Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene Advisory # 2

Good afternoon
The preparedness & tips section below remains the same - we cannot overemphasize the need to prepare in advance of Irene. The current conditions and forecast sections have been updated to reflect the latest information.

Current local conditions:
Our rainfall total for August is already more than 1 1/2 inches greater than in the historical normal for August.
The overall level of the NYC reservoir system is about 9% above normal for this time of year. Currently the Ashokan is at 94% of capacity and the Rondout is at 97% of capacity. The NYC DEP has begun releasing 600 million gallons per day (MGD) through the waste channel at Ashokan. I've received some calls concerning the volume of the release. For perspective, this is the same volume that was released on a daily basis for several months earlier this year.

Most areas have seen light showers thus far today. While we will experience additional showers throughout the evening, the 1/2" total still looks good. However, this helps to saturate the ground before Irene's arrival and adds to the already high August rainfall total.
Most models are now moving the track farther west, increasing the impact for our area. There's still a great deal of uncertainty and potential deviation in the track.
The storm is still moving slowly - only about 14 MPH.
Rainfall will begin late Saturday night, heavy rain should be in place by daybreak on Sunday.
The general area could see Category 1 hurricane conditions with associated winds and the potential for 10 inches of rain. This would produce serious flooding.
Keep in mind the most severe winds are found in the northeast quadrant of a hurricane.
The National Weather Service office in Albany has not held a briefing on this storm. The information above is a compilation from the National Hurricane Center, NWS Binghamton and NWS Upton.
Flooding and power outages are the most likely hazards we will be faced with.

Storm preparations & Tips:
Subscribe to NY Alert ( to get the latest watches and warnings direct from the National Weather Service.
Have a family disaster plan.
Be especially conscious to look out for the elderly, disabled and children.
Have a plan for your pets (pets are not allowed in general population shelters).
Be prepared for extended power outages. Have a supply of batteries, a battery operated radio, and flashlights (avoid the use of candles whenever possible due to the fire hazard).
Have enough potable water for each person (one gallon per person, per day).
Have a quantity of nonperishable food (and a manual can opener).
Have a first aid kit and extra medications on hand.
Have a small quantity of cash on hand in case ATM machines are without power.
Heed all official warnings including orders to evacuate.
Never drive through flooded roadways - Turn Around, Don't Drown!
Consider all down wires to be energized.
Never run a generator or charcoal cooking appliance indoors (great danger of carbon monoxide poisoning).
The Red Cross is developing sheltering plans that will be finalized as the exact strike area is more clearly identified. Please keep in mind the wide area of impact will affect the availability of all resources - Red Cross, utilities, etc.
Follow the advice of - Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed.

This is a very serious storm that bears close watching over the next few days. Prepare NOW!