SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (August 28, 2011) – County Manager David Fanslau issued the following statement: "The National Weather Service in Binghamton has issued a High Wind Warning and a Flood Watch for Sullivan County effective through Sunday night. Sullivan County is under a Declaration of a State of Emergency from 12:01 AM Sunday through 5:00 PM on Monday, August 29, 2011.
“Hurricane Irene will move up the East Coast spreading heavy rain across portions of Central New York and Northeast Pennsylvania tonight and Sunday. The greatest rainfall amounts are expected over the Catskills and Poconos, .where storm totals may reach 4 to 7 inches. Flash flooding of streams and creeks are possible, followed by flooding on larger rivers. Flooding is especially likely along the Delaware River and its tributaries.
“A high wind warning is in effect from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Sunday. The Western Catskills and Poconos are targeted in the warning area, especially in the higher terrain.
“The combination of strong winds and saturated ground will result in downed trees and power lines. Winds are expected to be north 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. The expected impacts from these conditions will result in downed trees with likely widespread power outages and possibly property damage.
“A high wind warning is issued when sustained winds of 40 mph are expected for at least an hour, with frequent gusts of 50 mph or greater. Damage to trees, power lines, and property are possible with winds of this magnitude. Be prepared for the possibility of trees blocking roads and widespread power outages. At home, you should be prepared to be without power for several days. Make sure you have adequate supplies of food and medicine.
“A Flood Watch means there is the potential for flooding on small streams, creeks, poor drainage, and low-lying areas based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings. Those living, working, or driving in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property. Do not attempt to cross swiftly flowing waters or waters of unknown depth by foot or by automobile. Do not underestimate the power of flood waters. Only a few inches of rapidly flowing water can quickly carry away your vehicle.
“I strongly urge any resident who lives near a stream, creek or river to be prepared and alert as Hurricane Irene progresses, and to take preventative measures to protect their property through sandbags, etc. Outdoor, moveable property should be secured, and indoor property should be put up in case of flooding in the home. Furthermore, in case of emergency, all residents in these areas should make preparations to vacate their home if conditions warrant, and are strongly urged to comply with any and all reasonable requests from law enforcement or emergency responders during an emergency.
“County residents, particularly those in flood-prone areas, are also urged to have enough flashlights and extra batteries, canned goods and bottled water for 48 hours, in case of power outage or emergency. Residents are encouraged to make arrangements to check on elderly neighbors, and arrange for pets to be housed either inside, or with proper shelter.
During the State of Emergency and throughout the storm all County residents are urged to remain indoors and off roadways whenever possible. If residents must drive, they are advised to exercise extreme caution when driving through this storm, and to pay special attention not to drive through pooling or standing water. If there are flood conditions on a roadway, please do not travel through the water.
Sullivan County officials will be in contact with all towns, village and fire departments in the flood-prone areas, to ensure all precautionary measures are being taken, and implementing contingency plans in case of flooding. County officials will remain in contact with these towns, village and volunteer first-responders throughout the storm, as they monitor the situations in their own communities.
Should flooding occur in Sullivan County, residents and visitors are urged to visit the County website, http://www.co.sullivan.ny.us, for current news and information."
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