Officials in St. Lawrence County have specific instructions for people in the path of the storm. Our Barry Wygel tells us wind damage and power outages remain the biggest threat facing the county.
ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. -- "Take this seriously," said Joseph Gilbert, director of emergency services for St. Lawrence County
These words have been echoed by President Obama, Governor Cuomo and now by local officials. Officials in the North Country are expecting winds up to 65 miles an hour as the storm passes through.
"We expect a lot of down trees and limbs and with down trees and limbs you get down power lines," said Gilbert.
Officials say if you do experience a power outage, and you are not in need of immediate assistance, call and report it to your power company and not to 911.
Above all, officials are telling residents to stay home, leave the roads for emergency crews and others who need to get out and clean up from the storm.
"We're encouraging people to shelter in place when they can. We do have designated shelters that we would open when necessary," said Timmy Currier, Massena Police Chief.
Currier says that due to the mild temperatures Monday night, he anticipates even if residents lose power, they will be fine staying in their homes, but if they do need immediate assistance, there are places they can call for help.
"What they should not do is go to their fire department. What they should do is contact their fire department or 911," said Gilbert.
People are urged to call 911 instead of their local fire department or police stations so that the county can keep track of all incidents and allocate resources to the most serious needs first.
"Everyone should take this seriously, but not panic. It's just a storm, it will come and it will go, and we'll get through it," said Gilbert.
There is the possibility for extended power outages throughout the area. Due to the nature of the storm, Gilbert says if your power goes out, it may be 12 to 14 hours before crews can even begin to restore it.