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Poughkeepsie...Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro is advising residents to be prepared for a significant winter weather event that could result in a State of Emergency declaration with travel restrictions for this evening into tomorrow if current weather reports are accurate. Should an emergency declaration need to be made, it will be announced at 5pm today and would go into effect at approximately 7pm. Dutchess County is under a Winter Storm Warning until 1am Wednesday, January 28th. Potential snow accumulations could range from 18 to 36 inches in various sections of Dutchess County. Snow is expected to be heaviest Monday night through Tuesday afternoon with peak snowfall rates reaching 2-3 inches per hour, with brief bursts of over 3 inches per hour possible. Significant visibility issues are expected with zero visibility possible Monday night through Tuesday morning, with significant wind gusting.
County Executive Molinaro said, “From all reports, this is going to be a significant storm. We are monitoring it carefully and our road crews and emergency responders are prepared. Citizens need to take this storm seriously. If conditions warrant, there is a strong likelihood we will need to declare a State of Emergency that restricts travel on roadways late today into tomorrow morning. We want to make sure that people are off the roads when conditions are at the worst. Please make sure you have taken the necessary precautions and remain safe at home.”
County Executive Molinaro has activated the Dutchess County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) effective 1pm to monitor and respond to the storm as necessary. Agencies initially stationed at the EOC include:
County Executive Molinaro hosted a municipal conference call this morning with both county and local officials to discuss storm operations plans and coordinate resources. County officials will be participating in additional conference calls throughout the day including with the National Weather Service at 2pm, as well as calls with Central Hudson, New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and New York State elected representatives. There will also be another update call with local municipalities later today.
Dutchess County 911 Dispatch communication center is fully staffed, with additional staffing scheduled for the late afternoon and overnight as the storm intensifies.
Dutchess County Public Works highway crews have all equipment prepped and ready to deploy as the snow begins to fall and accumulate. The County has 31 plows and will deploy all of them. Salt and sand supplies are well stocked for the storm event. County officials have been in touch with all local municipalities to ensure there is ample salt and sand for local roadways as well. Road crews will be out throughout the evening commute. As the storm intensifies and visibility becomes more difficult with potential white out conditions, it is anticipated road crews will only be able to maintain one lane on most county roads as well as provide assistance to emergency responders.
Dutchess County Public Transit bus service is currently operating a normal schedule. LOOP passengers should check for weather related schedule changes at www.dutchessny.gov/loop.htm. Service changes or cancellations will also be provided to local radio stations and other media outlets.
Dutchess County Office for the Aging volunteers are delivering double meals today to home delivered meal clients anticipation of storm conditions. Additionally, clients have “blizzard boxes” (shelf stable meals for emergency use). Case managers have been in touch with vulnerable home care clients to make sure they are prepared for the storm. Additionally, Case Managers, Public Health Nurses and Site Managers will have client contact info with them in order to check in with the most vulnerable and living alone clients.
Stay tuned to the Dutchess County Emergency Management’s FACEBOOK page for the latest updates and information. You can also follow Emergency Management on TWITTER as Dutchess OEM (Office of Emergency Management).