MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
Nov. 7, 2012


“An extraordinary storm brought out the best in this county and I want to thank ‘Team Putnam,’ those tireless and dedicated members of the Command Staff under Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker, who worked above and beyond to guide us through Hurricane Sandy,” said County Executive, MaryEllen Odell. “Deputy County Executive, Bruce  J. Walker, Sgt. Frank Christian and Tom Velotti of the Sheriff’s Department, Health Department Commissioner Dr. Allan Beals and Marianne Burdick, Director of Emergency Management Tom Lannon, Acting Commissioner of Emergency Service Adam Stiebeling, Pat Sheehy, Director of the Office for the Aging, Adrienne Spadaccini,  Risk Manager, all our municipal leaders, and our American Red Cross volunteers, all of whom worked  long hours day and night to get us through the worst storm this county has ever seen.”  

In her wake, Hurricane Sandy left 90 percent of Putnam residents, businesses and government offices without power and more than 200 roads closed due to the downing of utility poles and trees. Tidal flooding occurred and left portions of downtown Cold Spring and Garrison under several feet of water. 

“Putnam’s Emergency Service personnel were called upon en masse and faced an enormous task,” said Odell.

However, each day saw progress being made and after a week of tireless efforts by so many, Odell announced on Monday, Nov. 5, that all Putnam County offices were open and would continue to operate during regular business hours.

By Tuesday, with the concentrated efforts of Board of Elections Commissioners Anthony Scannipiecco and Robert Bennett and their staff, all of Putnam’s polling places were open and functioning in time for Election Day voters.

“The road to recovery is well under way thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Putnam’s dedicated, selfless and capable employees,” said Odell.

Putnam Valley Highway Superintendent Larry Cobb was most appreciative of the combined efforts of numerous county and state departments during the aftermath of Sandy. In a statement released on Tuesday, Cobb thanked his town and the county highway departments as well as the County Executive’s office, the Emergency Management team, the Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police, NYSEG crews and Lewis Tree Service for [their] “great co-operation and real time communication all throughout the storm.”  

Announcing that 70 percent of the damage created by Hurricane Sandy in his town has been removed or repaired, Cobb said he is now teaming up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) representatives to recoup funding for the clean-up.

Odell and her Emergency Management team also met with FEMA officials on Tuesday. “Putnam County brought FEMA in to work with our municipalities and villages as well as our residents in their clean-up or reconstruction,” she said.  

A preliminary damage assessment for public and individual assistance is expected to be conducted on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Two teams consisting of personnel from FEMA, the State and County offices of Emergency Management, and other officials will review damage to each town and village.

 “The Emergency Operations Center remains open and staffed to further assist residents still affected by Hurricane Sandy,” said Odell late Tuesday. “We are here and ready to assist the storm weary residents of Putnam County,” said Odell.

Officials expect that by Wednesday, the remaining 38 percent of Putnam residents still without power will have it restored.