Putnam County Executive Declares State of Emergency due to the effects of Tropical Storm Isaias. Towns & Villages to distribute water and wet ice

On August 5, 2020 at 12:00 am, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell declared a State of Emergency for Putnam County. “This storm caused an unprecedented amount of damage to our electrical infrastructure with an estimated 86% of all customers without power  said County Executive Odell. “To enable our resources to be effectively deployed I am declaring a State of Emergency for Putnam County”. A State of Emergency Declaration will stay in effect for a period not to exceed 5 days. 

NYSEG is working with local towns and villages to provide water and wet ice for distribution. Residents should contact their local municipality for distribution information. Each municipality will establish their own location and schedule.

To assist the public the County has established two comfort stations: 

Friendship Center of Philipstown (former Butterfield Hospital site). 1756 NY-9D, Cold Spring NY

Knights of Columbus, 10 Fair St, Carmel NY

Both facilities are open from 10 AM until 4 PM. Residents can use the facilities to cool down and recharge their phones and other electronic equipment.

Residents are reminded to use 9-1-1 for emergency calls only. 

All Putnam County Government Offices, with the exception of essential services will be CLOSED Wednesday, 8/5/20

After meeting with the ICS Team and evaluating the impact of the current weather conditions, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has closed all Putnam County Government Offices with the exception of essential services for Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

This includes:

Our public transportation system which includes the Croton Falls Commuters and fixed route PART System

“While the storm has left our area, the impact of Isaias have left the majority of our residents without power and many roadways impassable”, said County Executive Odell.  “In addition many of our government facilities are without power”.

NYSEG and Central Hudson continue to work on restoration efforts. Currently NYSEG reports over 33,000 customers without power. Highway crews, who worked through the night, will continue their efforts to open roadways.

All Non-Essential Putnam County Government Offices on a 2 hour delay for Wed August 4, 2020

After meeting with the ICS Team and evaluating the impact of the Tropical Storm Isaias, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has delayed the opening of all Putnam County Government Offices with the exception of essential services for 2 hours on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. Offices that normally open at 8:00 AM will open at 10:00 AM and offices that normally open at 9:00 AM will open at 11:00 AM. 

In addition to the delayed opening of non-essential government offices, please note the following: 

Our public transportation system which includes the Croton Falls Commuters and fixed route PART System will be closed for the entire day 

Employees should check the Employee Weather Help Line at 845-808-4087 tomorrow morning for any additional updates. Please use caution when traveling to work as there may still be downed trees and power lines.

With wires and trees down across the county, Putnam County residents are asked to stay off roadways to allow highway crews to clear

“Highway crews have been working through the storm keeping critical roads open”, said County Executive MaryEllen Odell, “in order for them to work effectively residents are asked to limit travel and stay off roadways.

The Putnam County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) reports 80 roads totally impassable and 40 roads with debris but passable throughout the county.

NYSEG reports that currently 33,600 customers are without power with Central Hudson reporting 1300. 

NYSEG and Central Hudson Gas and Electric are working with our highway departments to safely clear downed trees and branches.  NYSEG and Central Hudson both report that mutual aid crews have been assigned to our area and are ready to respond once the winds allow safe operation of equipment.

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.

Putnam County 9-1-1 remains fully manned and should only be used for emergency requests for Police, Fire or EMS. 

 

Safety Near Fallen Wires:

  • You can’t tell if a power line is energized just by looking at it. You should assume that all fallen power lines are live and proceed with extreme caution.
  • If you see a fallen power line, stay at least 30 feet away from it and anything touching it. The ground around a power line and any objects it contacts, such as a fence, may be energized. Call 911 to report the condition so that emergency responders and Central Hudson or NYSEG are notified.
  • If a downed wire comes in contact with your vehicle, stay inside and wait for help. If you must get out because of fire or other danger, jump clear of the vehicle to avoid any contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and hop with feet together or shuffle away; don’t run or stride. 
  • Do not attempt to move a fallen power line or anything else in contact with it using an object such as a broom or stick. Even non-conductive materials or cloth can conduct electricity if slightly wet.

Generator Safety: 

  • NEVER operate a generator in an enclosed space, even with a window or door open. This includes inside your home, basement or garage. Doing so can lead to a potentially lethal build-up of colorless, odorless, poisonous carbon monoxide gas.

  • Only have an experienced electrician connect a generator to your home. Improperly installed generators may overload circuits, cause a fire or shock hazard, and can result in serious injury or property damage. Improperly installed generators can also back-feed onto electric lines and endanger repair crews working to restore service.

  • Plug appliances directly into the generator using a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is designed to handle the wattage of all the appliances being connected.

  • Generators should be sized to meet the needs of the appliances they are connected to. If too small, appliances can be damaged, and the generator can overheat, creating a fire hazard.

As the result of the high winds and heavy rain from Tropical Storm Isaiah the County reports numerous road closures and wide spread power outages. All Putnam County Non-Essential Offices have been closed

County Executive MaryEllen Odell remains at the Putnam County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) with the ICS Team.

As predicted this storm packed a very powerful punch, closing roads and disrupting power across the entire region”, said County Executive Odell. “Our highway crews continue to stay focused on making roadways passable however we rely on the power crews to make downed wires safe before our crews can safely remove the debris”.

“With power out across most of our government campuses, we have closed our non-essential government offices”, continued Odell. 

The EOC will continue to monitor the weather. The National Weather Service is showing that the high winds should dissipate by 7:00 PM and the storms should move out of our area after 9:00 PM this evening.

NYSEG reports that currently 33,800 customers are without power with Central Hudson reporting 1300. 

NYSEG and Central Hudson Gas and Electric will continue to work on “Make Safe” efforts which allows our Highway Departments to safely clear downed trees and branches.  NYSEG and Central Hudson both report that mutual aid crews have been assigned to our area and are ready to respond once the winds allow safe operation of equipment.

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.

Putnam County 9-1-1 remains fully manned and should only be used for emergency requests for Police, Fire or EMS. 

 

Safety Near Fallen Wires:

  • You can’t tell if a power line is energized just by looking at it. You should assume that all fallen power lines are live and proceed with extreme caution.
  • If you see a fallen power line, stay at least 30 feet away from it and anything touching it. The ground around a power line and any objects it contacts, such as a fence, may be energized. Call 911 to report the condition so that emergency responders and Central Hudson or NYSEG are notified.
  • If a downed wire comes in contact with your vehicle, stay inside and wait for help. If you must get out because of fire or other danger, jump clear of the vehicle to avoid any contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with your feet together and hop with feet together or shuffle away; don’t run or stride. 
  • Do not attempt to move a fallen power line or anything else in contact with it using an object such as a broom or stick. Even non-conductive materials or cloth can conduct electricity if slightly wet.

 

 Please continue to monitor NY-Alert for updates

Putnam County continues to monitor the weather as Tropical Storm Isaias, moves into our area on Tuesday 8/4/20. NYSEG & Central Hudson crews on standby

The Putnam County Emergency Operations Center is monitoring the potential for heavy rain and strong winds that will transition into our area throughout the day today, August 4, 2020. Isaias made landfall in North Carolina on Monday night as Hurricane Isaias, being downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved northward across the eastern coast of the United States. The major impact of the storm will be felt across the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut coastline however Putnam County will not be exempt as torrential rain and wind gusts over 60 MPH can be expected throughout the day. This storm also brings an increased risk of tornadoes.

“Our Emergency Operations Center has been in contact with both NYSEG and Central Hudson to confirm that both agencies are prepared for this event” said Putnam County Executive Odell. “Our forecast shows that the heaviest rain and most damaging wind gusts will be between 1 and 8 PM today, and as we know from past events these types of storms can cause damage to our electrical distribution system as well as our roadways and residents must be prepared”.

With 1” – 4” of rain expected over a relatively short duration, residents should use caution when traveling on roadways. Softened soil along with high wind conditions can lead to downed trees and flooded roadways making travel treacherous.

NYSEG and Central Hudson both report that mutual aid crews have been assigned to our area and are ready to respond.

County Executive Odell ordered the Putnam County Emergency Operations Center open to monitor the storm and provide resources as needed. “We will continue to monitor the storm as it comes into our area and respond to any incidents that may occur”, said Odell. “Of added concern is the threat of tornadoes, which can occur at any time”.

Tornadoes can destroy buildings, flip cars and create deadly flying debris. The signs of a tornado include a rotating funnel shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris or a loud roar similar to a freight train.

If a tornado strikes; If you can safely get to a sturdy building, do so immediately; Go to a safe room, basement or cellar; If there is no basement, get to a small interior room on the lowest level; Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls; Do not get under an overpass or bridge, you’re safer in a low, flat position; Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death; Use your arms to protect your head and neck.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell reminds our residents to be prepared.  “During times of crisis a small amount of pre-planning can make a big difference”, said County Executive Odell.  “Plan for several days with no power, have your disaster supplies ready including a supply of essential medications, water and non-perishable food before the storm hits.”

Essential Disaster Supplies Include:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery operated radio, extra batteries
  • Cell phone, fully charged.  Spare battery if available
  • First Aid Kit
  • Emergency Food and water (1 gallon per person/per day)
  • Extra clothes
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Essential medications, prescriptions
  • Checkbook, cash, credit/ATM cards
  • Spare fuel for your generator

Residents should also inspect their properties and secure any items that can become airborne. Ensure that your pets are protected and remember to check on any neighbors that may need extra assistance.

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.

Breakdown of positive cases by towns in Putnam County 7/31/2020

7-31 WEEKLY DASHBOARD

Office For Senior Resources Distribution of Farmers Market Coupons Via Drive-Thru Distribution Sites

Office for Senior Resources will be distributing Farmers Market Coupons this year via Drive-Thru Distribution Sites.  Due to COVID safety precautions, Farmers Market Coupons will not be distributed as we have done in the past.  Distribution will happen curbside from the convenience of your vehicle!

  • Who:  This program is for the benefit of Putnam County seniors of age 60 and older who meet eligibility requirements (see below for more information)
  • When:  From 12pm noon to 1 pm Friday, August 7, 2020
  • Where:
    Carmel Friendship Center, 110 Old Rt. 6, Bldg. 1, Carmel
    Koehler Senior Center, 180 Rt. 6, Mahopac
    Putnam Valley Senior Center, 117 Town Park Lane, Putnam Valley
    Friendship Center in Philipstown, 1756 Rt. 9D, Lahey Pavilion, Cold Spring

 

Clients are highly encouraged to attend our Drive-Thru Distribution as quantities of coupons are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis.  For more information or to schedule a pickup before that date, please call 845-808-1700.

Rules and Procedures For All Locations:

  • Clients will remain in their vehicles at all times. An OSR staff member will distribute the necessary eligibility paperwork and booklets via the vehicle’s window.
  • Clients and staff must be wearing masks at all times.
  • Please bring your own pen for sanitation purposes!
  • Only one coupon booklet for each eligible senior in each household – while quantities last.
  • The eligible senior must sign in person the Federally required STATEMENT OF ELIGILITY form affirming that you are low income based on the monthly income amounts (listed below).  An eligible Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney with proper paperwork can sign for the coupons.

 

Farmers Market Coupon Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Must be age 60 or above
  2. Household Monthly Income at/or below 185% of Federal Poverty Level:$1,968 – 1 person household  $2,658 – 2 person household $3,349 – 3 person household

PUBLIC NOTICE – Organizational Meeting of the Putnam County Police Policy Review Panel on August 6, 2020

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Putnam County Police Policy Review Panel formed pursuant to Executive Order No. 203 issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 12, 2020, will hold an organizational meeting on Thursday, August 6, 2020, at 10:00am, at the TOPS Auditorium in the Bureau of Emergency Services Building, located at 112 Old Route 6, Carmel, New York 10512.

NOTICE IS ALSO GIVEN that occupancy limits may be in place pursuant to Temporary Emergency Orders effective at such time.

NOTICE IS ALSO GIVEN that if the Governor extends Temporary Emergency Orders currently set to expire on August 5, 2020, the meeting will be held via audio webinar. Please check the Putnam County Website (www.putnamcountyny.gov) the day of the meeting to confirm location.

Remembering Osceola Archer: Summer Stock Director and Equity Advocate

When the summer days and nights of New York City grew too hot for Broadway shows, Osceola Archer could be found directing summer stock theatre at the Putnam County Playhouse on Croton Falls Road in Mahopac, New York.

Her birth name was Osceola Marie Macarthy and her married name Adams, but she was known in her professional career as Osceola Archer.  Today, she is best remembered for being a pioneer as an African-American woman involved in directing, acting and as a noted teacher of dramatic arts.  The Putnam County Playhouse was her summer home for nearly a decade.

Archer was educated at the Albany Normal School in Georgia and attended Howard University where she was a member of the Howard Players and, according to the book American Women Stage Directors of the Twentieth Century by Anne Fliotsos and Wendy Vierow, made her stage debut as Pauline in Edward Bulwer Lytton’s play The Lady of Lyons, in 1913.  That year she also became a founding member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, one of the nation’s largest black fraternal organizations. Archer was one of 22 founders who marched in the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington, D.C. alongside honorary sorority member Mary Church Terrell, a founder of the NAACP and an activist for women’s rights.

Osceola married Dr. Numa P. G. Adams, the first black dean of Howard University, and they had one son named Charles.

She continued her studies at the Master School of Design while she lived in Chicago.  Later, she attended New York University and by 1936, is said to have received a Master of Drama degree.  At this time, she took the stage name Osceola Archer.  According to Fliotsos and Vierow, Archer was of African, European, and Indian descent and her lighter skin sometimes made it difficult for her to get cast.

Archer’s husband died in 1940 and she found her way back into theatre life in New York City.  She was active in Actors Equity promoting equal opportunity for blacks and other minorities.  During World War II, she was on the executive committee of the Stage Door Canteen with the American Theatre Wing, where servicemen could enjoy dancing, entertainment, food, and nonalcoholic drinks free of charge, right in the heart of the theatre district.

She taught at the Studio Theatre school of drama, part of the American Negro Theatre (ANT), from 1940-1949 and some of her students included Sidney Poitier, Ossie Davis, and other up and coming stars. Around this same time, from 1946 – 1956, she collaborated with Jill Miller of the Putnam County Playhouse, regionally popular for its part in the “straw hat circuit”.  Archer directed and acted in over 24 productions including Tennessee Williams’ Glass Menagerie which received rave reviews.  In 1948, Archer directed the production of Katherine Garrison Chapin’s play Sojourner Truth at the ANT with an integrated cast that featured Miller and a relative newcomer, Harold Belafonte, another one of her ANT students.

In the recent past, author and genealogist Cliff McCarthy connected with the Putnam County Historian’s Office to research the Putnam County Playhouse Collection (HC702) that was donated by Peter Bruenn, son of Jill Miller’s husband Laurie (Laurence).

McCarthy, a Massachusetts resident, discovered his relation to Osceola when he connected with her son Charles in 1994. Although they never met in person, the two were able to determine that they were cousins, Charles’ grandfather and Cliff’s great-grandfather were brothers.  “My grandfather had passed as a white man after his time in the Navy and never looked back,” says McCarthy.

Charles died in 2000 with no heirs.  He left his estate to his church and some of Osceola’s materials went to the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. The remainder of boxes of family papers and memorabilia went to McCarthy, who was deemed “next of kin”.

Included in these boxes were images of Osceola acting on stage at the Putnam County Playhouse and something else very special. “Way down at the bottom of a box, I found a small framed portrait of a woman I didn’t recognize,” says McCarthy.  “When I opened the frame, I found the name of Charles’ great-grandmother, Matilda, the enslaved woman who was our common ancestor.”

 

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Captions:

  • Picture of Osceola Marie McCarthy Archer Adams, courtesy of Cliff McCarthy
  • Osceola Archer on stage in “The Arbitration” at the Putnam County Playhouse 1947, courtesy of Cliff McCarthy
  • A cartoon drawing of the playhouse from a magazine clipping in Jill Miller’s Scrapbook, courtesy of Peter Bruenn
  • A newspaper advertisement for Putnam County Playhouse’s production of “The Country Girl” directed by Osceola Archer in 1954 from Jill Miller’s Scrapbook in the Historian’s Collection.
  • A portrait of “Matilda”, courtesy of Cliff McCarthy