Cuomo Declares State Of Emergency For Westchester

A state of emergency has been declared by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday in four Hudson Valley counties: Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Sullivan.

<p>&quot;This is an all-hands-on-deck situation and the people of the Hudson Valley should know that New York State is doing everything we can to restore power and help them recover as quickly as possible,&quot; Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday.</p>

"This is an all-hands-on-deck situation and the people of the Hudson Valley should know that New York State is doing everything we can to restore power and help them recover as quickly as possible," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Cunningham

Responders in the four counties continue to recover from the Nor'easter that affected the entire state the past several days. 

Cuomo also announced the deployment of an additional 100 members of the New York National Guard to further assist communities with recovery efforts.

Senior administration officials remain on site in each of the four counties as they help lead recovery efforts:

  • Director of State Operations Cathy Calhoun has been deployed to Dutchess County
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino is in Putnam County
  • Public Service Commission Chair John Rhodes is in Westchester County 
  • New York Power Authority Senior Vice President of Public and Regulatory Affairs Kimberly Harriman and Regional Operations Superintendent Mark Olig are in Sullivan County

The New York State Emergency Operations Center also remains open to further support local and state partners during recovery operations.

"In the wake of this week's destructive winter storm, I am declaring a state of emergency across Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester Counties and am doubling the deployment of National Guard members assisting with recovery operations," Cuomo said. "This is an all-hands-on-deck situation and the people of the Hudson Valley should know that New York State is doing everything we can to restore power and help them recover as quickly as possible."

This complex winter storm left more than 360,000 New Yorkers without power at its height as a result of dangerously strong winds, rain and snow that took down trees, branches, and power lines. Sustained winds of over 30 mph, with gusts of 50 mph to over 60 mph, were recorded in the lower Hudson Valley.

On Saturday, Cuomo announced the deployment of an initial 100 National Guard members and 30 vehicles out of Camp Smith in Westchester County to assist state, county and local officials with recovery efforts ranging from debris clearance to traffic control. The total deployment now stands at 200. 

Crews from the New York State Department of Transportation have also been dispatched to assist localities with storm cleanup and debris removal as well as to support for utility restoration operations.

In the Southern Tier and Hudson Valley regions, the Department has deployed more than 1,000 operators and supervisors, 388 large dump trucks, 23 chippers, three tree crew bucket trucks, 12 signal trucks, and 91 loaders.

Power Outages

As of late Sunday afternoon, there are more than 182,000 customers without power as a result of the storm. Of that, more than three-quarters of the outages are centered in Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester counties. 

New York's utilities have a total of 4,910 in-house workers and contractors working on storm restoration efforts. This total includes resources obtained through mutual assistance. Con Edison has 424 line and tree workers on hand, plus 341additional contractors; Central Hudson has 300 line and tree workers on hand, plus 343 additional contractors; PSEG Long Island has 705 line and tree workers, including 300 FEMA contractors, along with 75 additional contractors; National Grid has 1,200 line and tree workers on hand, NYSEG and RG&E have 783 line and tree workers on hand, plus 443 additional contractors and O&R has 290 line and tree workers on hand. Utility contractors are en route or already assisting from as far north as Canada, and as far west as Texas.

The New York State Power Authority has deployed its transmission team to Central Hudson to help fix their 69 KV sub-transmission system and 40 line workers and 15 bucket trucks from its municipal utility customers are assisting in the Central Hudson and NYSEG regions. NYPA has activated a contract with Michels, its utility contractor, to send up to 200 line workers from Wisconsin and Iowa to help with restoration efforts.

In addition, NYPA has requested support from ElectriCities of North Carolina via the American Public Power Association mutual assistance process. This includes 18 utility workers and 5 utility trucks from ElectriCities to help Con Edison in Westchester County. ElectriCities has authorized sending additional resources, up to 50 utility workers and 15 utility trucks, as needed. NYPA also obtained resources from Niagara Peninsula, a municipal utility in Ontario, Canada for 10 utility workers and 7 trucks to help Central Hudson.

Below is a breakdown of outages by Hudson Valley counties as of late Sunday afternoon:

  • Columbia 4,708
  • Dutchess 25,267
  • Orange 2,240
  • Putnam 26,213
  • Rockland 1,101
  • Sullivan 19,147
  • Ulster 6,683
  • Westchester 74,690


Personnel from the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad have been working throughout the storm and the aftermath to clear scores of fallen trees, repair weather-related problems affecting signals, railroad crossings, and traction power infrastructure, and assist public utility companies as they attended to fallen utility poles blocking the tracks.

Metro-North Railroad

Metro-North is operating on or close to schedule system-wide.

Prepare for Power Outages

Cuomo urges residents to stay away from any lines that are down as they may be live, and should be considered extremely dangerous.

Motorists are reminded that State Law mandates that if an intersection is "blacked out" and the traffic signal is not operational, the intersection is automatically a "four-way" stop. In the event of closed or blocked roadways due to flooding, downed power lines or debris, motorists are advised to exercise caution and obey all traffic signs or barricades in place, regardless of whether a roadway looks clear.

New Yorkers should also check on friends, family and neighbors, especially the elderly.

Power outages can effect the ability of individuals to heat their homes, which could lead to dangerously cold temperatures in the winter months.

Safety tips:

If You Lose Power

  • Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities, visit the New York State Department of Public Service Check to see if your neighbors have power. Check on people with access or functional needs.
  • Use only flashlights for emergency lighting - candles pose the risk of fire.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed - most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat - they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
  • In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors. Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.

After a Power Outage

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40°F (4°C) for two or more hours, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. "When in doubt, throw it out!"
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, it can be re-frozen.
  • If you are concerned about medications having spoiled, contact your doctor.
  • Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies. 

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