for the worst, no doubt keeping the memory of 2011's late-summer Hurricane Irene firmly in mind. Philipstown saw massive flooding and damage from that storm, with some of it still to be repaired.

In Philipstown, Supervisor Richard Shea told the PCN&R Friday morning that “We’re in preparedness mode,” regarding the approaching storm. “We’ve contacted Glynwood,” he added, asking them to lower the level in their lake so the dam will not overflow , and the Highway Department is doing advance preparations, including cleaning out culverts and trimming trees. “If we get ten inches of rain, there’s going to be damage,” he noted.

Shea, the Philipstown councilmembers, and the Highway Department will be meeting late Friday afternoon. Fire company and county liaisons will make sure that those lines of communication are open. Shea also said he had already had several calls from concerned individuals. “We’re telling people to stay home,” and shelter in place, he reported, urging people to “call 9-1-1 in the event of an actual emergency.”

Cold Spring Trustee J. Ralph Falloon and Philipstown Councilwoman Nancy Montgomery also reported that the Emergency Operations Center at the North Highlands Fire Department is one hundred percent ready and will be staffed as needed. "All we have to do is turn on the lights, and we're ready to go," Falloon told the PCN&R on Friday morning.

The center provides one location for western Putnam first responders and officials to funnel info through and direct emergency efforts.

At the Cold Spring Firehouse, former Mayor Anthony Phillips joined fire company president Michael Bowman, Ralph Landolfi and John Falloon in last-minute preparations at noon Sunday. Local businessman and Depot owner Tom Rolston also was restocking the firehouse kitchen.

The PCN&R office will be open throughout the hurricane to provide news updates. Photo/Elizabeth Ailes
The PCN&R office will be open throughout the hurricane to provide news updates. Photo/Elizabeth Ailes

The PCN&R office on Main Street will remain open throughout the hurricane. Staff are in place and ready to provide up to the minute coverage on PCNR.com and in Wednesday's print edition. News tips and photos can be directed to editor@pcnr.com or doug@pcnr.com.






USEFUL TOOLS: 

For advisories on Hurricane Sandy visit the National Hurricane Center. Also get the latest forecast for any Putnam locale at NOAA.gov.

Learn how to prepare for the storm by visiting Ready.gov.

Review instructions from your state and local Emergency Management Officials.

Use the National Hurricane Center's mobile website to Track the Storm on your mobile device.

For a useful Storm Surge overview click here  

To report a NYSEG outage or to review current outages for NYSEG click here 

To report a Central Hudson outage or to review current outages for Central Hudson click here

 

Return to top

Weekly Poll

How comfortable are you with the Metro-North lines?
Click below for our Digital Version of the PCN&R
2012-10-24 digital edition
The below video is sponsored by The Church on the Hill.

Come to The Church on the Hill and invite a friend. from from the Public Square on Vimeo.

>