CARMEL, N.Y. - Tropical Storm Isaias swept through the area Tuesday afternoon, delivering a gut punch reminiscent of Tropical Storm Sandy in 2012, knocking down trees and power lines and leaving more than 90 percent of New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) customers in Putnam County without power.
Roads were littered with debris by Wednesday morning, some reduced to single lanes due to fallen trees and in some cases rendered in impassable.
In Mahopac, 8,201 of 9,601—85 percent—NYSEG’s customers were left without power by the time the storm had passed through.
“Please be extremely careful on the roads,” Supervisor Ken Schmitt said in a statement issued Tuesday evening. “There are multiple trees and wires down. Only drive if necessary. NYSEG is assessing the damage and restoration times, we will be working with them to get everyone's power back on as soon as possible. The damage is widespread and many homes in Carmel and Mahopac are without power at this time.”
Schmitt said the town, in conjunction with NYSEG, will be distributing dry ice and bottled water on Tuesday, but the time and place of the distribution is yet to be determined. Information will be made available on the town’s website, www.ci.carmel.ny.us.
“We are waiting for NYSEG to advise the town when it's available for pickup,” Schmitt said. “We will then distribute it to the residents. I will advise of the distribution location and times. As soon as we get it from NYSEG we'll notify you via the town’s website, message boards and Facebook.”
Schmitt also said that Town Hall is available as a charging station for those who need to recharge their cell phones, tablets and other devices.
County Executive MaryEllen Odell warned that “customers should plan to be without power for a significant length of time.”
“Due to the severity of damage associated with this storm, crews are currently working to assess the damage, make downed wires safe and clear fallen tree debris from the roads” she said in a prepared statement. “We are creating and implementing the required restoration plan to get customers back on as safely and as quickly as possible. However, given the degree of damage, some customers should plan to be without power for a significant length of time.
“Our storm response team is fully engaged, and crews will continue to work...until every customer is restored. Currently, more than 1,100 field personnel are responding to the event. [NYSEG]is also coordinating response efforts with state and local emergency management authorities.”
Odell said NYSEG has 60 line crews and 38 tree crews stationed throughout the region to respond to areas that sustain damages due to the storm.
NYSEG said that current damage assessments indicate more than 1,000 downed wires and hundreds of broken poles occurred as a result of the storm.
“Given the degree of damage, complete restoration is expected to last multiple days in the company’s Brewster division (Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties),” the utility stated in a press release. “More than 1,200 field personnel are currently responding to the event, with additional line and tree resources being added to support ongoing effort. The company is coordinating response efforts with state and local emergency management authorities.
"Recognizing that many residents are currently home due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, for everyone’s safety, the company asks customers to observe a 6-foot social distance if they must be near workers and always remain outside the work zone. Allowing crews to remain uninterrupted and focused on their work enables workers to determine damage and make repairs more quickly.”
NYSEG will continue to provide updates throughout the event to the general public on the company’s website and social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). Visit Outage Central at NYSEG.com and Facebook: @NYSEandG or Twitter: @NYSEandG.
Schmitt said 20 line crews were staged in Mahopac by Tuesday morning and warned residents to “stay away from downed wire—always assume they are energized.”
The NYSEG trouble/emergency reporting number for the public is 800- 572-1131.