Downstate, coastal regions begin after-storm cleanup
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Although Friday's winter storm failed to hit hard here in the Capital Region, the same can't be said for downstate and coastal areas further east that are not only digging themselves out, but doing it in the dark.
At a press conference Saturday, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick said Friday's winter wallop caused coastal flooding, voluntary evacuation of those affected communities; and resulted in more than 400,000 power outages throughout the state.
"The southeast region is where crews will be concentrating their time and effort," said Patrick.
Because the upstate region was spared major wind and snow totals, National Grid, which also provides service to some parts New England, deployed crews from Albany to two hard-hit states.
"Early this morning when we realized the damage was not as bad in upstate New York we sent over 180 line and tree crews to Massachusetts and Rhode Island to help with the restoration," said Patrick Stella of National Grid.
Parts of New York that were buried by the winter blast included Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, Long Island where hundreds were stranded on the expressway.
Governor Andrew Cuomo talked about cleanup efforts.
"We said all day yesterday a storm is coming. If you don't need to be on the roads, don't be on the roads. I'm saying the same thing today. We need cooperation on both levels," said Cuomo.
Another potential storm coming from the west is expected next weekend. The question is, with National Grid crews helping other states, will New Yorkers be left out in the cold?
"We monitor storms a week out in advance. Once the storm gets a little bit closer and we have a better idea of where it's going to track, if we need our crews in upstate New York we'll deploy them back here," said Stella.
Right now, those 180 or so tree and line crews are expected to stay in Massachusetts and Rhode Island into mid-week -- possibly longer.
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