Dangerous cold front has moved into our region bringing lows of -1 F and wind chills of -15 F. These temperatures will pose a danger to humans and animals

As the day progresses we will see the outside temperature dip to a low of -1 F and wind speeds increase. This combination will create dangerous wind chills of -15 F during the overnight. These temperatures are dangerous for humans as well as pets.

The Putnam County Emergency Operations Center continues to monitor the situation. “Going outside, even for a few minutes, could prove deadly if you’re not prepared” said County Executive Odell “if you must go out, dress in layers and make sure your pets are inside and protected from the extreme low temperatures”.

Temperatures are expected to remain bitterly cold through Friday, gradually increasing during the weekend. Make sure you have sufficient fuel for heating as well as the necessary supplies such as food and medications to limit your need to be outside. “Take some time to check on your loved ones, friends and neighbors, especially those that may need extra help during this event” said County Executive Odell.

Some other extreme cold weather tips:

  • keep your head covered
  • wear loose clothing in layers
  • keep your feet dry
  • keep your core warm
  • protect your extremities
  • don’t touch frozen metal

if you are stranded:

  • find shelter – stay in your vehicle
  • clean exterior exhaust on the car to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
  • improve the visibility of your location
  • stay hydrated
  • melt snow to drink if you have no water available
  • light a fire for warmth and as a signal
  • use any heat source around you to keep yourself warm

Residents are reminded that to report a power outage or downed wires you should call your local utility company; NYSEG 800-572-1131. Central Hudson 845-452-2700 or use their apps.

Please remember to be safe when there are downed power lines. Wires that look dead may still be live and power could be restored at any time making those wires life threatening.

Please call 9-1-1 if you need immediate police, fire or EMS response.

All Putnam County facilities with the exception of senior services will be open on a normal schedule. Dangerous cold is expected to arrive by this afternoon.

Putnam County Remains a High Risk Radon Zone Test Your Home and Protect Your Health

BREWSTER, NY— Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States among non-smokers. For those who smoke, radon greatly increases the cancer risk. This naturally occurring odorless gas claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA designates January as National Radon Action Month and encourages all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon. Radon however is a concern year-round.

Radon can easily accumulate to dangerous levels inside buildings. The natural decay of uranium leads to the release of radon in rock, soil and water. High levels of radon in homes usually come from the surrounding soil. Radon gas from the soil enters buildings through cracks and openings. The EPA has identified Putnam County as a “high risk” radon zone. However, the only way to know if you have high radon levels in your home is to test it.

“The good news is that you can perform a simple, at-home test to discover your radon levels, and elevated radon levels in your home can be corrected,” says Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “With the high rates of lung cancer in Putnam County, we absolutely must talk about radon and take it seriously. Radon-resistant construction can be utilized when building new homes but older homes must be tested. Remember, just because your neighbor’s house has safe levels of radon does not mean that your house is also safe.”

For $11, which includes the lab fee, the NYSDOH offers short-term radon testing kits. The test remains in the home for a few days and then the kit is sealed and mailed in for analysis. Results are typically returned to the homeowner within a few weeks. At-home radon test kits can also be purchased inexpensively at local home and hardware stores. If elevated levels are found there are various corrective measures, ranging in cost. To learn more about radon, order a test kit or discover mitigation options, visit the New York State Department of Health website or New York Radon Information website.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.


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Please let us know if we can provide any additional information. Feel free to contact our Public Information Officer Barbara Ilardi with any questions at 845-808-1390.

Putnam County EOC Remains Open – Dangerous temperatures with wind chill expected

The Putnam County Emergency operations Center remains open with County Executive MaryEllen Odell continuing to oversee operations. “Our highway crews have been out all night plowing and sanding our roads but we’re seeing some issues with power” said County Executive Odell “With temperatures expected to quickly plummet today and winds picking up our first concern is the safety of our residents”.
Currently there is a reported outage in Garrison in the Route 9 area that Central Hudson has responded to. NYSEG is reporting minor outages with crews on standby.
Residents are reminded that to report a power outage or downed wires you should call your local utility company; NYSEG 800-572-1131. Central Hudson 845-452-2700 or use their apps.
Temperatures are expected to drop today reaching single digits and that along with increasing wind speeds will make it feel like it is well below zero. This is dangerous for humans as well as pets. Temperatures are expected to remain in the single digits for Monday. Residents are asked to check on those who may need extra help during this weather and to minimize cold exposure to pets. “Make this a weekend to enjoy time with family and friends indoors watching football, enjoying a movie or playing a game” said County Executive Odell.
Please remember to be safe when there are downed power lines. Wires that look dead may still be live and power could be restored at any time making those wires life threatening.
Stay out of flooded or damp basements or other areas if water is in contact with outlets, a furnace or any electrically operated appliance that is energized. The water or moisture may conduct electricity. Contact may cause serious or fatal injury.

Please call 9-1-1 if you need immediate police, fire or EMS response.

Utility Companies Ready

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell along with Legislative Chairman Joseph Castellano and Protective Services Chair Paul Jonke reviewed the utilitiy companies response plan including additional crews on stand by. “We don’t know what the final outcome of this storm will be but Putnam County stands at the ready” said County Executive Odell while reviewing the additional utility company crews that have been placed on standby.

Winter Storm Harper to arrive in Putnam County Saturday evening lasting through Sunday delivering a combination of rain, sleet, snow and ice and freezing temperatures.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell met with her Executive ICS Team to discuss the possible impact of Winter Storm Harper. The forecast calls for light snow to begin Saturday, January 19, 2019 evening which will increase in intensity before possibly changing to sleet and rain as warm front passes through very early Sunday morning. This transition will be brief as a bitter cold front moves into position and the storm will continue to deliver heavy snow. Any accumulated rain will quickly turn to ice causing ice patches. We are also anticipating increasing wind speeds Saturday through Sunday with wind gusts up to 25 MPH. Total accumulations across our area could reach over 12”. Temperatures on Monday will remain in the single digits.

“Our Emergency Operations Center will be activated during this event so we can continue to coordinate activities from our highway crews, police, fire and EMS” said Putnam County Executive Odell. “This storm has the potential to make quite an impact to our area and we need to stay ahead of it”. And that includes the public who are reminded to make sure they have sufficient medications, water and non-perishable food items. It’s also a good time to check the remaining fuel for your oil burner or propane appliance ensuring that you can go at least one week with needing to refuel.

Odell also wants residents to check on those that may need extra help saying, “Now is the time to reach out and check on your friends, neighbors and elderly especially those that may need a little extra help. The weekend is a good time to stay home and enjoy time with your family or friends, stay off the roads unless essential to allow our highway crews to do their job”.

Putnam County Commissioner of Emergency Services Ken Clair provides some additional tips, “generators give off dangerous carbon monoxide fumes, always run generators outdoors, not in garages, making sure all generators are connected with an electrician installed transfer switch, test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors making sure they are installed properly and in good working order”.

Residents are reminded to report any outages to their local utility company.  NYSEG can be contacted at 800-572-1131. Central Hudson Gas & Electric can be contacted at 845-452-2700. Both companies have an app available for download to track outages.

Central Hudson has already committed a local presence in our EOC during this storm.

Putnam County 9-1-1 is fully manned and the public is reminded that it should be used only for emergency requests for Police, Fire or EMS. Non-emergency calls should go directly to your local police, fire or EMS Corps. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department can be reached at 845-225-4300.

At this time Putnam County Public Transportation (PART) anticipates no impact on Transit services on Saturday, January 19, 2018, as a result of the winter storm.  The PART system will operate if conditions permit on Monday, January 21.  For information with regards to impacts on public transportation and changes in schedule, please listen to 100.7 WHUD, check the Official County Website, or call Dispatch on Monday morning at 845-878-7433 (RIDE).

Free Smoking Cessation Program Starts Today—Wait List Forming

The eight-week smoking cessation program, “Freedom From Smoking,” created by the American Lung Association and widely regarded as the gold-standard in quit-smoking programs, gets underway Tuesday, January 8, with the first session at the Putnam County Department of Health’s main office. Ten participants have registered and will begin their journey to a smoke-free life.

Quitting is not easy and it usually takes multiple attempts to quit for good. Every past attempt to quit should be viewed in a positive light and a step in the right direction. This program helps participants better understand their own relationship with tobacco, one of the necessary steps in the transition. By using proven tools and activities, smokers move closer to success and a smoke-free life.

If you are considering making this change, please call the health department at (845) 808-1390, ext. 43155. A waiting list is being kept for the next session, planned for later this year.

A Reminder – Passing a School Bus With Red Flashing Lights Is Illegal

Putnam County Sheriff Robert L. Langley, and the entire Putnam County Traffic Safety Committee reports that the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Town of Carmel Police Department and the Town of Kent Police Department have received numerous complaints regarding motorists passing stopped school buses. Under New York State law, it is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to discharge or receive students. School buses activate yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are preparing to discharge or receive students. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm signals to motorists that a school bus is stopped and children are either boarding or exiting the bus. When red flashing lights are activated, traffic is required to stop in both directions on undivided highways, regardless of the number of lanes, to allow students to board or exit the school bus.

As school children, countywide, get ready to return to school from their holiday break, motorists are reminded that New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 1174(A) requires drivers to stop, from either direction, even on a divided highway, any time red lights on a bus are flashing. Flashing lights mean the bus is picking up or discharging students. Most school bus related deaths and injuries occur while children cross the street after being discharged from the bus, rather than in collisions that involve school buses. Passing a school bus with red lights is not only dangerous, but it is illegal and punishable with fines ranging from $250 to $1,000. Five points may be assessed to one’s driver’s license, and penalties can also include possible imprisonment (up to 30 days for the first offense and180 days for a third or subsequent conviction).

The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being struck by a passing vehicle. Drivers should stop their cars far enough from a school bus to give students the space necessary to safely enter and exit the bus.

The Traffic Safety Board will be working with various agencies and stakeholders to insure that this law is enforced. We are asking community members to help gather information about those vehicles violating this law by getting license plate numbers, the location of the violation and a description of the car and motorists whenever possible. We need to work together to insure the safety of our children.