CORTLANDT, N.Y. - As the specter of Hurricane Sandy draws closer, officials and residents around Cortlandt are readying for possible impacts. Officials deployed Department of Public Works employees to clean storm drains and ready chainsaws and generators Friday, and all levels of government are warning residents to be prepared and stay informed.
Several predictions have the eye of the "Frankenstorm" making landfall near the tri-state area. As of Friday afternoon, Sandy was a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.
"It’s a very similar exercise to what we did during Irene," said Jeff Coleman, director of the Cortlandt Department of Environmental Services. Coleman said he expects Sandy to be a "wind, flood event," but that, "you plan for the worst."
Up to 15 free sandbags are available to Cortlandt Town residents at the Charles Cook Memorial Pool from 8 a.m. until noon Sunday, Oct. 28. The town will open shelters, although dates and times are still being determined, officials say.
Village of Croton officials are closing permit section "H" of the Croton-Harmon train station on Monday, Oct. 29, and Tuesday, Oct. 30, because of anticipated flooding from Hurricane Sandy. Officials are also warning commuters that permit section "F" has a high risk of flooding. These sections are located east of Veterans Plaza to the left as you are driving into the station.
The Village of Croton is opening its community room at 7 a.m. Monday.
Cortlandt residents flocked to hardware and grocery stores Friday.
"We always lose power; I can't do this anymore," said Sheri Furtzaig, as she purchased a 5,500-watt generator at the Buchanan Home Center. "I have three 16-year-olds. We can't lose power." She referred to a snowstorm in October 2011 as "a nightmare."
Joe Fichter, owner of the Buchanan Home Center, said he'd already gone to his warehouse and retrieved flashlights, "D" batteries and a dozen generators.
"I just came back from our warehouse, getting generators, which is a big thing now since the last storm when all the power went out," Fichter said. "We have about a dozen, but we could sell five dozen. We just can't get them," he said.
As of Friday afternoon, a 5,500-watt home generator at the Buchanan Home Center cost $944 with tax. Fichter said a generator that size produces enough power to supply basic home appliances such as a refrigerator and furnace.
Utility companies are warning residents that home generators can be dangerous and should only be operated according to manufacturer's specifications, outdoors and away from open doors and windows.
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has tips for preparing for Hurricane Sandy, and all emergencies, on its website. Flashlights, "D" batteries, water, and nonperishable food are considered standard parts of an emergency preparedness plan, and should be purchased ahead of a storm.
The Daily Voice will have updates throughout the weekend and the storm.