WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — Emergency personnel throughout Westchester are preparing for Hurricane Sandy, which they say has the potential to be a major threat. Nicknamed “Frankenstorm,” Hurricane Sandy’s forecast path has the storm hitting the coast by Tuesday, bringing strong winds and heavy rains before Halloween.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner says public works crews are trying to be proactive and have been checking and cleaning out clogged storm drains in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. In addition, he says, he is authorizing overtime for Saturday at the cost of less than $10,000 to allow for inspection of drains around the town. Greenburgh was particularly hard hit by severe flooding following Hurricane Irene, and clogged drains were blamed.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), there is an increasing chance that a strong coastal storm will track close to Westchester and the Tri-State area early next week, and its impact could be felt as early as Sunday and last through at least Tuesday. The NWS says significant coastal flooding will be possible with the storm, as will strong, gusty winds. There is a significant potential for property damage and power outages with the combination. Officials remind residents to know the location of designated official shelters and learn the most direct, safe route to get there.
As of 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Hurricane Sandy was a Category 2, which means winds could be as strong as 110 mph. Forecasters say the hurricane is likely to travel north in the Atlantic Ocean, where it could collide with arctic air and cause it to veer west and possibly make landfall along the New England coast.
Consolidated Edison says it's making plans in the event of widespread outages for its 9 million customers in Westchester and New York City. Con Ed spokesman Chris Olert says the utility is planning to have extra crews available that could be placed on 12-hour shifts if need be. He also reminded Westchester residents to have an emergency preparedness kit ready in case of outages or evacuations.
The National Weather Service says the probability of the storm hitting our area by Tuesday has increased over the past 24 hours to 90 percent.
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