St. Lawrence County works to recover from ice storm; shelters, warming centers to close at noon, state of emergency continues
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 11:27 am

CANTON – As St. Lawrence County recovers from the damaging storm this week, shelters and warming centers that were opened in Colton, Gouverneur and Edwards to provide for people displaced by the ice and sleet storm will be closing at noon today.

But until conditions on roads and the danger of falling tree limbs continues, the state of emergency will remain in effect, according to St. Lawrence County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire.

In a report to the county this morning, St. Hilaire said National Grid crews expect to make significant progress today in restoring power to the remaining 1300 households without power throughout the course of the day.

“Due to the lingering icing phenomena and the continuing threat of tree limbs falling and cutting power lines and blocking roads, the county’s state of emergency declaration will be continued until the threat is passed so that the county can mobilize additional resources should they be required after today,” she said.

“Residents are reminded that there will still be homes that have individual power issues that may go through the next day or two,” wrote St. Hilaire in a statement this morning. “It is expected, however, that most people will be back in service by late this evening. National Grid will be maintaining extra crews in the area until the majority of outages are addressed.”

The county’s Emergency Operations Center will be standing down at noon today. The 911 dispatch center will continue to be manned 24 hours a day and those with emergency needs are reminded to call 911 to request assistance, St. Hilaire advised.

Anyone with lingering or new power outages are asked to call the National Grid Power Outage Report line at 1-800-867-5222.

In her message, St. Hilaire expressed special thanks on behalf of the county to:

• the staff from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services who assisted the county in its emergency operations

• the Salvation Army, American Red Cross and County staff that equipped and manned our warming centers and shelters

• the sheriff, New York State Police, DEC Ranger Corps and National Guard who were and are conducting door-to-door needs assessments

• the staff of all of our police agencies for running shifts with extra manpower deployed on patrols throughout the duration of this weather event

• state, county and local highway crews which worked 24 hours a day to clear roads of trees and lines and keep the roads salted

• numerous county and partner agency personnel who reported to and helped staff our Emergency Operations Center during this event

• the Burlington office of the National Weather Service for continual reports and interpretation on what to expect from mother nature

• the emergency management consortium partners from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and Warren counties which provided support and assistance throughout this shared weather emergency.

“Importantly, we want to recognize the tireless and selfless efforts of the county’s dedicated local fire and rescue crews, led by our deputy coordinators, for making sure we had a network of well-trained first responders serving both on-scene and in support roles,” St. Hilaire said.

“Last but not least, a big thank you goes out to National Grid, which brought over 1,600 extra staff to the North Country to help restore power to our citizens. Those crews will continue to work through the holidays to meet that goal.”