– Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau issued the following statement: "The National Weather Service (NWS) in Binghamton has continued aFlood Watch effective Monday morning through Tuesday evening, and a High Wind Warning effective from 2:00 PM Monday to 5:00 PM Tuesday for Sullivan County. The peak storm impacts for Sullivan County will be 10:00 PM Monday through 2:00 AM Tuesday. Hurricane Sandy will continue to move northward along the East coast, and is expected to turn westward to landfall along the New Jersey coast Monday, before entering Central Pennsylvania early Tuesday morning.
Pursuant to my authority, a State of Emergency is hereby declared at 12:00 pm, Monday, October 29, 2012 in the County of Sullivan and will continue through 12:01 am Thursday, November 1, 2012. The State of Emergency has been declared due to extensive wind conditions and possible flooding from Hurricane Sandy over a period of approximately 72 hours, resulting in potential substantial injury and damage to residences, buildings, businesses, roads, bridges and utilities within the affected areas, and other as yet undetermined damage. Such conditions may threaten or imperil the public safety of citizens of the County of Sullivan.
All public school districts, private schools, and preschool/daycare programs shall close upon this declaration, and remain closed through Tuesday, October 30, 2012. An assessment for subsequent days will be made in collaboration with the school districts, by Tuesday evening, after assessing the damage to public infrastructure and power outages as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
The public should remain off roadways and indoors during the effective time of this declaration, with the exception of essential, healthcare providers, and emergency services personnel, particularly from 2:00pm, Monday, October 29th through 5:00am, Wednesday, October 31st, subject to further emergency instructions during the storm.
Bands of heavy rain associated with the storm will move across the flood watch area Monday through Tuesday. Rainfall totals averaging one to three inches are expected across the Flood Watch area, with locally higher amounts possible. Heavy rain may cause flooding of small streams, and prolonged heavy rain will cause rises of Area Rivers, and may cause minor to moderate flooding beginning on Tuesday.
Damaging winds are expected Monday and Tuesday. A High Wind Warning means that sustained winds of 40 mph are expected for at least an hour, with frequent gusts of 45 mph to 60 mph or greater, are expected across the Catskills and Poconos. Strong winds will bring prolonged power outages, and cause trees to fall resulting in property damage and closed roads. Be prepared for the possibility of trees blocking roads, and widespread power outages. At home, be prepared to be without power for several days. Make sure you have adequate supplies of food and medicines. Sullivan County officials will continue to closely follow forecasts from the NWS and the National Hurricane Center. This storm could potentially be a "historic event" with winds and water.
All DPW equipment is ready to respond rapidly to areas affected by the storm, and key equipment has been staged around the County. The Sullivan County Emergency Operations Center will open at 12:00 noon on Monday. Meetings that were scheduled for Tuesday have been canceled in anticipation of the impacts of this storm. At this time, all County Offices will open for business at normal hours on Monday morning.
SULLIVAN COUNTY OFFICES WILL CLOSE AT 12:00 NOON MONDAY, AND WILL REOPEN FOR NORMAL HOURS WEDNESDAY, DEPENDING UPON AN ASSESSMENT OF DAMAGE FROM HURRICANE SANDY.
Sullivan County has received the cooperation of State officials, and resources will be made available as needed through the Department of Transportation. The Department of Environmental Conservation has also assisted with the issuing of necessary permits to permit preventative pre-storm work to be performed in certain areas.
Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross safely, move to higher ground. Even after the rain has ended over an area, runoff will continue flooding of small streams.
I strongly encourage residents to sign up for NY Alert by visiting the website www.nyalert.gov or if they do not have internet capability they may call 1-888-697-6972 and register their phone number(s) to receive priority messages. The NY Alert system will be a primary notification to residents of imminent flooding or other emergency instructions associated with this storm.
- Only call 9-1-1 if you are having a life threatening emergency
- Have phone numbers on hand for your local utility companies to report service outages or learn restoration times
- Information on road closures and other storm related material will be available at www.co.sullivan.ny.us
- Call 2-1-1 for any non-emergency referrals and assistance (ie: Shelters, road closures, recovery assistance, etc.)
If you are in an area that becomes part of a flood watch or warning, move to higher ground immediately. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property. Do not attempt to cross swiftly flowing waters or waters of unknown depth by foot or by automobile. Do not underestimate the power of flood waters. Only a few inches of rapidly flowing water can quickly carry away your vehicle. Do not move barricades, nor drive around barricades, as serious danger is ahead.
I strongly urge any resident who lives near a stream, creek or river to be prepared and alert as this storm progresses, and to take preventative measures to protect their property through sandbags, etc. Outdoor, moveable property should be secured, and indoor property should be put up in case of flooding in the home. Furthermore, in case of emergency, all residents in these areas should make preparations to vacate their home if conditions warrant, and are strongly urged to comply with any and all reasonable requests from law enforcement or emergency responders during an emergency.
County residents, particularly those in flood-prone areas, are also urged to have enough flashlights and extra batteries, canned goods and bottled water for 48 hours, in case of power outage or emergency. Residents are encouraged to make arrangements to check on elderly neighbors, and arrange for pets to be housed either inside, or with proper shelter.
During the storm all County residents are urged to remain indoors and off roadways whenever possible. If residents must drive, they are advised to exercise extreme caution when driving through this storm, and to pay special attention not to drive through pooling or standing water. If there are flood conditions on a roadway, please do not travel through the water.
Sullivan County officials will be in contact with all towns, village and fire departments in the flood-prone areas, to ensure all precautionary measures are being taken, and implementing contingency plans in case of flooding. County officials will remain in contact with these towns, village and volunteer first-responders throughout the storm, as they monitor the situations in their own communities.
Should flooding occur in Sullivan County, residents and visitors are urged to visit the County website, www.co.sullivan.ny.us, for current news and information." Twitter will also be updated throughout the storm, follow us at: @CntyMgrFanslau