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Safety First in Winter Weather
Dutchess County Government Ready for 2014’s First Storm

Published: 1/2/2014

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie…The first significant weather event of 2014 is already underway and Dutchess County Government is ready.    Dutchess County is currently under a Winter Storm Warning until 10am tomorrow morning (Friday, January 3rd).    Light snow has been falling all morning and the weather forecast from the National Weather Service (NWS) Albany calls for total snow accumulation of 8 to 10 inches for Dutchess County.   One of the biggest concerns for this storm are the very cold temperatures predicted –single to teen digits during the day and dropping to potentially below zero overnight.  Wind chill temperatures will be even lower, dropping to between 10 below zero to 25 below zero tonight into tomorrow morning.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “Dutchess County Government is ready to address the storm as it progresses.    It is equally important that all county residents are also prepared to handle the storm.   The most important message is to remember SAFETY FIRST and use common sense!   Stay off the roads if possible, be safe in the cold temperatures, check on neighbors and be safe.”

Dutchess County Public Works highway crews have been out monitoring and addressing roadways throughout the morning and are ready for a long night ahead as the snowfall accumulation increase.

Tips for safe winter driving include:

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 reports and/or check 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.

Dutchess County LOOP Bus Service is currently operating on a regular schedule, however there will no 9:35pm service to Wassaic tonight.   Several Friday, January 3rd service cancellations have been announced:

Dial-A-Ride and Flex service is cancelled for Friday, January 3, 2014.A.M RailLink service has been cancelled for Friday morning.

Loop Line runs A, B, C, D, E, F and G will start Friday, January 3rd at the following times:

Route A – 7:00 am
Route B – 6:30 am
Route C - 6:05 am
Route D – 8:26 am
Route E – 8:25 am
Route F – 8:00 am
Route G – 12:00 pm

LOOP passengers can check for schedule changes at  Service changes or cancellations will also be provided to local radio stations and other media outlets.

Dutchess County Office for the Aging Senior Friendship Centers are closed today, with no home delivered meals.    Additionally, the Senior Friendship Center at First Lutheran Church on Mill Street in the City of Poughkeepsie will also be closed tomorrow.   (All other Senior Friendship Centers do not operate on Fridays.)

Dutchess County 911 Dispatch communication center is fully staffed, with additional staffing scheduled for the late afternoon and overnight as the storm intensifies.   According to Dutchess County Emergency Response Coordinator Dana Smith, the extreme cold is a significant concern.   “Residents need to be alert to the hazardous of the very low temps and wind chill factors.    There is a heightened risk of medical issues including frostbite and hypothermia.    Additionally, people need to use caution about heat sources in their homes to avoid fire risks and/or carbon monoxide issues.”

The following are just a few safety tips from Dutchess County Emergency Response about how to be safe in extreme cold temperatures:

Dress appropriately by wearing loose, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers.  Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.  Always wear a hat or cap.  Cover mouth with a scarf to protect lungs from extreme cold.Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, especially in children and the elderly.  Watch for the following symptoms: inability to concentrate, poor coordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, exhaustion, and/or uncontrollable shivering, following by a sudden lack of shivering.  If a person’s body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get emergency medical assistance immediately.  Remove wet clothing, wrap the victim in warm blankets, and give warm, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquids until help arrives.Frostbite can occur when working or playing outdoors during the winter.  In the early stages of frostbite, there is no pain.  Watch for danger signs: skin may feel numb and become flushed, and then turn white or grayish-yellow; frostbitten skin feels cold to the touch.  If frostbite is suspected, move the victim to a warm area.  Cover the affected area with something warm and dry.  Never rub it!  Get to a doctor or hospital as quickly as possible. 

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent, deadly killer claiming about 1,000 lives each year in the United States.  Such common items as automotive exhaust, home heating systems and obstructed chimneys can produce the colorless, odorless gas.  The gas can also be produced by poorly vented generators, kerosene heaters, gas grills and other items used for cooking and heating when used improperly during the winter months.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include sleepiness, headaches and dizziness.  If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, ventilate the area and get to a hospital immediately. 

For a wide variety of winter safety tips from protecting your home to being safe outdoors, check out the resources available on Dutchess County Government’s website at

Residents can stay up to date on the County’s storm response online at or on the County’s social media pages on Facebook at or Twitter at