Governor Declares State Disaster Emergency For Flood-ravaged

 

Governor George E. Pataki today declared a State Disaster Emergency for 13 counties, including Mongtomery County that lies in Senator Hugh T. Farley's (R, C - Schenectady) Senatorial District.

"... Numerous State agencies have worked throughout the night and today assisting county and local officials in evacuation, response and recovery operations," Governor Pataki said. " have declared a state of emergency for the affected counties and ordered State agencies to continue to provide any and all assistance available to local governments. While we continue to do everything possible, we are asking people in the flood-stricken areas to be cautious and avoid any unnecessary travel."

In announcing the declaration, the Governor directed the implementation of the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and authorized the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) to coordinate the appropriate State agencies in assisting local governments in taking appropriate action to protect property and to assist those affected local governments and individuals in responding to and recovering from these storms. The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated and is in continual contact with the affected counties.

The Governor activated the National Guard early Tuesday evening to support evacuation and engineering missions. As of this morning 125 National Guard soldiers are involved in evacuation-related and other flood response missions. The troop strength will increase as additional citizen-soldiers respond to the Governor’ call to duty. The Guard is also providing five aircraft – two medevac Hueys, two Blackhawks and a Chinook – to assist State Police in rescue operations.

In addition, the New York State Department of Transportation has more than 350 personnel and 132 pieces of equipment committed to the response throughout the flood-stricken areas. Rangers and Law Enforcement personnel from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are assisting local government and State Police with rescues of stranded people due to flooding. Rangers have deployed 3 airboats and crews to assist State Police Troop C in Sydney (Delaware County) with evacuations. Rangers are also assisting with evacuations of

stranded campers at Little Pond campground. The Department of Environmental Conservation is assisting with pumping operations at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton. Rangers in the Catskill and Southern Tier areas are assisting on an ongoing basis with evacuations, as needed. State Police have conducted evacuations in Broome and Delaware counties utilizing its aviation unit and ground personnel. The troop emergency control plan has been activated and personnel have been deployed to impacted areas. In addition to traffic control operations, air boat and divers were deployed early today and have rescued individuals who were transported to safe locations.

The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control activated the State Fire Mobilization plan this morning and dispatched the NY Task Force #2 (Swift Water Rescue Capability) to Broome County along with two Swift Water teams from Ontario County and one team each from Jefferson and Schenectady counties.

The State Department of Health / Bureau of Emergency Medical Services deployed staff to Broome County to assess the situation and assist with county EMS coordination. State Emergency Management Office Director John R. Gibb said, " aware of current conditions and emergency information in your community by monitoring local radio and TV broadcasts. If you are advised to evacuate, do so promptly."

The SEMO Director also urged citizens to follow these safety tips:

• Stay away from downed power lines.

• Restrict children from playing in flooded areas.

• If certain travel routes are advised, use those routes rather than trying to find short cuts. Watch for washed-out roads, earth slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires and falling or fallen objects.

• If you are told to shut off water, gas or electrical service to your home before leaving, do so. Before you leave, secure your home. Bring inside or secure loose items. Shutter windows and doors securely.

• If your home has suffered flood damage, test drinking water for potability and wells should be pumped out and the water tested before drinking.

• Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with floodwaters. Wash canned goods that

come in contact with floodwaters with soap and hot water.

Senator Farley also offered several emergency preparedness tips for those who have not evacuated their homes but may have to in the near future due to more rains coming to the region this week and weekend:

* Prepare a disaster supply kit that would keep you and your family self-sufficient for three days, including: one gallon of water per person per day, stored in clean plastic containers; non-perishable food; first aid kit, including information on prescription medications and eyeglasses; battery-operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries; extra clothing; blankets or sleeping bags; and important papers such as identification, credit cards and cash.

* Discuss a family escape plan if it becomes necessary to leave your home during a disaster, and practice these plans periodically. Be informed of the disaster plans at your children's school and your workplace.

* During an emergency, stay tuned to local radio or television stations to receive instructions and the latest information about the progress of the situation.

Senator Farley also has brochures on emergency preparedness and free copies are available by calling his offices at 455-2181 (Albany), 843-2188 (Amsterdam), 762-3733 (Johnstown), or toll-free at (800) 224-5201. A copy of the report can be viewed by cicking here as well.

Senator Farley urges constituents to keep informed. For more information on preparedness, visit www.semo.state.ny.us. For more information on the highway system in the State, visit the Department of Transportation’s website at http://www.travelinfony.com/tig/.