hurricane120County and City emergency managers continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Sandy, as it approaches up the east coast, and continue to advise residents to take precautions to protect themselves and to prepare for the storm.

The latest briefing from the National Weather Service reports Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall sometime between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. near Cape May, NJ. Strong, sustained winds are continued to be anticipated as the primary hazard for our area. Sustained winds of 30-40 miles per hour are expected, with frequent gusts of up to 70 miles per hour for a four-to-six hour window, increasing throughout the day today, becoming stronger this evening, and peaking overnight. Winds will subside during the day Tuesday.

No significant rain is expected for our area-forecast at 1-2 inches over the next several days. The heaviest rain from this storm is expected to stay to the south and west of us. Temperatures are expected in the upper 40s to low 50s during the day through Thursday, with overnight lows in the low 40s.

The strong, sustained winds, forecast to approach from the north and east, could down many trees and power lines, and produce power outages. It is unknown how severe the impact will be and for how long.

Here are some precautions residents should take to prepare and protect themselves:

  • Monitor local news sources for current information on the storm.  Having a portable battery-powered radio is recommended, in case the power goes out.  A NOAA emergency alert radio is also recommended—a NOAA radio transmitter in Ithaca transmits emergency announcements regarding the storm at 162.5 mHz.
  • Before the storm, remove loose objects, such as lawn furniture, garbage cans, the lawn ornaments, which could become projectiles in a windstorm.  Bring those objects inside until the storm has passed.
  • To protect against very strong winds, remain inside, in a small interior area on a lower floor, staying away from doors and windows.  Remain inside until the storm is over.
  • Strive to be prepared to stay safely in your home for 72 hours if need be, while immediate life and property concerns can be assessed and addressed by responders.
  • Stay away from downed wires, and always assume they are alive until utilities can report otherwise.
  • Periodically check on neighbors and people who may have functional and medical needs.

For additional preparedness information, and information on Hurricane Sandy, visit www.tompkinsready.org; www.governor.ny.gov/stormwatch; and www.erh.noaa.gov/bgm.

Updates will be issued as conditions warrant.