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Blizzard Forecasted to Bring 2+ Feet of Snow to NYC, LI, Lower Hudson Valley Between Monday and Tuesday

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (January 25, 2014) — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers to prepare for blizzard conditions forecasted to affect downstate areas early this week. New Yorkers should plan in advance for major disruptions during Monday evening and Tuesday morning commutes, including the possibility of closed roads and delayed or canceled public transit routes. In addition, New Yorkers should prepare for possible utility outages due to high winds downing power lines and tree limbs.

The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a blizzard watch for the greater New York City metropolitan area effective now through Tuesday night. The National Weather Service forecasts snow accumulation of at least 1 to 2 feet combined with wind gusts of up to 50 MPH. People in the region should closely monitor weather forecasts and advisories as the storm approaches the state.

“With a major winter storm approaching the state, I urge New Yorkers to take all necessary precautions and make preparations for the possibility that commutes will be disrupted on Monday and Tuesday,” Governor Cuomo said. “I have directed all State agencies to prepare for the snow storm and have equipment and resources in areas forecasted to be hit the hardest. We will continue to monitor the storm’s path as it approaches New York, and I urge people to pay attention to changing weather advisories as they prepare for the snow.”

The State Emergency Operations Center in Albany will be staffed beginning Monday at noon, and staff will be on hand at State Emergency Operations Centers in Albany, Hawthorne and Hauppauge throughout the event to coordinate with all the affected counties and New York City. State equipment ready for this storm includes at least 1,806 plows and more than 126,000 tons of salt divided across the region.

National Guard
The National Guard will have more than six dozen personnel and 20 vehicles stationed throughout the region beginning Monday morning for 24 hour operations. The stations include at the National Guard’s Farmingdale Center and Westhampton Air National Guard Base on Long Island, and the National Guard’s Peekskill location and Stewart Air National Guard Base in the lower Hudson Valley.

New York State Police
The New York State Police are ready to deploy 50 4×4 vehicles, 8 all-terrain vehicles and 8 ‎snowmobiles ‎in the region. In addition, the State Police assigned to the anticipated affected region will bring in additional personnel on overtime. These Troop headquarters include Troops F, G, K, L, and Thruway barracks T1 and T2. To assist, another 48 Troopers will be re-assigned from outside these troops for storm-related duties.

Port Authority
The Port Authority is meeting with all of its line departments to make sure preparations are in place for personnel and equipment at all of its facilities. Operations personnel will work 12-hour shifts to ensure that facilities can be operated safely. The airports, bridges, tunnels and PATH also have snow desks where key personnel analyze weather reports and deploy staff and equipment.

With a storm of this magnitude, airlines typically cancel flights in advance, so travelers should check with their carriers to make sure their flight will be taking off before going to the airport. The Port Authority also will have supplies of cots and other essential items ready to accommodate passengers who may become stranded at the airports.

The Port Authority also urges bus travelers to check with their carriers before going to the bus terminals since many public and private carriers may cancel service if conditions warrant. The agency also may impose speed restrictions on its crossings, or close them, if weather conditions warrant.

The Port Authority has the following winter weather equipment and supplies ready at its major transportation facilities:
· More than 200 pieces of snow equipment at its airports, including melters that can liquefy up to 500 tons of snow an hour and plows that can clear snow at 40 mph;
· More than 60 pieces of snow equipment at its bridges and tunnels, including nearly two dozen plows and spreaders at the George Washington Bridge, the world’s busiest vehicular crossing;
· Thousands of tons of salt and sand for airport roads and parking lots, plus thousands of tons of salt for the bridges and tunnels;
· Hundreds of thousands of gallons of liquid anti-icer chemicals at the airports, which prevent snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways, plus thousands of tons of solid de-icers, which break up snow and ice already on the ground; and
· Plow-equipped trains, liquid snow-melting agent trains and a “jet engine” plow to remove snow from PATH tracks, and snow blowers, plows and spreaders to clear station entrances, roads that serve PATH’s 13 stations, and various support facilities.

For up-to-the-minute updates on Port Authority crossings, airports and the PATH system, travelers are encouraged to sign up for Port Authority alerts at http://www.paalerts.com/.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The MTA will begin storing trains underground tomorrow night to protect the fleet from the elements. De-icers and snow throwers strategically deployed throughout the region to focus on outdoor areas and open cuts that are the most susceptible to high snow accumulations. Extra crews will be on hand to address ensure safety at stations across the region. MTA personnel have dropped salt, cleared platforms and stairs of snow from Saturday’s storm, and will do so throughout the upcoming storm, but customers are urged to use extreme caution while navigating the system and always hold hand rails.

All MTA buses will have either chains or snow tires by Monday afternoon. Normal bus service will proceed Monday morning and the MTA will make scheduling adjustments as the storm progresses through Tuesday.

Thruway Authority
The New York State Thruway has activated its emergency operations center and will have on hand during the storm:
· 338 snowplows
· 18 snowblowers
· 55 front end loaders
· Approximately 126,000 tons of salt

State Department of Transportation
The New York State Department of Transportation has activated its emergency operations center and is mobilizing additional equipment from around the state, including 162 plows and nearly 388 operators and supervisors, to the Hudson Valley and Long Island to assist in the storm. When the deployment is complete, the Department of Transportation will have 600 plows and more than 1,300 operators and supervisors working in the Hudson Valley and Long Island. The DOT has a total 1,444 plows and 3,629 operators and supervisors available statewide to fight the storm.

The Governor offered the following tips as the storm approaches with high winds and low temperatures:

Use Caution If Travel Is Necessary
It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 miles per hour, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.

Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted.

Some of the most important tips for safe winter driving include:
· Never follow a snowplow too closely or attempt to pass one. Remember that the highway ahead of the plow is usually snow-covered;
· Adjust speed for road conditions and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles;
· Schedule extra time for winter travel and be patient during ice and snow removal operations;
· Assume that bridge surfaces are slippery, as they freeze more quickly than road surfaces;
· Be wary of black ice, which can be difficult to see but makes conditions slippery when pavement temperatures are below freezing;
· Have a cell phone handy, if possible, but do not text while driving; distracted driving is illegal and becomes even more dangerous during storm events;
· Never venture from your vehicle if snowbound;
· Equip your car with emergency supplies including sand, shovel, flares, booster cables, rope, ice scraper, portable radio, flashlight, blankets and extra warm clothes;
· Inform a responsible person of your destination, intended route, and estimated time of arrival; and
· Keep calm and do not panic in case of a vehicle breakdown, accident, or if you become snowbound.

Motorists should also include the following emergency items in their vehicles:
· Flashlight with extra batteries
· Charged cell phone and automobile charger
· Basic first-aid kit
· Blankets or sleeping bags
· Extra clothes, including rain gear, boots, mittens, and socks
· Windshield scraper and brush
· Fire extinguisher
· Shovel
· Sand, road salt and/or cat litter for traction
· Tire chains or traction mats
· Basic tool kit, including pliers, wrench, and screwdriver
· Tow rope
· Battery jumper cables
· Road flares/reflectors
· Brightly colored cloth (to use as a flag)
· Road maps

Heavy exertion, such as shoveling snow, clearing debris, or pushing a car, can increase the risk of a heart attack. To avoid problems:
· Stay warm, dress warm and SLOW DOWN when working outdoors.
· Take frequent rests to avoid over exertion.
· If you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, or pain in the jaw or radiating down the arm –STOP and seek help immediately.

If You Lose Power:
· First, call your utility to determine area repair schedules.
· Turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when service is restored. Leave one light on to indicate when power has been restored.
· If heat goes out during a winter storm, keep warm by closing off rooms you do not need.
Other Home Safety Tips:
· When removing snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks, stay clear of electric and natural gas meters to avoid damaging them, inadvertently disrupting service or putting yourself in danger. Snow and ice can damage electric and natural gas meters, natural gas pipes and natural gas regulators, so never bury any of this equipment when shoveling, using a snowblower or plowing.
· When removing snow or ice from a roof, never let it fall on electric or natural gas meters or related equipment.
· Natural gas appliance chimneys and vents should be kept free of snow and ice to prevent the build-up of potentially-deadly carbon monoxide.
· Be prepared if you smell natural gas. If you smell that distinctive sulfur-like odor – like the smell of rotten eggs – get up, get out and call your utility immediately from a cell phone or neighbor’s phone.

For more winter safety tips, visit the NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/publicsafety/winter.cfm.

New York State provides a travel advisory system that features real-time travel reports and road conditions, which can be accessed by dialing 511 or online at http://www.511ny.org. The web site features a color-coded map indicating which state roads are snow covered, ice covered, wet, dry, or closed to help travelers determine if travel is advisable. It also provides links to airport, rail and transit information.

Thruway motorists are encouraged to sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway. Motorists can sign up for TRANSalerts by following this link: http://www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml. Thruway travelers can also get real-time updates by following @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter or by visiting http://www.thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (January 25, 2015) — Issued By: NWS Binghamton (South Central New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania)

Affected Jurisdictions: Sullivan County

…Winter Storm Watch In Effect From Monday Afternoon Throughtuesday Afternoon…

The National Weather Service In Binghamton Has Issued A Winter storm Watch Which Is In Effect From Monday Afternoon through Tuesday Afternoon.

*Locations…Pike County, Pennsylvania And Sullivan County, New York.

*Hazards…Heavy Snow, Blowing And Drifting Snow.

*Impacts…Dangerous Travel Due To Poor Visibility And Snow-covered Roads. Snowfall Rates Of 1 Inch Or More Per Hour Are Possible.

*Accumulations…Potential For More Than 7 Inches.

*Timing…Light Snow Overspreads The Area Monday With initially minor Accumulations. However…Heavier Snow Is Expected Monday night Through Tuesday Afternoon. It Will Be During This Period that The Highest Impact Will Occur.

*Temperatures…Generally In The Teens, Rising Into The 20s Tuesday Afternoon.

*Winds…Northeast Winds Increasing To 10 To 20 Mph, With Gusts over 25 Mph Possible.

A Winter Storm Watch Is In Effect Because Heavy Snow Is A possibility…But Not A Certainty. At This Time…There Is The potential For Snow Accumulations Of 7 Inches Or More. Travel conditions Could Become Hazardous…So It Is Important To Monitor the Latest Forecasts And Statements If You Are Planning To Travel in The Watch Area.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (January 24, 2015) — Sullivan County Manger Joshua Potosek has announced immediate actions to address the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) application process at the Department of Family Services. Starting this weekend 25 DFS staff members will be working on Saturday and 24 DFS staff members will be working on Sunday to process HEAP applications. There will also be 41 DFS staff assigned to work extended hours starting Monday and continuing through next week.

County Manager Potosek will be receiving updates on a daily basis to ensure that the backlog is addressed up expeditiously. If more staff from County administrative departments are necessary to work in conjunction with DFS staff in processing applications, filing paper work, and answering and returning phone calls, County Manager Potosek will work with departments to make staff available to DFS.

Additionally, the County has engaged a New York State HEAP certified provider agency to assist in processing applications.

All of these actions will significantly reduce the amount of unprocessed applications in a short amount of time. These additional resources will be in place until such time that we have ensured that everyone deserving of heating assistance has received it in a reasonable amount of time.

The County is committed to serving residents in need of services in a timely manner,” said Potosek. “I would like to personally thank the staff in DFS that have volunteered to work additional hours to alleviate this problem,” continued Potosek.

If You Are Applying For HEAP For The First Time You Can Apply:

Online: (Preferred Method)

Visit myBenefits.ny.gov and apply online. Your application will be received by the local HEAP unit at Department of Family Services in Liberty, NY as soon as you submit it online.

In Person

In person at the Department of Family Services office located at 16 Community Lane, Liberty, NY. If you are 60 years of age or older you may also apply at your local Office for the Aging at the Government Center located at 100 North Street, Monticello, NY.

By Phone:

For Information about the HEAP program please dial 2-1-1 or 845-807-0142.

What do I need for the application?
•​A current fuel and/or utility bill or a statement from your landlord that your heat and/or utilities are included in your rent
•​Proof of income for the previous 4 weeks
•​Unemployment insurance award letter
•​Bank statements, interest or dividend statements
•​Pension award letter
•​Copies of Social Security checks or direct deposit statements
•​Business statements for the previous 3 months if you are self-employed or most recent income tax return with supporting schedules.

You may need to bring one of the following for each person in your household:
•​Birth or marriage certificates
•​School or baptismal records
•​Social Security Cards
•​Driver’s license

More information about the HEAP program can be found at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/

FALLSBURG, NY (January 22, 2014) – For the past seven years, the Town of Fallsburg Lions Club has been testing children at Sullivan County Head Start First group of kids being screened by Fallsburg Lions Clubfor  six different eye disorders.

Known nationally as the SEE Program or Screening Eyes Early, International Lions Club has offered this quality of life changing service throughout the world.

With parent’s consent, children under six years of age receive free vision testing and a digital readout for near and far-sightedness, astigmatism, unequal refractive power, childhood cataracts, and amblyopia or lazy eye syndrome. When discovered before age six, many of these disorders are easily correctible.

In recent months the Fallsburg Lions Club President Patricia Behan approached Fallsburg Superintendent of Schools and Fellow Lion Dr. Ivan Katz about extending the screening service to Fallsburg’s Benjamin Cosor Elementary School in their pre-K and kindergarten classes. After consultation with Principal Mary Kate Stinehour and School Nurse Merrian Hobby, the school District obtained consent forms from thirty-five parents to have their children screened.

The Lions Team included Loretta Speckhardt, Bob Longo, Stephen Miller, Larry Schafman, Ilene and Stuart Wizwer. Digital readings are forwarded to the Ira G. Ross Eye Institute in Buffalo. Results for referrals will go directly to the parents.

The intention for this program is to provide parent consent forms to the school staff during registration for pre-K and kindergarten classes during the summer so screenings can occur every September or October.

If you would like to learn more about this special SEE Program and other Lions Club activities, please contact Stuart Wizwer at 845-434-2152.

LIBERTY, NY (January 20, 2015) – The public is invited to an educational evening of culture-inspired youth displays and performances representing diverse profiles from around the world.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County (CCESC)’s 4-H Youth Development program will be celebrating its 27th Annual International Night on Friday, January 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This free program will be held at the Gerald J. Skoda Extension Education Center on 64 Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty.

Doors open to the public at 6:30 p.m. for an event featuring the work of CCESC 4-H clubs throughout Sullivan County. Each club or group will represent a specific country from around the globe and provide an interactive, three-dimensional display of the geography, history, culture, and cuisine of their chosen location. Participants can “tour the world” from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. and then settle down for the 10 minute skit or presentation each club brings to the stage, highlighting what they have learned.

Community members are always welcome to visit this family-friendly, popular event. More information about this opportunity or the Sullivan County 4-H Youth Development program can be obtained by calling 845-292-6180 or emailing mlr34@cornell.edu.

4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults. 4-H Members have opportunities to connect to Cornell University, learn through hands-on activities, lead, be inspired, inspire others, and “Make the Best Better”. Anyone can join 4-H with thousands of other New York State members, volunteers, staff, and funders.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (January 19, 2015) – Registration is open for the fifth annual Nonprofit Leadership Summit taking place on March 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Bethel Woods for the Performing Arts in Bethel NY. Registration is $45 and space is limited. Attendees can register online at:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nonprofit-leadership-summit-2015-tickets-12516227373

This year’s theme is “Working Together for Healthier Communities and Improved Quality of Life.” 

In collaboration with Marist College-Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration, the Summit will bring together hospitals and healthcare providers with the region’s diverse businesses and nonprofit organizations to promote professional development, networking, and tools for collaboration and sharing of resources.

Last year’s Nonprofit Leadership Summit sold out and was attended by more than 140 people representing 80 nonprofits serving the New York region’s diverse needs in human services, arts and culture, education, healthcare, agriculture and the environment.

With workshops in collaboration with the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) for the third consecutive year, program sessions will address: the impact of the NYS Nonprofit Re-Vitalization Act; creating nonprofit alliances and partnerships; maximizing web-based media marketing; providing for planned giving; how to prospect research and fundraising; retirement plans for nonprofits.

The 2015 nonprofit summit $5,000 Innovation Award recognizes and honors a nonprofit organization that demonstrates innovation in the areas of collaboration, marketing, organizational operations and programs with a $5,000 award.The deadline for sending a letter of intent is February 1 with the application due on February 13. The application and a detailed description of the award criteria is available at

http://leadershipsullivan.org/nonprofit-leadership-summit.html

For questions, further details, and applications please contact Ms. Irene Jones, Nonprofit Leadership Summit 2015 Vice Chair of the Awards Committee, at 845-701-2532 and by e-mail atnonprofitsummit.awards@catskills.com

Businesses, organizations and community members who support the work of Nonprofit Leadership Summit help to fund the Innovation Award and keep the price of the conference affordable for many community organizations.  For more information about social investment opportunities contact: Linda C. Hartley, President of Hartley Consulting, Inc. and Co-Chair of the Nonprofit Leadership Summit: 718-432-1441 or nonprofitsummit@catskills.com

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY (January 18, 2015) – On February 7, 2015 the 10th Annual Fly Fest sponsored by Roscoe’s Catskill Flies, and coordinated by Rick Fischer and John Bonasera, will launch the first event of the season at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center.

Fly tyers from all over the Northeast will informally gather and shed their cabin fever in a fly-tying frenzy at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum at 9:00 a.m.  

This annual event continues to grow and brings out the best in fly tying. Fly Fest is a great day to spend with friends and share in the day.

As always a wide array of talented tyers will be on hand to help you learn new patterns. Visitors are encouraged to bring their tying gear and join in the fun.  

It’s been proven that whether a fly tyer sees his shadow or not, there are seven more weeks before another NYS Trout Fishing Season begins on April 1.          

There are more events to follow. The 2015 Activity and Event Calendar can be found at www.catskillflyfishing.org and daily news updates  on www.facebook.com/cffcm.

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