With Hurricane Sandy pointed to the Northeast and the Gilboa Dam filled to the brim, officials began draining some water from the 86-year-old reservoir Friday, sending it to the Shandaken Tunnel in Greene County. The release was one of a series of precautionary moves aimed at keeping damage from Sandy at a minimum — and forestalling the kind of floods that devastated Schoharie County
14 months ago.
The National Weather Service’s updated forecast for the region said that “the main impacts of this storm will be felt later Monday into Wednesday.” The agency also cautioned that “significant uncertainty still exists with the track of this system.”
Meanwhile, NYSEG urged its customers to stock up on batteries and to keep flashlights on hand in the event of power outages.
Officials also suggested that residents to keep their cell phones charged.
The utility urged customers to avoid any downed power lines — even those that appear to be dead. It also recommended caution for those who find themselves operating gas-powered generators, saying they should only be used in well-ventilated areas and never in a garage.
To report electrical emergencies, NYSEG said its customers should call 1-800-572-1131. The emergency number for reporting natural gas problems to NYSEG is 1-800-572-1121.
National Grid said its customers could receive text message alerts about any service interruptions and restorations as a result of Hurricane Sandy. To get the alerts, customers should text the word “STORM” to 64743 (that spells NGRID) — and then follow prompts in return texts to sign up. Regular text-message charges apply, the utility noted.
Email alerts are also available to customers who create an online profile from National Grid’s web site — www.nationalgridus.com
The telephone number for reporting outages to National Grid is 1-800-867-5222.
In Schoharie County — where several communities are still recovering from the damage inflicted last year by Hurricane Irene — Harold Vroman, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said he was pleased that New York City officials acceded to requests to begin releasing water from the Gilboa Dam.