DUTCHESS COUNTY BRACES FOR MAJOR WINTER STORM

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Government is bracing for the significant winter storm expected to hit the region tomorrow. Dutchess County is under a Winter Storm Warning starting midnight Tuesday March 14th extending through 8pm Wednesday night. The region is expected to receive 18” to 24” of snow, with multiple inches falling per hour at certain points. White-out conditions are expected during the morning commute hours. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is advising residents the County is preparing to activate a State of Emergency should the storm develop and hit as expected. Final determinations about emergency declarations, including possible travel restrictions, will be made very early tomorrow morning to provide public notification by 5am. Should an emergency declaration be made, Dutchess County Government offices, including courts, will be closed. All updates will be posted to the County’s website www.dutchessny.gov and social media pages including Facebook and Twitter.

County Executive Molinaro said, “This is expected to be a very significant storm and is important for residents to be prepared. Dutchess County Government is ready to address impacts of the storm as it occurs, and residents should be proactive in making plans to be prepared as well, should travel restrictions be put in place or power outages occur. Preparing today will ensure the next 24 to 48 hours are safer for everyone.”

The Dutchess County Emergency Operations Center will be activated this evening to monitor storm conditions and coordinate resources as necessary.

Dutchess County 911 Dispatch communication center is fully staffed, with additional staffing scheduled as the storm intensifies.

Dutchess County Public Transit (Bus Service) – Dial-A-Ride and Flex services have been cancelled for Tuesday, March 14th. Service disruptions or suspension for regular routes should be anticipated for tomorrow. Service changes or cancellations will be posted at www.dutchessny.gov/loop.htm as well as Dutchess County Government’s Facebook and Twitter social media pages and will be provided to local radio stations and other media outlets.

Dutchess County Office for the Aging – Senior Friendship Centers will be closed tomorrow and there will be no home delivered meals. Volunteers will deliver additional meals today to home delivered meal recipients in anticipation of storm conditions.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro’s Town Hall Forum, originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 14th at Town of Poughkeepsie Senior Center, has been rescheduled to Wednesday, April 5th at 1pm.

Dutchess County Public Works highway crews will be out in full force to address road conditions as snowfall accumulation increases. With multiple inches of snow expected to fall each hour, it will be difficult, almost impossible, for crews to keep up throughout the storm. Travel restrictions may be ordered as part of a State of Emergency declaration. Regardless of whether travel restrictions are ordered, drivers are encouraged to stay off the roads whenever possible to allow for crews to address storm conditions. The fewer vehicles on the road, the more effective and safer the plowing operations will be.

Local utilities are also advising customers to be prepared for potential service disruptions, with as much as two feet of snow forecasted. Customers can stay up-to-date with Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation at www.CentralHudson.com and with New York State Gas & Electric (NYSGE) at http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/default.html.

For a wide variety of winter safety tips from protecting your home to being safe outdoors, check out the resources available on Dutchess County Government’s website at http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/countygov/departments/EmergencyResponse/12052.htm

Residents can stay up to date on the County’s storm response online at dutchessny.gov or on the County’s social media pages on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dutchess-County-Government/73646813346 or Twitter at http://twitter.com/DutchessCoGov.

Information is also available by calling United Way 211.