Oswego County’s emergency managers are keeping an eye on Hurricane Irene’s path, but so far, see no reason to join the state in its round-the-clock emergency response to the cyclone.
“We’re monitoring the events,” said Terry Bennett, emergency services program coordinator for the county.
Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Thursday afternoon as he toured the New York State Fair near Syracuse. He canceled plans to attend a fundraiser in Skaneateles and put his family vacation on hold in order to return to Albany to oversee the state’s response.
The hurricane raked across the Bahamas Wednesday night and Thursday morning, ripping homes from their foundations and flooding areas along the ocean with a strong storm surge.
The storm system is now tracking along the east coast, predicted to hit land on the Outer Banks of North Carolina Saturday at midmorning.
Irene is predicted to cross Long Island and New York City during the day on Sunday. The hurricane is an unusually large storm, spreading hundreds of miles across.
Forecasters stress that the storm’s exact path isn’t ever 100% predictable. At least one of many computer models of the storm’s path takes it directly over Syracuse.
So far, a weather system over Canada is predicted to help push the deadly core of Irene further to the east and away from Central New York.
Bennett said the early prediction from a briefing today with National Weather Service forecasters is for one to two inches of rain for Oswego County, likely late Sunday into Monday as the western edge of Irene passes through.
“The real concern for us right now is the amount of rain,” she said, noting that her office will monitor river levels and activity at hydropower stations for any problems.
As a result, the county will not activate its emergency communications center but will use daily updates from the state and the weather service to decide if a stronger response is required.