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Crews have already distributed 2,000 sand bags in the town of Jay ahead of Hurricane Sandy. Photo: Brian Mann
Crews have already distributed 2,000 sand bags in the town of Jay ahead of Hurricane Sandy. Photo: Brian Mann

Hurricane Sandy: Local, state officials scramble to prepare

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Local governments and state officials scrambled through the weekend to prepare for the potentially devastating impacts of Hurricane Sandy.

Damaging winds and flood-level rains are expected to reach the North Country by mid-afternoon today.

After the "shock and awe" impact of tropical storm Irene last August, government agencies are taking no chances.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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During a visit yesterday afternoon to Ausable Forks, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he had been briefed on local efforts.

"We went through their preparations and I think they've done a great job," Cuomo said.

Jay town supervisor Randy Douglas (L) and Governor Andrew Cuomo meet with emergency responders on Sunday. Photo: Brian Mann
Jay town supervisor Randy Douglas (L) and Governor Andrew Cuomo meet with emergency responders on Sunday. Photo: Brian Mann
Cuomo says 400 additional Department of Transportation workers and 200 vehicles and pieces of equipment have been assigned to the North Country to help clear roads and bridges.

"In the North Country, it's about transportation, it's about roads, it's about wires, it's about trees," he said.

"We're ready," the governor concluded. "We don't know what it is yet and it's the anticipation that's a little frustrating."

Local officials gathered in Ausable Forks said that they were particularly concerned about the potential for sustained and damaging high winds.

We're really worried about the outages, the power outages. They're talking five to ten days.
"Power outages, potentially lengthy ones, if it's widespread," warned Clinton County emergency services director Eric Day. 

He said officials from St. Lawrence County to Essex County took part in an hour-long conference call on Sunday to talk about sharing resources.

"We're really worried about the outages, the power outages," agreed Bill Ferrebee, town supervisor in Keene. "They're talking five to ten days."

Sandbags are pre-positioned to protect Jay's municipal building, which sits near the Ausable River. Photo: Brian Mann
Sandbags are pre-positioned to protect Jay's municipal building, which sits near the Ausable River. Photo: Brian Mann
"Seventy mile an hour winds are going to be really devastating to us," added Jay town supervisor and head of Essex County Randy Douglas. "We're in a rural area with a lot of pine trees and we're planning for the worst and hoping for the best."

Another concern is the large amount of debris that remains in the Ausable River following tropical storm Irene.

The National Weather Service currently predicts that the front edge of the storm could hit the North Country as early as 2pm Monday. NCPR will continue to update this site with information as it becomes available, and you can check here for the latest Hurricane Sandy news compiled from Twitter by The Innovation Trail.

 

 

 

 

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