FONDA - Montgomery County officials met Sunday to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to hit locally sometime Monday afternoon or night with winds of up to 60 mph and rainfall of at least 3 inches.
Sandy, a Category 1 storm that's expected to make landfall on the Jersey Coast on Monday, will turn northeast and blanket New York, New Hampshire and portions of Maine before moving up into Canada, officials said.
Interim Emergency Management Director Richard Sager said that according to reports from the National Weather Service, the storm will not be causing much flooding in Montgomery County.
"It's nowhere near as bad as Irene and Lee as far as water content from the flooding," Sager said. "What we will see that we didn't see with Irene and Lee are the high winds, up to 75 miles per hour. They are predicting widespread power outages, trees down, poles down, that sort of thing."
Montgomery County's Emergency Operation Center will be opened up Monday at 8 a.m., and local fire departments and emergency services will be manning their stations in case of emergency. Sager stated that crews have positioned emergency management vehicles in key positions to respond to any emergencies as well as protect them from any flood damage.
Sager said emergency shelters will be set up at Fonda-Fultonville Central School in Fonda and the McNulty School in Amsterdam.
There also is a plan to set up a shelter at Canajoharie High School.
"They are already out there. Many of them have been calling special meetings and special work parties to make sure they are storm prepared," Sager said. "And that's been going on since Friday.
"The only things that I see that we have left to do is wait and see, monitor the storm and stay in contact with the National Weather Service, make sure their predictions are on the mark, and once we start to see, declare a state of emergency," Sager said.
Sager said there is a chance that a state of emergency could be declared Monday morning.
Raymond O'Keefe, meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service's Albany office, said the full power of the storm remains to be seen.
"We're dealing with an extreme storm," O'Keefe said.
The Weather Service reported there would be some tidal flooding in areas of the Hudson and some flash flooding near the Catskill Mountains. Moderate flooding is also predicted toward Poughkeepsie. Albany is currently in a caution stage.
John Thayer, Root supervisor and Montgomery County Board of Supervisors chairman, said declaring a state of emergency depends on several factors.
"Well, obviously, I'm going to be in communication with Emergency Management, and I will be here; if we need to declare a state of emergency, we will do that. The situation will dictate when that will happen. If the weather dictates, then obviously it will happen. As it stands right now, I don't see a reason to do it prematurely."