Oriskany, N.Y. - Oneida County Emergency Services Director Kevin Revere says he hopes residents take tonight's storm seriously and stay off the roadways and lakes.
With winds as high as 75 mph projected, along with some significant snowfall expected, it could make for blizzard conditions, "It means white out basically. Snow combined with the very high winds, very limited visibility and we really want people to stay off the roads if they can, and stay off those lakes. We know ice fishing is a fun sport but this is just one of those times, you just have to stay off of those lakes because all they're doing is putting other people in danger if they have to be rescued out there."
Revere says he has been on the phone with all of the municipalities in the county as well as the leaders of surrounding counties, along with state officials and the power companies to make sure everyone is prepared as can be, especially for potential power outages.
He says National Grid and New York State Electric and Gas, which both serve customers in Central New York, have extra resources deployed throughout the region and he believes they are ready as they can be with the extra staff on, as is his department, "They've got extra crews on standby and depending on the severity and how many outages there are, it could be out for an extended period of time. If it comes down to it we'll open up this room as an emergency operation center, limited emergency operation center, and get DOT and National Grid and some of the County DPW here at the table and try to figure out the best way to attack the problem."
Revere says obviously the hope is the fewer the better when it comes to downed trees and downed power lines.
He added, "Check on your neighbors if possible, check on the elderly. Make sure pets are indoors because they can hit by debris and things like that and just stay indoors that's the best advice we can give anybody."