Storm update: FEMA filing info, power status

UPDATE: Central Hudson has just said it can’t get any more dry ice today. So, no dry ice (but still bottled water) at the Grace Community Church site on Seremma Court in Lake Katrine starting at 5; a limited amount of dry ice, as well as bottled water, can be had at the Rosendale Rec Center on Route 32 starting at noon.

This just in from Art Snyder, Ulster’s emergency management coordinator:

“Ulster County has received a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Irene. We have been deemed eligible for both Individual Assistance and Public Assistance.
Public assistance will allow municipalities and certain non profits to rebuild roads and infrastructure.

Art Snyder.


Individual assistance will allow residents and businesses to file for federal assistance. Applications may be submitted beginning tomorrow, September 1 by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or filing on-line by logging onto Hearing impaired individuals using TTY may call 1-800-462-7585, or via video relay at 1-800-621-3362. These phone lines are available from 7 AM to 10 PM seven days a week. We also anticipate that a Disaster Assistance Center MAY open in the County. More information will follow.”

Also, Central Hudson said at 9 a.m. that 80 percent of the outages in the Irene impact zone have been restored. The utility’s press release reads as follows:

Utility officials estimate that at least 90 percent of the residents who live in the remaining and hardest-hit communities will have their service restored by 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 4.

“We continue to make progress, even in those communities where Irene caused the most serious devastation, but we still face nearly 1,000 individual repairs,” said Central Hudson President James P. Laurito. “The next few days will be extremely difficult, as we execute on a phase where individual repairs restore service for fewer and fewer customers at a time. We know that living without electricity for this long is extremely frustrating for our customers – and we appreciate their ongoing patience.

“We will continue our full-court press throughout the weekend, with an expectation that the vast majority of remaining customers will have electricity by Sunday evening. There will be customers scattered throughout those hard-hit areas who are still without power beyond Sunday, depending upon the extent of damage to their homes, communities, and our electric system,” he said. “There are portions of our service territory where roads are gone and must be rebuilt before we can re-establish electric facilities. Full reconstruction may take weeks or even months in some communities.”

Laurito said that Central Hudson is continuing to solicit additional line, line clearance and pole-setting crews as such resources become available, and that the utility has sought mutual aid assistance throughout the entire United States and Canada. He said that due to the extent of devastation up and down the East Coast, mutual aid crews are in high demand. Approximately 80 individuals from Westar in Kansas have been working alongside Central Hudson crews since Monday on the massive local restoration effort; additional resources will be added as they become available.

As of 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, the approximately 35,000 customers who remain without electric service are located as follows, along with the projected restoration time of at least 90 percent of impacted customers:

· Albany County – 1,679; Majority projected to be restored by September 4, 2011.

· Columbia County – 19; Majority projected to be restored by August 31, 2011.

· Dutchess County – 888; Majority projected to be restored by August 31, 2011.

· Greene County – 6,558; Majority projected to be restored by September 4, 2011.

· Orange County – 220; Majority projected to be restored by August 31, 2011.

· Putnam County – 207; Majority projected to be restored by August 31, 2011.

· Sullivan County – 1,339; Majority projected to be restored by September 4, 2011.

· Ulster County – 23,891; Majority projected to be restored by September 4, 2011.

“The widespread nature of the storm along the Eastern Seaboard has also made it virtually impossible to obtain supplies of dry ice. We are continuing to seek out every available pound and will distribute it as quickly as we can where it is needed most,” said Laurito. Three municipalities will be distributing a limited amount of dry ice and bottled water, donated by Central Hudson, as follows:

– Town of Rochester Community Center, Tobacco Rd., Accord, 11:30 a.m.;

– Town of Woodstock Community Center, Rock City Rd., Woodstock, noon; and

– Town of Rosendale Recreation Center, Community Center, Rt. 32, Rosendale, noon.

An additional delivery of dry ice is expected this afternoon; however, it cannot be guaranteed due to supply-and-demand issues resulting from the storm; customers should listen to local radio stations and monitor Central Hudson’s website for updates. If the dry ice is delivered, it will be distributed by Central Hudson at the following locations (and bottled water will be provided, even if dry ice does not become available):

– Cairo – Angelo Canna Park, Mountain Ave., Cairo, (adjacent to Greene County Office of Emergency Preparedness), 5:00 p.m;

– Ellenville – Ellenville Village Hall, 2 Elting Ct.., Ellenville, 5:00 p.m.; and

– Lake Katrine – Grace Community Evangelical Church, 160 Seremma Ct., 5:00 p.m.

Central Hudson officials continue to warn local residents that serious flooding conditions also have the potential to undermine the stability of underground pipelines; they remind customers who may see damage in the vicinity of pipelines and/or who may smell the odor of natural gas to report the condition via the utility’s Gas Odor Hotline: 1-800-942-8274. Laurito stressed the importance of staying away from downed lines and being alert to the possibility that fallen trees or structures may hide energized electric lines.

If power is lost, customers should call Central Hudson’s PowerLine at (845) 452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714 to report their power condition, and are encouraged to use the automated reporting system. Customers with access to a computer may also report their power condition via the utility’s website,, by using the StormCentral function.

Information regarding service restoration estimates, as it becomes available, can be obtained by phone and on-line, and updates are posted on Facebook and Twitter. A mobile version of the utility’s website, including StormCentral, can be accessed by web enabled cell phones and mobile devices at Free Central Hudson mobile applications for Android-based and Apple devices are also available by logging onto