The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane watch and a flood watch for Long Island, New York City and Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected decide by late today whether people will need to evacuate.
Cuomo cancelled a fundraiser scheduled for last night and a planned vacation in the Adirondacks to return to the Capitol to prepare for the storm. The governor say he hopes the advance preparation will enable the stat to face the storm "in a calm and organized manner." Martha Foley has more.
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Governor Andrew Cuomo put the state on emergency alert yesterday. His emergency declaration frees additional resources to prepare for the storm.
"We're doing everything we can do to be ready," said Cuomo "If we get lucky the storm will change path, as often happens. If we don't get lucky, we'll be prepared".
In Albany, the state Office of Emergency Management had increased staffing in its underground bunker. They are also coordinating in conference calls with 30 state agencies.
Irene is expected to hit the New York City and Long Island area Sunday afternoon or evening.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he expects to decide by late today whether residents in hurricane-prone zones will need to be evacuated.
The governor is urging New Yorkers to stock up on emergency supplies, including water, non-perishable food, batteries, and battery-operated radios. If the storm turns out to be severe, he says people should check in with elderly or disabled neighbors to make sure they are all right.
Electric companies say they're also on high alert.
Residents are urged not to touch any downed electrical wires, which can be dangerous.
The National Weather Service says Irene could bring extremely high winds and up to 10 inches of rain to the Glens Falls region by late Sunday or early Monday.
Local officials are on hold.
Ed Tremblay, Saratoga County's fire coordinator told the Glens Falls Post star, "There's really nothing special we can do right now, other than keeping an eye on the South," said "We're still not certain what's going to come on Sunday."
Some meteorological projections have the storm passing directly over the Glens Falls area, while others predict a glancing blow.
The final day of the Washington County Fair in Easton could also be cut short if Irene shows up a few hours earlier than anticipated.