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July 26, 2014
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Sullivan County Offices remain closed Tuesday


Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau issued the following statement: The National Weather Service (NWS) in Binghamton has continued a Flood 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. 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.

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 OPEN FOR NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS ON MONDAY MORNINGTO CONDUCT PUBLIC BUSINESS, HOWEVER, COUNTY OFFICES WILL CLOSE AT 12:00 NOON ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 29TH, AND OFFICES WILL BE CLOSED ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30TH.

Sullivan County Public Safety officials will continue to communicate with school officials in throughout the County, providing them with expected impacts of the storm. Information on any school-related closures will be made through the respective school district through their established notification channels.

The following have made public announcements closing on Monday, October 29th: School Districts: Eldred, Liberty, Monticello, Roscoe, Tri-Valley, and St. Peter’s Regional. Towns: Fallsburg and Thompson. The Sullivan County Public Health Flu Clinic in the Town of Tusten has been canceled for Monday, and the Town of Bethel bas been canceled for Tuesday.

The Agriculture Advisory Board meeting for Monday has been canceled. The Sullivan County Commissioner of Jurors has canceled reporting requirements for Monday, October 29th.

Jurors should call on Monday for further instructions. All County Transportation services for Monday are canceled, and senior nutrition sites will be closed.

Most of the pre-storm infrastructure work is related to drainage structures. In preparation for a heavy rain event, the Division clears pipes and catch basins of any accumulated debris. This enables the drainage structures to convey their full hydraulic capacity. In addition, attention is given to pipe outlets to make sure they are free of obstructions; ensuring water can be conveyed away from the structure. As time allows, ditches are cleaned and shoulders trimmed to allow storm water to freely drain from the highway surface. (This is usually handled as part of our routine maintenance/preventative measures above.)

DPW crews have attended to the areas that are usually prone to flooding on Friday and throughout this weekend. Public Safety and Public Works Personnel will be called in as needed to address preparation for the storm and storm impacts over the weekend and throughout the storm event.

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

For more information about this press release, please contact David Fanslau, County Manager, at David.Fanslau@co.sullivan.ny.us