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Friday headlines

Aug 26, 2011 12:03 am
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="There is a 40 percent chance of sustained tropical storm-force winds in our area, according to this National Weather Service graphic."][/caption]
Hurricane Irene causes state of emergency
New York has declared a state of emergency ahead of the predicted arrival of Hurricane Irene in our area Sunday. See the "More" link at the bottom of this entry for a complete list of what the state of New York is doing now in preparation for the hurricane.

Columbia Street in Hudson closed after road collapse
WTEN television reported last night that the construction hole on Columbia St. between 4th and 5th Streets in Hudson opened up Thursday, Aug. 25 after an evening rain storm. In the Register-Star, Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera predicted the road would remain closed for several days, and with lots more rain on the way this weekend, it could tie up traffic in Hudson for a few days. Trucks will be diverted to an alternate route. Read the stories on the WTEN and Register-Star websites.

Robinson beats Cole in hand ballot for Dem nomination
Melanie Lekocevic in the Greene County News reports Athens Democrats backed incumbent Town Justice James Robinson over former Village Justice David Cole, 22-9. Cole was Athens Village Justice until that post was abolished in March. Town Councilwoman Phyllis Dinkelacker nominated Cole for one of the two town council seats no Democrats are attempting to win, but he declined. Read the complete story in the Greene County News.

Philmont will no longer be a chick magnet
Chris Simonds in The Columbia Paper writes that Philmont's Village Board banned chickens from the village at a recent meeting (no date given). Chickens currently living in the village can live out their natural lives, but no new live chickens may be raised in Philmont. Previously, "the Philmont Zoning Code prohibited keeping 'geese and fowl' but said nothing about chickens," Simonds writes, explaining the need for the new law. Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines fowl (second definition) as, "a cock or hen of the domestic chicken." Read the complete story in The Columbia Paper.

Shots fired in Hudson, one man wounded
The Register-Star reports that a man was shot in the elbow near 231 Columbia St. Thu. Aug. 25 in Hudson, and rescue crews picked him several blocks away, at the Hudson post office. Local authorities are looking for information about the shooting, and asking any witnesses to call the Hudson Police Department at (518) 828-3388. Read the full story in the Register-Star.

CMF offers classical music fest
Jim Planck in The Windham Journal previews the “High Peaks Festival: Music With Altitude,” classical music festival in Hunter and Windham Sat., Aug. 27 to Sun., Sept. 4, with performances, films, workshops, lectures, and trail hikes. The Catskill Mountain Foundation is sponsoring the festival, and working with local cellist Yehuda Hanani and artists from all over the world. “The idea is to bring young artists from divergent cultures together,” said Hanani. “Our students are at the same level — if not higher —- than the major festivals.” See www.catskillmtn.org for festival details, and read the full story in The Windham Journal.

See below for a complete list of what New York state is doing in preparation for Hurricane Irene:

From the Governor's office, what the state of New York is currently working on for Hurricane Irene's arrival:
· The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is coordinating with the National Weather Service to track the storm. OEM's Emergency Operations Center is activated and OEM has deployed command vehicles to Nassau and Suffolk counties. OEM will make additional deployments of personnel and resources as needed. OEM is also coordinating with emergency teams across the state to activate local emergency plans.
· The Division of State Police is preparing to stage resources, including aviation, marine, dive, and communications units.
· The Division of Military and Naval Affairs is developing a plan to put hundreds of troops on State Active Duty to deal with storm-related response. These troops would be available to work with state and city agencies as required.
· The state Department of Health is coordinating with the NYC Department of Health to plan for potential evacuations or sheltering of hospitals in certain flood zones.
· The Public Service Commission (PSC) is preparing for potential outages, coordinating with power plants and transmission line operators, and setting up extra staff for the weekend. The Governor's office and the PSC also spoke directly with CEOs of the six major electric utilities – Con Edison, National Grid, Orange & Rockland, Central Hudson, NYSEG, and RG&E – to discuss collaboration on potential power restoration efforts. The PSC's consumer services office will have extra weekend staff to deal with outage complaints and to provide the public with information.
· The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) are both confirming extra staffing and conducting internal operations to prepare for potential impacts. LIPA is closely coordinating with National Grid to ensure it is fully prepared on Long Island.

· The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has cancelled all weekend track work and is directing personnel to be on standby for emergency repairs. The MTA will have Subway Emergency Dispatch Vehicles, subway track maintenance personnel, and extra bus tow trucks standing by. The MTA's subway division and bridges and tunnels division will have emergency generators on standby for potential power failures. The MTA is also inspecting critical subway, track, and tunnel pumps to ensure they are working properly.

· The Department of Transportation has begun preventive maintenance and debris removal and is distributing flood control equipment. Equipment in active work zones is being secured, additional erosion protection is being addressed as necessary, barges are secured, and plans for post-storm clean-up are being developed.
· The Thruway Authority is checking all vehicles and readying equipment. The Authority is outfitting trucks to clear debris and will begin patrols on Saturday. The Authority will have extra staff available to deal with potential impacts of the storm. The Tappan Zee Bridge will be closed to truck, trailer, and mobile home traffic if winds reach 45 mph and this traffic will be diverted to other outlets.
· The Bridge Authority is conducting constant monitoring of wind conditions at its six bridges. Wind advisories for motorists will be issued as necessary. Particularly vulnerable are empty box trucks and trailers, which should avoid all bridges during a high wind storm. The Authority has extra staff to monitor wind conditions and to respond to emergency situations. Trucks and large, light vehicles will be discouraged from crossing bridges if wind speeds increase.
· The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is identifying erosion hot spots and potential damage impact areas, monitoring reservoir levels, planning deployment of staff on Monday to assess storm damage, and enhancing their permitting capabilities to speed any necessary storm damage repairs. DEC is in contact with local governments regarding management of storm debris and will monitor wastewater and sewage treatment plant operations. DEC is canceling reservations at all DEC campgrounds in the Catskill Preserve (North-South Lake, Bear Spring Mountain, Beaverkill, Devil's Tombstone, Kenneth L. Wilson, Little Pond, Mongaup Pond, and Woodland Valley). DEC will close and evacuate these Campgrounds as well as Catskill Preserve Day Use facilities by noon on Saturday.
· The Department of Corrections has facilities that fall within the hurricane's projected path in New York City. There are no correctional facilities located in Nassau or Suffolk counties. All of the correctional facilities are equipped with proper generators, water storage tanks, and sufficient supplies of food to last for ten days.
· The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has canceled all Friday, Saturday, and Sunday camping reservations at all state parks in the Long Island, Palisades and Taconic regions. A complete evacuation of anyone remaining in the campgrounds will occur at noon on Saturday. Parks will be closed if wind speeds reach 45 mph, or as weather conditions require.
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