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Mayor Palmieri: Sandy is a serious threat

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Municipalities in the northeast are preparing for Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to bring tropical storm or hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall.

City officials in Utica met Saturday to formulate a plan if Sandy does indeed hit Central New York.

Mayor Robert Palmieri met with his senior management team to prepare for what he says is at threat. Also in attendance at the meeting was RoAnn Destito, the Commissioner of the New York State Office of General Services. She is a member of Governor Andrew Cuomo's senior executive team that have deployed all over the state.

The group also toured Hallack's Ravine in South Utica, which clogged during the 2011 storms causing some major flooding.

Utica DPW Commissioner David Short says, "Utica sits at the bottom of the hill.the water is coming from, the top of the hill, it's going to pick up velocity, the increase in rain that they're saying from two to six inches, we will probably have some flooding."

Sand has already been brought to the Roosevelt Drive neighborhood in South Utica which saw major flooding last year.

Mayor Palmieri wants to urge residents that this threat should be taken seriously. He said, "This is not something that should wait until the last minute. Make sure you have food, water, you have candles available, there may be electricity going off, maybe a lack of abilities to get in, because of the flooding to get into grocery stores, so you want to be prepared."

Utica Fire Chief Russel Brooks says any member of the public who wants to volunteer to fill sandbags can call the fire department at 315-724-5151 to get information.

City officials are also asking residents to keep their storm drains clear, made more difficult as the leaves continue to fall, especially with high winds.

If the gutters are clogged and there are heavy rains, the flooding problems will only be made worse.

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