The biggest concern residents should have in the Southern Tier is the high winds this storm is bringing along. As our Bill Mich tells us, Chemung County officials expect to see downed trees and power lines, a similar issue they faced just a few months ago.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- Back in July, it was an EF1 tornado that touched down in Elmira causing some widespread damage in the city. However, this time around, Hurricane Sandy is presenting a problem on a much bigger scale.
"Quite frankly, we have not experienced a event like this in Chemung County probably in 60 years, where there has been sustained winds of this magnitude," said Mike Smith, the Chemung County Fire and Emergency Management Director.
Forecasters have Sandy bringing sustained winds from 30 to 40 miles per hour and gusts over 50 miles an hour Monday night through Tuesday. Officials in Chemung County have crews prepared to work all night long in anticipation of the damage that could be caused. And some of that damage could be a result of the tornado.
"It is very possible that we are going to find trees that were substantially weakened by the tornado that now are going to be finished off by this strong wind," said Smith.
And if the county emergency director finds it necessary, the Red Cross is on standby with their trailers full of all the supplies needed to quickly open up a shelter.
"It's just a matter of carrying in the cots and setting them up and it is a process that goes on, but we can start receiving people within ten minutes of getting there," said Joel Robinson, the Executive Director of the Sullivan Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The county emergency management director anticipates damage but also believes Tuesday should be business as usual. The storm should weaken and people should anticipate a regular work day. But until then, the message was clear.
"Stay home. Just use your common sense that there's no reason to be on the road. It's going to be a long windy night and there's a good chance there's going to be trees coming down, wires coming down, and power outages," said Tom Santulli, the Chemung County Executive.
Chemung County is prepared for whatever Sandy brings along.