Awaiting Hurricane Sandy

UPDATE 9 p.m. Monday

On Monday the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene of a motor vehicle crash on State Route 49 near Toad Harbor Road  in the Town of West Monroe.

Initial investigation revealed the operator Steven Uehlin, 59, of Berhards Bay, was driving eastbound  in a 2003 Chevrolet on Route 49 shortly before 5:20 p.m.

The operator lost control of the vehicle, went off the road,  overturned and struck a utility pole.  The driver and sole occupant was transported to Upstate Hospital, Syracuse, where he later died as a result of his injuries. The accident doesn’t appear to be weather related, deputies said.

West Monroe VFD, Constantia VFD,  SOVAC Ambulance and New York State Police also responded to the scene of the crash.

Update 7 p.m. Monday

Since about 2:55 p.m. until nearly 7 p.m., winds speeds have been around the mid to upper 30 mph range with a gust of 43 mph at 3:54 p.m. as recorded at the Oswego County Airport.

UPDATE 6:15 p.m. Monday

a downed branch by Morningside Park on 110th Street
A downed branch by Morningside Park on 110th Street

Jocelyn Cook reports that at about 6 p.m. Monday “the winds are definitely picking up now.”

The former OCT contributing writer is currently living and working in the New York city region.

“I’m currently listening to Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference with updates. They might
pre-emptively shut off power in some areas depending on whether they think that would prevent some damage to equipment later,” she said. “I’m not seeing anyone outside in my neighborhood now, but this is about when they said the hurricane would start to get worse so that’s not surprising.”

W 125th Street by the Apollo Theater in Harlem
West 125th Street by the Apollo Theater in Harlem is empty Monday afternoon.

There are downed trees in many areas and flooding is getting worse along shorelines, she added.

A Hint of What’s Headed Upstate

“Here in Harlem it’s just very quiet. Consolidated Edison (Con Ed to locals) reports more than 36,000 outages across the five boroughs, mostly in Queens and Staten Island,” she said. “No fatalities, only one injury due to a falling tree limb so far.”

UPDATE 4 p.m. Monday

Storm Damage Closes Part Of Route 48 Near CR 85
OSWEGO, NY – Oswego County 911 reports State Route 48 will be shut down near County Route 85 in Granby.

Tree fell on wires, then onto a car.

The person in the car scrambled onto the roof at this point.

Also, a tree is down on wires at 322 County Route 51, town of Scriba.

The 911 dispatcher quipped that he was asked by a caller today if 911 was closing because of the weather.

“The high winds promised by forecasters began making their way into the northern part of Oswego County just before 2 p.m. today. Treetops in the village of Pulaski whooshed somewhat back and forth, signaling the beginning of what forecasters predict could be winds as high as 55 miles per hour,” according to Joleene Des Rosiers.

The village of Pulaski will be utilizing the Ringgold Fire Hall as an emergency location for residents that need power, she said.

Village Mayor Karl Hax said residents are welcome to bring food to cook if their power does fail them. They are also welcome to bring blankets to keep warm.

The fire hall will be available through Tuesday.

Winds are expected to ease later tonight. The strongest winds should be gone by tomorrow morning, she added.

Mitch Mitchell reports from Onondaga County that the winds are a bit higher this afternoon then they were before “and more consistent, so probably around 10 to 15 mph.”

“Went to Wegmans and in more open space the winds felt stronger. No precipitation yet, but the temperature has dropped one degree to 53,” he said. “Took a drive by Onondaga Lake to see what it looks like and there are waves, but not all that big. I do know that they’ve supposedly closed the Buffalo Airport as my friend’s son’s flight was cancelled for later this evening so they’re getting the other storm already.”


On behalf of the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office be advised that a NO UNNECESSARY TRAVEL RESTRICTION is hereby issued for all of Cayuga County from 6 p.m. on October 29, until such time as said restriction is rescinded or revised.

Due to the size and direction of Hurricane Sandy, effects are expected to be felt in Cayuga County, potentially strong gusts of wind, significant rain, localized flooding and power interruptions.

Extreme discretion should be used prior to traveling.  If travel is necessary, please be aware of the possibility of downed power wires and/or trees.

Ritchie Tours Emergency Operation Center In Advance of Sandy

State Senator Patty Ritchie met with St. Lawrence County Emergency Service Director Joseph Gilbert and toured the emergency operations center in Canton today as local officials prepared for Hurricane Sandy.

Senator Ritchie is pictured with St. Lawrence County Emergency Service Director Joseph Gilbert.
Senator Ritchie is pictured with St. Lawrence County Emergency Service Director Joseph Gilbert.

Senator Ritchie also reached out to emergency officials in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties Monday, to check in on the precautions being taken before the storm makes landfall Monday night or early Tuesday.

Below are emergency contact numbers that the senator is encouraging people have on hand in the event of a power outage:

Oswego County:
Emergency Management Office: 315-591-9150

Jefferson County:
Office of Fire and Emergency Management: 315-786-2654

St. Lawrence County:
Emergency Services: 315-379-2240

National Grid:


NYS Hurricane Sandy Helpline:

As a reminder, 9-1-1 can also be called in the case of an emergency.

Senator Ritchie is also urging people to sign up for the NY-Alert system to receive warnings and emergency information via the web, your cell phone or email.  To sign up, visit or call 518-292-2299.

In addition to having these important numbers readily available, families should also consider having  non-perishable food, water, cash, a battery operated radio, filled prescriptions, flashlights and extra batteries on hand.

Thousands Look to Red Cross For Shelter from Sandy
SYRACUSE, NY – Thousands of people across nine states took refuge from Hurricane Sandy in American Red Cross shelters Sunday night as the massive storm neared the East Coast.

More than 3,200 people spent the night in 112 Red Cross shelters in nine states – New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Massachusetts. The number of people going to shelters is expected to grow as the storm comes ashore.

If shelters are needed in Central New York due to power outages, the Central New York Chapter of the American Red Cross has seven shelters on standby: three in Onondaga County, and two each in Oswego and Madison counties.

The Central New York Chapter is also mobilizing volunteers, relief supplies and disaster vehicles, and working with county emergency management officials who are aware that Red Cross resources are available.

The Red Cross has deployed more than 1,300 disaster workers from all over the country to help those already affected by the storm.

As many as 160 emergency vehicles are ready to respond when it is safe to do so, and more than 230,000 ready-to-eat meals have been sent into the affected areas.

“Sandy is a large and dangerous storm, and will affect large parts of the eastern part of the country for the next few days,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “We urge people to remain in a safe place until it passes, and to listen to instructions from local officials.”

To find a Red Cross shelter, people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or check their local media outlets.

People can also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies.

To register, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.


Meanwhile, nearly 100 Red Cross blood drives have already been cancelled due to the storm, and there could be more as the week goes on.

This means a loss of as many as 3,200 blood and platelet products. If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now.

“Patients will still need blood despite the weather,” said Dr. Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer of the Red Cross. “To ensure a sufficient national blood supply is available for those in need, both during and after the storm passes, it is critical that those in unaffected areas make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible.”

To schedule a blood donation or get more information about giving blood, people can visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health.

Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them.

Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent.


“This will be a large, costly relief response and the Red Cross needs help now,” Shimanski said. “People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone.”

Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

It was windy and chilly shortly after 3 p.m. Monday near Chattanooga, Tenn., former Hannibal resident Anne Marie Hall Colvin reports.

UPDATE 1 p.m. Monday

The Connections Women’s Conference scheduled for Tuesday at The American Foundry is still on track.

However, marketing and development manager of Operation Oswego County, Evelyn LiVoti, said the organization is keeping its options open.

“We are meeting this afternoon to discuss any options and are, at this point, and still gathering information. We still plan on holding it, but if we do decide to cancel, we will notify the media and our attendees to let them know. But we’re hoping the worst of it passes and we can still have the event,” LiVoti told Oswego County Today.

Hurricane cancels evening, morning classes at college

Because of Hurricane Sandy and general emergency conditions in the region, SUNY Oswego is canceling classes beginning this evening (Monday classes that begin at or after 4:30 p.m.) and continuing through tomorrow morning (Tuesday classes that begin before noon).

Monday evening activities are also canceled. This applies to the main campus and also the SUNY Oswego Metro and Phoenix centers.

Members of the campus community are warned to

– stay away from the lake due to forecasts of unusually high waves
– take reasonable precautions (campus residents should stay inside)
– beware of wind-blown debris in roadways, and
– avoid downed power lines off campus.

Employees who do not come to work must charge their time. The only exception is faculty who have classes that are canceled.

Hurricane Sandy is predicted to interact with more localized weather conditions this afternoon through Tuesday morning to produce rain and high winds, especially near the lake. The city has removed its rescue boat from the harbor. Power outages are likely in the area, and the region’s utility crews will be out in force to restore service as quickly as possible.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m. Monday

As of 12:30 p.m.  Joleene says the village of Pulaski and surrounding areas continue to remain quiet. There are no activities or meetings scheduled for this evening, which means there are no cancellations to advise residents on.

However, Mayor Karl Hax said he is working on an emergency location for any residents that need food, water and are without power over the next few days.

“At this time we are meeting to determine weather the location will be at the Ringgold Fire Hall or at the American Legion. We are discussing that location and should know better by 2 p.m.,” Mayor Hax said.

The Pulaski School district is keeping students until the end of the regular school day, however, all after school extracurricular activities and evening events have been cancelled.

The Sandy Creek Central School District released its students at 11:30 in anticipation of the expected high winds. All after school extracurricular activities and evening events have been cancelled.

Things are picking up a little downstate

Jocelyn reports that “It’s a little bit rainy here; I’m hearing that parts of Brooklyn
are already flooded and the water is rising on FDR drive and by Battery Park.”

UPDATE 11:15 a.m. Monday

According to Bill Foley, OCSD clerk, the community forum regarding bath salts and synthetic drugs scheduled for this evening (Monday) at the Robinson Faust Theatre has been postponed. Plans are being made to reschedule this event in late November.

ALSO -All after school activities in the Oswego City School District are cancelled for Monday, October 29.

AND – In the Fulton School District:  No after school or evening activities; district site-based committee meeting postponed

UPDATE 10:30 a.m. Monday

“Well, the cold jet stream is PARKED over us and can not move on east because of Sandy. Wind speeds here are 10 to 20 mph at this time,” Anne Marie Hall Colvin said around 10:30 a.m. Monday. “The temp is at 40 now; we do have sun today,  blue skies and big white puffy clouds.

However, the cold air came in from the west starting Friday night and dropped temperatures in the Volunteer State from the 80s into low 50s over the weekend, “and it’s been downhill since then,” she added.

As of 10:30 a.m., Joleene Des Rosiers Moody reports from Pulaski that there are still fairly dry conditions throughout the north country.

“Some showers are possible until late afternoon, so keep the umbrella handy. There are no high winds yet in this area; it is still fairly quiet throughout Oswego County,” she said. “At this time, there are gusts of wind in portions of Western New York and New York City at about 20 mph, but none expected to hit this area until mid-afternoon.”

At this time, Oswego County is not expected to see a major rain event, but there is a potential for some flooding, ponding and pooling in poor drainage areas as winds force water to rise along the lake shores, southern portions of Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes, she added.

Governor Cuomo spoke on the update of the storm surge that is already high and at “Irene level.” FEMA, the National Guard and others are monitoring the storm closely.

The Governor is calling on additional National Guard (1,000) to assist and focus on the surge and what it could mean.

Be safe and stay dry.

“In our darkest hour is when New York shines the brightest.” – Governor Andrew Cuomo

UPDATE 7:55 a.m. Monday

“Winds are picking up; 25-40 mph now (7:40 a.m. Monday). Rain is pounding against the windows,” Campbell said. “We got 2-3 inches of rain last night. I think it is taking a bit longer than they expected. Now they are saying by 6 p.m. it will be the worse here. Predicting 12 plus inches of rain and up to 70 mph winds.”

No afternoon or evening activities and the district steering committee meeting has been postponed in Central Square School District.

There are no after-school activities in the Mexico School District today, either.

In the Phoenix School District after-school activities (after 5:30 p.m.) are cancelled.


OSWEGO, NY – Hurricane Sandy is closing in on the Mid-Atlantic Coast and will be causing problems for New Yorkers by Monday evening.

Anne Marie Hall Colvin said it was a very dark and windy night northeast of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Anne Marie Hall Colvin of Tennessee shared this photo from Sunday night
Anne Marie Hall Colvin of Tennessee shared this photo from Sunday night. The temperatures fell from around 80 into the 40s.

“So far it hasn’t been that bad,” the former Hannibal resident said. “It’s very windy; the cold front is causing that. Last week it was 80 degree and above and now 52 with maybe frost tonight – big change.”

Forecasters say it could be cold enough to snow, she said, adding the high winds would likely blow the snow well to the northeast.

“Things are actually fairly calm here, for the most part! People are just being cautious and preparing,” Jocelyn Cook reported Sunday night. The former OCT contributing writer is now living and working in the Harlem area.

The MTA shut down all rail service at 7 p.m. Sunday, which means people won’t be able to use trains, the LIRR or the MetroNorth line, she said.

Buses had a final run at 9 p.m.

“I was going to go to a play at 7:30 tonight and could’ve gotten there by bus. But, would not have been able to get back uptown to Harlem after, and the friend I was going with was coming in from Long Island for it. She called a little while ago and they cancelled the show anyway,” Cook said.

Hannibal native John Campbell said not much was happening shortly after midnight Monday about 10 miles south of Dover, Delaware.

“We’ve got some rain and 25 mph winds. It’s suppose to get bad later this morning. We’ll see,” he said. “We’re about 30 miles from the ocean.”

In the Central New York region some schools are closing early to avoid Hurricane Sandy. They are mostly located in the Rome and Oneida area.

In Oswego County: the APW Junior/Senior High School will dismiss at 11:20 a.m. and the elementary school at 12:20 p.m. There will be no PM Pre-K. After school activities, and the Rebel Club, are cancelled for today.

The Sandy Creek Central School District is closing at 11:30 a.m. today. There will be no PM Pre-K and after school activities are cancelled.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for Central New York, including the Oswego County area.

At times during the storm there could be sustained winds of 30 – 40 miles per hour with gusts above 60 miles per hour, with strongest winds likely near the Lake Ontario shoreline.

The warning runs through Tuesday.

The storm will bring rain and plenty of wind to our area but won’t be the monster storm some media have been predicting, Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service, said.

“We’ll start seeing some rain later Monday and the winds will pick up this afternoon,” he said. “The winds could cause some problems, knocking down power lines or trees.”