Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Extreme cold

Good afternoon Just a few brief notes on the impending severe weather. Extreme cold - For the second time this year we are faced with conditions that will result in dangerously cold temperatures in Ulster County. You may recall that we only issue these notices for extended events - an average of 10 degrees or less for a period of at least three days (as measured in Albany). Such a period will be with us for the remainder of the week (with a possible repeat performance next week). Beginning tonight and continuing through Friday, nighttime and early morning wind chills will be dangerously cold and potentially life threatening. During this time it is critically important to check on the elderly and other fragile populations (including household pets). These temperatures can lead to frozen pipes and water mains, and unfortunately a spike in fires and carbon monoxide incidents. Please be sure to use auxiliary heating equipment safely, and ensure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries. If you must go out doors, dress in layers carefully covering all exposed skin, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and limit unusual exertion (like shoveling snow). If you must travel, ensure you have an emergency kit in your car. Unless there is an extraordinary event such as an extended power failure or gas service interruption, the County will not be requesting additional shelters be opened. The human needs community has a network of shelters available for their known clients. Snowstorm - the afternoon and overnight snow storm is a minor event and should drop more snow the farther south you go. This is a minimal hazard compared to the extreme cold. . Unless something changes, there will be no further updates. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to call the office at 331-7000.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Ice Safety

In anticipation of abnormally high temperatures (which will result in runoff and ice melt)and a significant rain event this weekend, it is important to urge caution when engaged in recreational activites on the ice. Those ice skating or ice fishing should be certain the ice is strong enough to support the weight of those on it. Here are some tips: 1) never go on the ice alone 2) suggested equipment to have: a personal flotation device, an ice pick and a throw rope 3) ice on a static source is safer than ice over moving water With respect to the last statement, there will be proactive releases from Ashokan Reservoir starting today to maintain a void and reduce downstream flooding potential along the Lower Esopus. While an important measure to reduce flooding, it will cause ice to break up downstream of the reservoir.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Storm update / Governor's declaration

Good evening The forecast hasn't really changed much: 6-12" of dry, light snow through early tomorrow winds 10-15 with a few gusts will cause some blowing and drifting dangerous low temperatures and wind chills no states of emergency are in effect in Ulster County drivers are urged to stay off the roads and allow the very capable highway crews to do their jobs The main reason for my e-mail is to relate actions Tweeted by the Governor: he has issued a statewide state of emergency; subsequent to that * there is a ban on commercial vehicles on I-84 from the Connecticut to Pennsylvania borders through at least 5 AM tomorrow * as of midnight, I-84, I-87 (Thruway) south of Albany, and I-495 (Long Island Expressway through Nassau and Suffolk will all be closed until at least 5 AM tomorrow * these closures will be "soft". There has been conflicting information regarding the definition of the "soft" closure. In Ulster County this is a fairly routine winter storm. Please stay off the roadways and limit travel so the area highway departments can clear the roads.. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Lastly, please heed our previous warnings and guidance about the extreme cold. Thank you and stay safe. Art