Oswego County News Release
Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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June 12, 2008

Conditions Improved in Town of Sandy Creek, but Emergency Continues

Sandy Creek - Conditions in the Town of Sandy Creek are improving this afternoon, Town Supervisor Lonnie Crast reported. The State of Emergency declared yesterday is still in effect because trees and downed wires are still blocking some roads and there are still power outages in the town.

Many of the main roads are clear, but some back roads are still completely blocked, Town Supervisor Crast said. “We’re still urging people to use caution traveling through the town.”

The State of Emergency, which includes the Villages of Sandy Creek and Lacona, was declared due to damage caused by severe thunderstorms that blew through the region on Tuesday.

The State of Emergency was declared according to New York State Executive Law Article 2-B. The declaration heightens awareness to emergency conditions and is a signal to people in the county to use extreme caution and pay attention to local conditions.

Power outages remain in the area, and the town supervisor urged people to continue to exercise caution. “We have been constant contact with National Grid representatives, and while we don’t know yet how long the outages will remain, we’re assured that National Grid crews are doing the best they can to restore power,” Town Supervisor Crast said. “We’re not disappointed in National Grid’s response.”

He also emphasized that people using generators as a back-up source of electrical power must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation and power usage. Generators should be operated outside and downwind of the structure to provide adequate ventilation and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Before you operate a generator, make sure your electrical system is disconnected from the National Grid system by ensuring that the main circuit breaker in your electric service box is in the ‘off’ position,” said Town Supervisor Crast. “In older electric service panel boxes, the main fuse box should be removed. This prevents your generator’s electricity from going back into the power lines in the street, which could endanger line crews and your neighbors.”

For those who need it, potable drinking water is available for Town of Sandy Creek residents - including residents of the Villages of Sandy Creek and Lacona - at the Lacona Firemen’s Field Day grounds on Maple Avenue in the Village of Lacona, under the pavilion. The town supervisor noted that and containers over five gallons should not be filled there.

The Onondaga-Oswego Chapter of the American Red Cross and Walmart of Oswego have donated bottled water for emergency personnel.

Town Supervisor Crast also noted that with the power out in much of the town, residents should follow tips provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for food safety.

If the power is out for less than 2 hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.

If the power is out for longer than 2 hours, follow the guidelines below:

  • For the Freezer section: A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.

  • For the Refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.

  • Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We haven’t had any serious problems since the storm went through,” Town Supervisor Crast noted. “The emergency response has run smoothly and was well coordinated.” He thanked fire, emergency medical services, town and county highway crews, and other emergency response personnel for working hard to mitigate the effects of the emergency on the town.

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