Jay Supervisor and Essex County Board Chairman Randy Douglas.
Please be advised that the Town of Jay, Essex County, Clinton County, Franklin County and St. Lawrence County have all declared a State of Emergency as of 4 p.m. today.
“We have been in touch with the Governor’s Office, local state representatives, our DPW Department, the Au Sable Forks Fire Department, the Jay Fire Department, the Upper Jay Fire Department, the Au Sable Forks Volunteer Ambulance and all emergency personnel are on standby and ready to handle any emergency situations that may arise,” Jay Supervisor and Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Douglas said.
Officials have been on conference calls all day with each other with NYSEG, National Grid and the National Weather Service. NYEG Representatives urge residents who are without power to report their outage to 1-800-572-1131; please do not assume they are aware, they would rather have you call in to be sure you are safe. Please report any down wires you may be aware of and please do not go near them. Again, please call 1-800-572-1131.
“In order for our department to clear the roadway efficiently and make it as safe as possible for our residents, it is imperative that all vehicles be cleared off the roadway until the State of Emergency is lifted,” Jay DPW Director Chris Garrow said.
“As we are all busy preparing for the holidays, once again our first responders are on the scene to assure the safety of their neighbors. Thanks to all of them for their quick response and dedication," Assemblywoman Janet Duprey said. "I urge everyone to stay off the roads and if the electricity goes out to be careful with generators and candles. We all need to be sure to check on our neighbors especially the elderly or disabled and seek help or shelter as needed. Let’s all hope this storm passes quickly without widespread damage.”
The Town of Jay Community Center gymnasium and facilities located in Au Sable Forks will be open for a warming center. Residents, NYSEG employees and emergency personnel are all welcome to use the facility for warmth and rest. There are cots available for use.
Douglas said his staff is preparing for the worse and hoping for the best. He said the storm predicted that this storm will be a Category 4 out of 5, which could lead to significant power outage lasting up to five days. The ice will leave a significant amount of coating on tree limbs with little melt, which would result in power outages.
In the 1998 Ice Storm, we accumulated 4 inches of ice; this storm is predicting an accumulation of 1 3⁄4 to 2 inches by late Sunday morning/early afternoon.
“It is imperative that people stay off the roads during this emergency situation, the roads will continue to worsen and our focus needs to be on restoring potential widespread outages throughout the area,” Essex County Emergency Director Don Jaquish said.
Officials are going to be doing a conference call with New York State Commissioner, Jerry Hauer of Homeland Security later this evening to discuss State Resources if needed.