About 16,000 Local Residents Without Power, Repairs Could Take 72 Hours
Published: April 19th, 2022
By: Tyler Murphy

About 16,000 local residents without power, repairs could take 72 hours The Norwich YMCA is working with the Chenango County Office of Emergency Services and offering the YMCA as a place to keep warm, fill up on water, get a hot shower or charge a phone.

(UPDATED 8:30 p.m. Tuesday)

CHENANGO COUNTY – Local officials said Tuesday afternoon about 16,000 NYSEG customers in Chenango County are without power and full repairs could take up to 72 hours or more.

The state of emergency and travel ban for Chenango County will remain in effect throughout Wednesday, April 20, reported the Chenango County Office of Emergency Services Tuesday night.

All county offices and schools in Chenango County are closed Wednesday.

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As of 6 p.m, Tuesday, there were 16,122 customers in Chenango County still without power.

Emergency distribution points will be at the Bainbridge Fire Station (12 W Main St Bainbridge) from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. this evening and the Norwich Fire Station (31 E Main St Norwich) from 8 p.m to 10 p.m. Dry ice is available Tuesday night from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Norwich Fire Department.

The Norwich YMCA has been designated as an emergency site open to the public. "The YMCA will close for daily operations at 9 p.m. but will remain open overnight for those friends that need shelter, heat, and water," said Norwich YMCA Director Jamey Mullen.

Mullen said emergency childcare was also being offered for essential workers and those needing childcare at the facility on Wednesday.

The YMCA will be open on Wednesday as a warming center during the day, with hot showers, water filling stations and charging stations for phones.

Residents using UHS Home Care can call 607-763-5600 to have more Oxygen tanks delivered. If you use another home care service contact their emergency number.

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“[NYSEG] is in make-safe mode. They reported it will not be back to 100 percent for at least 72 hours-plus,” said Chenango County Board of Supervisors Chairman George Seneck. He said NYSEG also warned of additional outages. “They said there is concern about strong winds in multiple areas.”

Following a meeting between emergency management officials and NYSEG, Seneck said 65 critical facilities are without power in the county, including fire departments, government offices and nursing homes. Another 22 critical home customers are also without power.

There are more than 47 impassable roads in the county, due to downed trees and utility wires, reported the Chenango County Office of Emergency Services.

According to City of Norwich Fire Department Chief Jan Papelino, 27 line trucks from various power companies were dispatched throughout the county to restore power to residents.

Seneck and a number of local officials have been directly effected by the outages. The chairman himself has no power at his home in Guilford and is relying on his cell phone.

Seneck said the Chenango County Emergency Management Operations Center was working with NYSEG to provide water, and dry ice.

The board of supervisors extended the current state of emergency into Wednesday.

Seneck declared a State of Emergency for Chenango County effective at effect at 5 a.m. Tuesday due to the major winter storm.

A Travel Ban has been in effect since 5 a.m. until further notice.

All schools and county buildings and offices were closed Tuesday.

The State of Emergency declaration bans non-essential travel on all county and local roads.

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This prohibition does not apply to: Vehicles engaged in snow removal and towing operations. Medical personnel and employees of healthcare facilities. Public employees designated as essential personnel. Utility operators and repair personnel. Volunteers or employees of non-profit organizations providing emergency help associated with disaster relief, recovery, and assistance at the direction of Chenango County. Also key employees deemed essential to business operations by their employer.

“The County’s Emergency Management Office continues to monitor the storm closely and our public works crews and local law enforcement will make every effort to keep roads passable and safe, but we need all residents to stay off the roads during the state of emergency,” Sececk said. “I encourage residents to check in on their neighbors, particularly senior citizens, during the storm.”

The National Weather Service had issued Winter Storm Warning for Chenango County.

According to the National Weather Service, approximately 6 to 12 inches of wet heavy snow, with isolated higher amounts, has accumulate throughout tonight.

Higher amounts have fallen in the higher elevations causing trees and power lines to come down.

The storm will be accompanied by wind gusts as high as 30 mph, increasing hazardous travel as additional power outages are expected.

“This is a dangerous storm and we encourage all residents to stay off the roads,” said Chenango County Office of Emergency Services Director Matthew L. Beckwith.

For the latest updates and road conditions in the County, call (607) 336-TOGO (8646). Residents may also sign up for alerts by email, text or phone at: www.notifychenango.com.