News Release

February 8, 2013      

For Further Information Contact:
Colleen Pillus
(845) 486-2000
E-mail: cpillus@dutchessny.gov

County Braced for Winter Storm Impact
Emergency Operations Center Activated

Poughkeepsie… With light snow currently falling and the weather forecast calling for heavy accumulations later in the day and into the overnight, Dutchess County Government is prepped and ready to deal with impact from the winter storm.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro activated the Dutchess County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on a partial scale at 1pm today (Friday) to monitor and respond to the storm. Agencies initially stationed at the Dutchess County EOC include:

  • County Emergency Response
  • Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office
  • New York State Police
  • Dutchess County Public Works
  • Dutchess County Soil & Water
  • Dutchess County Office of Central and Information Services (OCIS)

County officials have participated in several conference calls over the last few days with the National Weather Service (NWS) out of Albany as the storm has developed. According to the NWS, Dutchess County is under a winter weather warning until Saturday afternoon with current forecasts calling for heavy snow, with accumulations ranging from 8 to 17 inches.   Snowfall is expected to steadier and heavier late this afternoon, with heaviest snowfall overnight then tapering off Saturday morning. Winds of 10-20mph are expected during storm.

Dutchess County Public Works crews are already out sanding county roadways and are ready for a long night ahead as the snowfall accumulation increases.  Dutchess County 911 Communication staff is fully staffed, with additional staffing scheduled for the late afternoon and overnight.

Dutchess County Government’s Inclement Weather Policy is in effect for county employees beginning at 2pm today. Dutchess County Government agencies and departments remain open for the remainder of the business day.

County Executive Molinaro noted, “Staying off the roads will helps keep you and your family safe, while allowing quicker storm cleanup. If you must drive - use common sense, be patient and heed safety warnings.”

The Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response offers the following reminders and tips for safe winter driving:

  • The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents.
  • When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.
  • If travel is a necessity, drivers should make sure their vehicle is stocked with survival gear such as blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods and brightly-colored cloth to use as a distress flag.
  • Vehicle gas tank should be kept full to prevent gasoline freeze-up.
  • Drivers should be sure their cell phone battery is charged and with them whenever traveling.
  • Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
  • Listen to the local media report or call law enforcement agencies for the latest road conditions.
  • Keep vehicles clear of ice and snow. Good vision is a key to good driving.
  • Plan stops and keep more distance between cars. Always match speed to the road and weather conditions.

If wind or snow conditions begin to result in reports of downed power lines, representatives from Central Hudson will be stationed in the Dutchess County 911 Dispatch Center to be able to coordinate faster response to downed power lines and work with county public works crews. NYSEG has brought additional crews into the area for prompt storm response. County health and human service agencies, including Dutchess County Medical Reserve Corps, as well as the American Red Cross, are also on stand by to respond as needed to address human services needs, such as isolated senior citizens or shelter needs, that may result from if power outages become prevalent.

Residents can stay up to date on the County’s storm response online at www.dutchessny.gov or on the County’s social media pages on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dutchess-County-Government/73646813346 or Twitter at http://twitter.com/DutchessCoGov.

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    Last Updated: 3/13/2013