St. Lawrence County won't receive federal funds for Ice Storm 2013 clean up from falling ice damage, power outages
Monday, December 30, 2013 - 2:20 pm

By JIMMY LAWTON

St. Lawrence County won't be getting any federal assistance to repair damaged caused by Ice Storm 2013.

St. Lawrence County interim Emergency Services Director Keith Zimmerman says that's both good and bad for the North Country.

"It would be nice to get the emergency declaration to help with the damages, but it's also nice that we don't need it," he said.

Zimmerman said most of the damage stemmed from falling ice and loss of food from power outages, but the extent was nowhere near the amount needed for federal assistance.

Zimmerman said much of the county was fortunate compared to neighboring Jefferson County, which at times had 40 percent of National Grid customers without power.

"We had 10-12 percent, which is bad, but a lot more manageable," he said.

Zimmerman said the storm did not directly claim any lives, but at least one person perished while shoveling snow. He said there were also a couple of close calls in which people were using generators inside and nearly suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, but fortunately the residents realized the issue before it was too late.

"We were really very fortunate. We are grateful it worked out," he said.

Zimmerman credited the St. Lawrence County residents for their preparation and behavior during the storm. He said the roads were kept clear during the travel ban and that allowed emergency workers and power technicians to perform their duties without interference.

He said communication between emergency coordinators, law enforcements, the national weather service and other agencies allowed for a cooperative effort that resulted in effective actions.

"There were a lot of people with experience and a lot of lessons that were learned from the past," he said. "Could it have been better? There is always room for improvement and we'll be looking back on the report and seeing what we can do better the future."