Feb. 9, 2007
STATE OF EMERGENCY CONTINUES IN OSWEGO COUNTY
Fulton - Oswego County officials continue to urge people to use caution when driving through Oswego County. Legislature Chairman Russ Johnson said all county and state roads remain open, and there have been no reports of serious accidents or serious injuries in Oswego County due to the weather conditions.
The travel advisory issued on Monday is still in effect. The County Highway Department reports that all roads in the county are clear, but hazardous conditions exist with blowing snow causing white-out conditions in some areas. The National Weather Service predicts that several more feet of snow could fall in Oswego County over the next few days as a band of lake effect snow continues to move north and south across Oswego County.
Several state and county government agencies have mobilized at the county Emergency Management Office in Fulton to coordinate services. The state Department of Transportation is bringing in five large snow blowers, with crews to operate them around the clock for as long as is needed. The equipment will be used to remove snow in high traffic areas around the county.
“Agencies are coordinating resources to make sure there is adequate coverage in areas that have been hit hardest by the weather. Our county highway department is working with local municipalities to prioritize their needs,” said Legislature Chairman Johnson. “The additional equipment will be used to handle the heavy amounts of snow in areas where it’s needed most.”
County officials have also been in contact with state Senator James Wright and Assemblyman Will Barclay to arrange for assistance from the state Department of Transportation.
Governor Eliot Spitzer declared a state disaster emergency this afternoon for Oswego County.
“The Governor’s declaration of emergency is critical for several reasons,” said County Emergency Management Director Patricia Egan. “It allows the county to use additional resources, such as the DOT snow blowers, to keep the highways open and protect the safety of county residents. We are very thankful for their assistance and for their presence at the EOC.”
Representatives of the state Department of Transportation, State Police, Emergency Management Office, and state Health department are at the county EOC along with representatives of the county department of public works, fire coordinator’s office, sheriff’s office, department of social services, emergency management, health and public information offices are coordinating services and assistance to agencies throughout the county.
The county has received permission for the state Department of Environmental Conservation to dispose of snow in state waterways, such as the Oswego River.
“Although there is no ban on travel through the county, we urge people to be aware of conditions, stay safe, and avoid traveling whenever possible,” said Legislature Chairman Johnson.
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