ALBANY, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Irene, which is predicted to hit New York State this weekend.
This declaration allows the state to bring in resources from out-of-state and to access federal resources earlier. Cuomo has ordered the Albany's Emergency Operations Center to operate 24 hours a day. State officials are discussing the potential tracks of the storm with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service.
“In this emergency I am activating all levels of state government to prepare for any situation that may be caused by Hurricane Irene,” Cuomo said. "We are communicating with our federal and local partners to track the storm and to plan a coordinated response, and we will deploy resources as needed to the areas expected to be hit the hardest.”
State agencies are working to prepare for Irene's destructive rain and wind in all areas that may be affected, such as power, communications and hospitals.
A full list of department preparations can be found here. State officials are also deploying the following organizations down to county and city emergency operations: Metro-North Railroad; Office of Fire Prevention & Control; Department of Transportation; Division of State Police; Thruway Authority; Department of Environmental Conservation; Office of Emergency Management; Department of Health; and the American Red Cross.
“I urge New Yorkers to personally prepare for hurricane conditions and to cooperate with emergency officials if needed. By working together, we will all be able to face this storm in a calm and organized manner,” Cuomo said.
County Executive Robert P. Astorio has directed county departments to prepare for Hurricane Irene. The county's Emergency Operations Center was partially activated Thursday.
“All relevant county departments are putting together response plans in the event this storm impacts us,” Astorino said. “We hope we will not be severely affected by Irene, but we need to prepare for the worst.”
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