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Hurricane Sandy: Cuomo visits Adks ahead of storm

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Sunday 3rdd Update: AUDIO FROM GOVERNOR'S SUNDAY ADDRESS ON LONG ISLAND.

Governor Andrew Cuomo today will visit the town of Jay fire hall in Ausable Forks as he reviews hurricane preparedness across New York state.

Earlier in the day, Cuomo mobilized more than a thousand National Guard soldiers to help prepare for the landfall of Hurricane Sandy.

"They will provide vital assistance to various regions of the State, and it is essential that they are positioned to be ready to serve wherever they are called," Cuomo said.

"These troops, along with critical equipment, vehicles and aircraft, are ready to answer at a moment's notice."

The National Weather Service is now predicting that high winds and heavy rains will hit the region beginning on Monday, with the blast expected to continue into Tuesday.

The advisory includes warnings for people in northern New York, Vermont, and particularly homeowners "with marine interests along Lake Champlain."

The current forecast suggests that foul weather will arrive Monday afternoon and will intensify through the night, tapering off late Tuesday morning.

A flood watch for that period is in effect. Winds are expected to peak between 5 pm and 3 am with gusts anticipated between 50 and 80 miles per hour.

Powerful winds are also expected in the St. Lawrence Valley.

Previously: Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday declared a state of emergency in New York ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Sandy.

That means more resources available to local governments, and a suspension of many regulations "that would impede rapid response."

"As we prepare for the possibility of Hurricane Sandy hitting New York State, I am activating all levels of state government to prepare for any potential impacts," Governor Cuomo said, in a statement.

State officials have been coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Also, state Conservation officials issued an advisory late Friday urging all backcountry travelers in the Adirondack-North Country to be out of the woods by sundown on Sunday.

They also canceled reservations at the Fish Creek Campground near Saranac Lake next week.

The path of the storm remains unclear but local governments and state officials are taking pains to prep the North Country for a possible blast of foul weather.

With memories fresh from big storms and flood events last year, village officials in Saranac Lake say they're drawing down the level of Lake Flower.

"[T]he village began gradually lowering the level of Lake Flower two days ago and will do so more aggressively over the weekend," said village manager John Sweeney in a statement.

Local crews are also working to clear storm drains to prevent street flooding.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

Persons across the North Country should continue to follow this weather situation closely.
State officials, meanwhile, are urging residents to "learn about local community's sheltering plans, including the location of official shelters."

The National Weather Service in Burglington predicted Friday that Sandy "will have an impact on the North Country especially during the Monday through Wednesday time frame."

The warning urged North Country residents to "continue to follow this weather situation closely."

On Sunday, Rep. Bill Owens urged President Barack Obama a disaster area ahead of the storm.

"State and local budgets are stretched thin from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee," Owens said.   "We must take every precaution to protect life and property in the state."

The Lake George Association also urged homeowners to prepare their property to minimize environmental damage from the storm.

"Homeowners and contractors should cover and stabilize any exposed soils to keep them from washington the lake," the LGA said in a statement.

NCPR will continue to follow this story as it develops.  Check back to NCPR.org and NCPR's Twitter feed for updates.

Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt contributed to this report.

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