Oneida County urges preparations for Hurricane Sandy

By ANDREW DONOVAN

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Oneida County officials met Sunday morning to discuss their preparations for Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to bring high winds and heavy rain to the region.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol, Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri, Rome Mayor Joseph Fusco and Commissioner RoAnn Destito from the Governor's office were some of the officials developing the plans.

Oneida County has set up an emergency operations center in the basement of the Oneida County office building and is prepared in the event of lost power.

Additionally, shelters have been set up across the county and will be activated if necessary. They are located at the MVCC gym, the Whitesboro Fire Department, the Willowvale Fire Department and Delta Lake Bible School in Lee Center.

"We need to to do our best to prepare for a hurricane that has wreaked havoc everywhere it has touched thus far, and is expected to have a major impact all across the Northeast, "said County Executive Anthony Picente. "Our emergency preparedness team has been working diligently. Currently we are uncertain of the impact it will have on Oneida County, but we are monitoring it by the hour and will be prepared for the worse case scenario."

Residents are urged to be prepared for this possibly severe storm. Officials say to have an evacuation plan, especially for residents who live near a region known to flood. Residents should also fuel their vehicles with gasoline as many gas pumps are run by electricity.

Another important tip for residents with medical conditions is to have prescriptions filled as soon as possible.

Also, cell phones should be fully charged as often as possible in the event of lost power.

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