There are a number of possible scenarios for Hurricane Sandy’s path and states along the Eastern seaboard are preparing for whatever may come their way. As our Elyse Mickalonis tells us, the Southern Tier is using lessons learned from last year’s flooding to prepare for this potential storm.
SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. -- It’s something the Southern Tier has seen before and is preparing to deal with again, just to be safe.
"I want to stress that it is too early to determine what path Hurricane Sandy will take, but I want to let you know,” said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. “Broome County will be fully prepared for every scenario."
Although Hurricane Sandy’s path is still unknown, Broome County Executive Debbie Preston and Emergency Services Director Brett Chellis met Friday afternoon to talk preparations. Preston says the area could see the storm Tuesday though early Wednesday morning, but a lot could change. Last year's flooding has officials looking at rain models.
"We are looking at the possibility of tropical storm force winds, sustainable winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour, gusts of 60 to 70 miles per hour and wide power outages are possible,” said Preston. “Based on preliminary forecasts, we are anticipating two to five inches of rain over a five day period."
Emergency planners say people need enough food and water for 72 hours and keep any medications on hand. Pet owners need to take their animals with them. Shelters will be accommodating.
"Last year, a lot of people left their pets behind on the second floor only to have to try and get them rescued when we found out the water was going to go higher than we expect,” said Chellis.
They ask that people sign up for NY Alerts to receive emergency messages and listen to any evacuation plans if they are called into effect.
"When we have our emergency responders out there and you've been given ample time to evacuate and then you don't and you call and ask for emergency responders to go in. It’s very dangerous for them and at times, we have to make a tough decision and say no we can’t send them in.” said Preston. “When an evacuation order comes out, you need to do it and you need to listen.”
Chellis says despite the weather being relatively dry lately, people should remain cautious and alert over the next few days.
"The fact that this year's been so dry, we don't want people to be complacent and think, 'Oh, we can handle tons of rain,' because if it comes fast there's going be issues,” said Chellis.
Preston and Chellis will continue to speak with the national weather service over the weekend.
Preston says people should be cleaning leaves out of storm drains, but says DPW crews are making its way around the area doing just that to prevent flooding along streets.