Town of Pittsford NY

February 2019 Wind Storm Updates

February 25, 2019

Wind Storm February 2019 Updates
Check here for updates from Town Supervisor Bill Smith about storm power outages and road closures. Town Crews are ready to respond and Supervisor Smith is monitoring the situation closely with emergency service and utility providers, the Pittsford School District and the Monroe County Office of Emergency Management.  Updates will also be posted on the Bill Smith Pittsford Town Supervisor and Town of Pittsford Facebook pages.
Monday, February 25, 2019, 12noon
Pittsford appears to have been spared the worst of what the storm could have delivered.  Right now there are fewer than 40 houses in the Town without power. Most are in the area of Mendon Center Road where it remains blocked off, between North Wilmarth Road and Amber Hill Road. Crews are at the site and are working on the problem.  There are a few houses without power on Crestview and on Burncoat Way.  Town crews were able to act promptly to deal with trees blocking or impeding roadways overnight and today.  All Town buildings and offices are open today on their normal schedules. 

Monday, February 25, 2019, 7:30am
Power outage updates will be made as we can provide them. More power outages are being reported. Please check with your utility provider. R&GE Outages information: NYSEG Outages information:  
Monday, February 25, 2019, 6:00am
In south Pittsford a short stretch of Mendon Center Road is closed, between North Wilmarth Road and Amber Hill Drive. Downed wires are the cause. No estimate yet on re-opening. Power is out to about 29 homes in the immediate vicinity.
Monday, February 25, 2019, 5:00am
Pittsford Schools are closed today. All evening and after school activities are canceled.
County Executive DiNolfo lifted the No Unnecessary Travel Advisory a few minutes ago.
We had some power outages overnight, which appear to have been repaired. As of this writing we're aware of no homes without power in Pittsford.
Our crews have been out overnight plowing and treating the roads. No apparent road problems at this point, but blowing snow will require caution from drivers.
Town Hall and Town offices will open as normal today.
The Community Center will be open as normal today and Town-run recreation programs will proceed. If any instructors of our programs can't make it in for a session scheduled for today, our Recreation Department will contact participants directly.
We expect the Library to be open for its regular weekday hours.
The wind continues to blow. Let's all hope our good luck so far continues to hold. The Town is fully prepared if it doesn't.
10:00am Sunday, February 24,2019
Power line repair trucks stationed and ready tonight at Pittsford Plaza. No outages in Pittsford at this hour.
Sunday, February 24, 2019, 7:00pm
Power has been restored to about 600 houses in the southeast quadrant of the Town that were without it for part of the afternoon. The problem was at a substation, allowing quick restoration. Right now there are no power outages in Pittsford. There's been only 1 wind-related call to the Fire Department so far.
The Weather Service's prediction for the next 12 hours remains unchanged. Our crew is standing by overnight tonight at the Town's Highway Department.
Tomorrow at 5:00am we'll assess the situation with the County Office of Emergency Management and with our Emergency Response Team. Any announcements about closings of Town offices or buildings will be decided then, as well as preparations for opening shelters or warming stations, if necessary.
I was asked today about safety at construction sites. Following our procedures, on Friday our Code Compliance Officer contacted contractors at all building sites in Pittsford, to ensure that all materials and equipment would be secured in anticipation of the storm. We've had confirmation that this has been done at all construction sites.
Check back here for updates. Be safe tonight!
Sunday, February 24, 2019, 11:45am
County Executive DiNolfo has issued an advisory urging residents to avoid unnecessary travel after 1:00pm. We still expect the storm to arrive this afternoon.
Thanks to Governor Cuomo for activating the National Guard to help clear debris.
At this point there are more than 1,700 power line and tree crews poised for deployment where needed in western New York, and 7,000 workers coming in to be ready to restore power. Pittsford has access to the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, which is coordinating access to the State's regional stockpiles of such items as generators, pumps and sandbags. The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated.
I'll be closely monitoring the situation throughout the day with Pittsford's emergency response team.
In addition to the steps to prepare that I've recommended in recent days, it's very advisable that you:
1. Have a battery powered radio and a flashlight on hand, and batteries for both; and
2. Locate the manual release lever for your electric garage door opener and understand how to use it. If the power dies, this will be your only way to get the car out.
I'll be on a conference call with County Executive DiNolfo and County Emergency Services in a little while, and with RG&E and other municipal leaders early this afternoon. Will provide a report in my next update. In the meantime and throughout, our Pittsford team is watching things closely and preparing.
Saturday, February 23, 2019 4:00pm
The most recent briefing from the National Weather Service discloses no changes to the information I've reported to you already, except that they've added a Blizzard Warning for some counties to the west of Monroe.
I consulted with RG&E this afternoon and checked in with with our Emergency Services Coordinator, our Commissioner of Public Works and have been in touch with Congressman Morelle's office.
RG&E emphasizes that once the wind subsides and they can actually begin repairs, they'll attend first to work necessary for public safety - downed power lines and the like. So if and where power goes out, it could be several days before they can begin on restoring residential power.
Again, if you see a downed power line, please report it to 911. If a tree falls on your house, you should also call 911. If it breaks through the roof or a wall, you can also call the Town Emergency number at 248-6212. We work with a business that comes out to seal up the house where such breaches occur. Just remember that they are likely to be stretched to the limit on Sunday and Monday, thereby increasing response time.
Our Town Emergency Response Team will be at work throughout the event tomorrow. I'll be on a conference call with RG&E and other municipal leaders tomorrow afternoon.
If you haven't made your preparations yet, please do so now. Don't wait until tomorrow.
Saturday, February 23, 2019 7:00am
Power outages, where they occur, are expected to last "for multiple days." I was so advised on a call with the Governor's office late yesterday afternoon. Also that if your power does go out, work to restore it can't begin until the wind subsides.
That's not expected to happen until late Monday afternoon. The updated forecast is that, starting mid-day Sunday winds will blow up to 70mph through 10am on Monday, but will continue at up to 50mph through Monday afternoon.
We face a serious situation. Please take the steps to prepare that I recommended yesterday. In addition:
- Please don't try driving a tall vehicle like an SUV or a truck once the high wind starts.
- If power goes out, phone RG&E at 1-800-743-1701. If you're a NYSEG customer, phone 1-800-572-1131
- Where traffic lights are out, treat each intersection as a 4-way stop.
- Keep away from downed power lines, and please phone 911 if you see one. Downed wires that look dead can still kill you.
I'm in touch with emergency services and our Town emergency response team, and continue to monitor the situation as it develops. Please check back for further updates.
Friday, February 22, 2019 3:30pm
A little while ago I completed a conference call with the County Office of Emergency Management, County Executive Cheryl DiNolfo and other municipal leaders. This region will experience exceptionally high wind this Sunday, starting between Noon and 2pm and lasting through about 10am on Monday. The wind will be sustained, with gusts at least 60mph and possibly as high as 75 mph. It will be accompanied by rain and by blowing and drifting snow. We're advised to expect significant damage to trees and utility poles.
Please understand the severity of what we're expecting. The wind could be as severe as anything we've seen since the Labor Day storm of 1998.
Power outages in Monroe County are almost a certainty. The only question for Pittsford is whether and how badly the Town will be affected. Therefore we must prepare for the worst.
Pittsford's staff and crews are ready to respond. Our plans are in place to provide warming and phone-charging sites, as needed. If necessary, the Town will provide emergency shelter. We've tested the emergency backup generator at the Community Center to make sure it's ready to go into service with no problems or delays. It is.
I'm monitoring the situation closely with emergency responders, Town staff and RG&E. Throughout the weekend I'll remain in close touch with them, with the County Office of Emergency Management and with the Red Cross.
It's important for you to begin preparing now. Please secure loose items you keep outdoors – even large items like grills, patio furniture and backyard play items. Charge cell phones. Check the batteries in your flashlights. Have at least three days’ worth of essential items on hand, including medications. Fill the car's tank.
If you have a generator, test it and have a clear idea of where you'll locate it -- only outdoors, in a safe area. Never in an enclosed space or garage. Never near anything flammable. In older houses especially, furnace blowers can draw in air through doors to the outside or through the garage if it's connected to the house. Keep your generators away from these spots on the outside, or your furnace could be drawing carbon monoxide into the house.
If you must go out on Sunday after late morning, please check the weather report first. The County Executive advises that she is prepared to declare a state of emergency, that could prohibit any unnecessary driving.
We’re ready to assist and inform you. Check back for updates throughout the weekend. As ever, Town staff and I will use every means available to communicate with you. If necessary, as has been our practice in areas where power is out and temperatures are freezing, we'll canvass door-to-door to make sure you're alright and to keep you current on the situation. The safety of Pittsford's residents is our first priority.