RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Tens of thousands of people in the Capital Region are still without power on Thursday after Wednesday’s severe storm.
Wednesday afternoon, Rensselaer County Executive McSteve McLaughlin declared a state of emergency after over 30,000 county residents are without power. “…We need in this type of situation for emergency responders and for the guys and girls who are doing a great job getting the power back on. It gives us a little bit emergency order type stuff so we basically can do what we need to do,” says McLaughlin.
The storm has left a lot of damage in Rensselaer County, including downed wires, trees in county roads and misplaced items. Neighbors in Hampton Manor are picking up the pieces from what the storm has left them. “…Somebody talked about a trampoline landing in their yard that they never seen before,” says Jack Conway, East Greenbush Town Supervisor.
Heading northeast of Rensselaer County, Pittstown residents are experiencing similar challenges. Pittstown Fire Chief Jason Harris says within a three hour period on Wednesday, the fire department has responded to over 3,500 emergencies. “We had calls for people trapped in cars around trees, we did structure fires a lot of electrical hazards, trees on homes…” says Chief Harris.
Finding ways to stay warm without power can be difficult. Chief Harris is urging people to be cautious if they are using generators. “If you’re running a generator, make sure the panels are off the house… be careful because of carbon monoxide. We have already seen people lighting outdoor fires – please don’t do that. If you’re starting up wood stoves and fireplaces, have they been checked. We understand temperatures are going to be cold tonight, but be smart about what you’re doing and any concerns, dial 911,” says Chief Harris.
National Grid crews are giving out free dry ice and bottled water for residents who are still without electricity. National Grid has three Eastern New York locations.