"Sandy" - Update from Town Hall

Supervisor Stewart provides a brief update on "Sandy" from the perspective of Town Hall.

As rain and wind blasts Town Hall, and stranded, soaked motorists sip hot coffee, the temporary Emergency Operations Center ("EOC") set up in the new court room is buzzing with phones, radios and clipped dialogue about downed trees, live wires across roads, sewage overflows and flooding along the Hudson River waterfront.

About 7200 electric customers are out of power, and O&R's representative is in the EOC logging downed wires and power outages as Orangetown police and highway workers place barricades on roads to keep people from getting electrocuted.

The Piermont fire department called for mutual aid because fallen trees and flooding have essentially cut off the Village from outside help from EMS.

Tragedy has struck in Pearl River where a tree fell on a house, killing a father watching TV with his wife and kids. Orangetown police, highway and fire responders dug furiously to free family members trapped in the debris.

The wind speed has peaked, but will diminish only slowly throughout Tuesday and into Wednesday, as the cleanup of debris and utilities commences in earnest.

Declaration of Emergency by President Obama means local governments and private property owners will have the chance to apply for reimbursement from the Federal Government for storm damages. Orangetown Town hall will act as a clearinghouse for information on how to apply. We're also logging all costs associated with emergency response and cleanup for eventual FEMA reimbursement, to the extent possible.

Declarations of a State of Emergency by Town Supervisors enabled police to restrict travel, thereby limiting the number of preventable accidents burdening EMS.

I am so impressed with the dedication and professionalism of my colleagues in this town and it is a privilege to be here tonight helping to coordinate our collective response to this hurricane.

I can only imagine what scenes of destruction, community solidarity and re-building we will all witness over the next few days.

Everybody, please take great care for your personal safety, help those in need and thank an emergency responder if you get the chance.

Call the police department non-emergency number 845-359-3700 to report safety hazards.

Thank you,

Andy Stewart

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