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Oswego County Residents Urged To Be Cautious During Winter Storm

Provided by Oswego County

FULTON, NY – With a widespread winter storm approaching this week, Oswego County Emergency Management Office Director Patricia Egan reminds area residents to follow winter safety tips and stay aware of weather forecasts.

“The winter storm tracking across the country will affect us Wednesday with several inches of snow and windchills in the single numbers,” Egan said. “There’s also a potential for a persistent east/northeast wind along Lake Ontario that may mean a shift or drift in ice along the lake shore. People should be especially careful while walking near the lakeshore.”

Egan also encouraged motorists to check weather reports for the latest conditions before driving and to and to make sure their car kits are up-to-date with such items as blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, battery booster cables, quick energy foods and brightly-colored cloth to use as a distress flag.

“Make sure your cell phones are fully charged before setting out,” she reminded motorists. “And, make sure someone knows your travel plans.”

She also said residents should be cautious while walking, snow shoveling, or doing other activities outdoors during the storm.

“Make sure you dress for the weather and avoid prolonged exposure to the cold,” she said. “Remember, cold temperatures put an extra strain on your heart. It’s best to stay warm, dress warm and slow down while working outside.”

More information on winter weather safety is available by calling the Emergency Management Office at 591-9150 or visiting www.oswegocounty.com/emo

Thousands Without Power After Hurricane Ike Remnants Blow Through CNY

OSWEGO COUNTY, NY – The remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through Central New York overnight, knocking out power and bringing down trees and limbs. At approximately 3 a.m., winds reportedly reached as speeds of 60 miles per hour as a cold front combined with what was left of the hurricane.

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Less than two weeks into the new school year, the outages resulted in a long list of school closing and delays. (To see News10Now’s full list of closings and delays, click Here.)

While Oswego County’s emergency 911 center reports a large volume of calls overnight, it did not see major incidents, according to a 911 spokesperson.

“We had a lot of calls but there was really nothing major,” she said. “We had about 300 calls from midnight to 7 a.m.”

She said the center brought in a couple of extra workers overnight to manage the call volume.

“We had several calls from every area of the county except the two cities,” she said. “They didn’t see much at all. Other than that, I can’t say that any one area was hit more than others. It was spread pretty evenly through the townships.”

A damaged transformer threw some sparks. A couple of minor grass fires put themselves out. As of 7 a.m., the calls slowed down substantially, she said.

Patrick Stella, spokesperson for National Grid, said the company is doing field assessments now to survey the damage and mange the outages. He said it is difficult to determine at this point what time power will be restored to any one area.

“Power will be restored through the day today, tomorrow and even into Wednesday if necessary,” Stella said. “We are mobilizing crews throughout our service territory to help in Central New York, which is the hardest hit area in the state.”

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Stella said an estimated 100,000 customers are without power in Central New York.

According to National Grid’s outage tracker, Onondaga County continued to hold the largest number of customers reporting outages around the state with 38,406 customers in the dark as of 9:15 a.m. Oswego County followed with 18,520; and Oneida County with 14,052 customers. Oswego County customers most affected by power outages are in the townships of Volney, Schroeppel, Sandy Creek, Palermo, Mexico, Hastings and Constantia.

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Stella pointed out that anyone who sees downed power lines should assume they are live and report the damage to National Grid immediately at 1-800-867-5222.

County Will Seek Relief For Farmers

OSWEGO COUNTY, NY – The Oswego County Legislature is working to build support for the local farming community that has been devastated by storm damage this year.

Opening the discussion during Thursday’s meeting, legislator Shawn Doyle, R-Pulaski, said that the Economic Development and Planning Committee had a serious discussion at its recent meeting about the amount of crop damage local farmers have suffered because of this summer’s storms.

Since that meeting, Doyle said another hail storm shocked the county, bringing the major storm count to three.

Doyle said that the committee discussed asking the full Legislature to send an urgent letter to the state requesting that Oswego County be declared an agricultural disaster area in an effort to bring some relief for the agricultural community.

“Many farmers will suffer extreme financial loss this year,” Doyle said.

Legislator Barbara Brown, R-Palermo, agreed and made the motion to have the letter prepared.

“The financial losses in the county are tremendous,” she said, noting that the crop damage caused by storms will result in significant hardships for the farming community.

Legislator Lee Walker Jr., D-Oswego, said that when he first learned of the crop damage in Oswego and Scriba areas, he contacted State Senator Darrel Aubertine to see if help was available. Within two days, Walker said New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker was in Oswego County to survey the damage.

Hooker explained during his visit to the county that the typical delivery system for emergency situations is through the federal government. He said farm service agencies across the state are collecting data on the damages to quantify the statewide loss. Once that is complete, he said the governor will deliver the data to the Secretary of Agriculture, who can declare the disaster and open the doors for relief.

“It is a disaster,” Walker said. The additional storm since Hooker’s visit became “a double whammy” for farmers, Walker noted.

“They sure could use help here in Oswego County,” he said.

The Legislature voted unanimously to make the request.

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