Philipstown Escapes Major Damage

Nevertheless volunteer emergency responders out through the night

River areas flood

By Kevin E. Foley

Wet bricks depict the water line from last night’s high tide at 22 West St. Tuesday morning, Oct. 30.
Photo by Christine Simek

Philipstown was lucky compared to much of the lower Hudson Valley region, New York City and New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy, one of the most destructive storms in history, only delivered a glancing blow here with minimum damage and some power outages.

As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, major roads were open. However, residents may find roadblocks at a few local intersections due to fallen trees or branches.

Philipstown officials monitored storm activity and impact throughout the night from their emergency operations center (EOC) at the North Highlands Fire Company. The general reaction was that locally we had avoided much of the predicted impact.

“The biggest problem we had overnight was the flooding in the low-lying areas, at the Hudson River in the Village of Cold Spring and on Hudson River Lane (Manitou), where we had some evacuations by boat,” said John Van Tassel, Philipstown Town Board member and coordinator at the EOC.

The Sheriff’s Department and the Garrison Fire Company conducted the late-night water rescue and evacuation in Manitou.

Town Supervisor Richard Shea and a team of officials were down in Manitou this morning evaluating the situation, Van Tassel said.

Another flooded house on Route 9 just north of the Annsville Circle also required an emergency response and rescue.

Van Tassel emphasized the hard work and dedication shown by the volunteer fire companies throughout the night. “Can’t say enough about them.”

Some of the rescued residents sought shelter at the town’s Recreation Center on Glenclyffe Drive off Route 9D in Garrison, according to Amber Stickle, director of the center. “At peak we had 11 people here; six people spent the night,” she said. Stickle said the center would remain open until at least 4 p.m. Tuesday. The number there is 845-380-9780.

Van Tassel said fire companies also responded to a number of downed power-line calls and other incidents.

9 p.m.: Lower Main Street remains closed; most residents of West Street, lower Main Street and Market Street have voluntarily evacuated. Water has risen to West Street. High tide is still four hours away.
Photo by C. Simek

In Cold Spring the fire company and village officials wrestled with a severely flooded lower Main Street area. Power had to be cut off to the neighborhood as responders sought to begin to pump out the streets. Many residents had already evacuated the area in advance of the storm.

9-1-1 Problems

Putnam County officials have reported disruptions to the 9-1-1 emergency line. Residents are encouraged not to use the  line unless a real emergency is in progress. Callers who do not connect to a dispatcher should call the Sheriff’s Department at 845-225-4300.

Dry ice available

Central Hudson, the area’s utility, reported 82,000 customers without power, but only 2,700 were in Putnam County. Power appeared generally on in the villages, with scattered reports of lost power in the more rural areas of the town. Central Hudson’s website maintains updates of the power situation and other information related to electrical services.

The utility announced it was making dry ice available to residents who have lost power. The nearest pickup point for Philipstown customers is the Home Depot parking lot in Fishkill on Route 9. The operation will be open from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.


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3 thoughts on “Philipstown Escapes Major Damage

  1. I hope we have taken note of the excellent job of communication with citizens done by Cold Spring Village officers, with the patient skills of Village Secretary Mary Saari. Keeping us posted by a steady stream of e-mail on on the status of the storm emergency and its solutions is key to keeping us calm and prepared (and anyone not on the email list would do well to sign up!).

  2. “Escapes major damage”? When the waterfront has been devastated? A poor choice of words to say the least. Without the waterfront Cold Spring is simply another quaint Hudson River village. Its importance to both the village, the town and to Western Putnam is out of all proportion to its rather small footprint. Yet another example of how this community has turned its back on us.

  3. The village authorities continue to add insult to injury. Yesterday notices were jammed in Main Street doors warning waterfront residents that they needed to apply for permits for their dumpsters and Pods parked on the street. The notice does says that the application fee will be waived, but the folks who ordered the dumpsters and Pods had best get up to the village office to fill out the form.

    Is anyone in this village in charge? Did it occur to the individual who did this that a nicer way to handle it would have been to go to the individuals in question with the blank applications, tell them why they were needed and then helped them fill them out?

    Years ago, during the Army-McCarthy hearings, the attorney for the Department of the Army, Robert Welch, asked Senator Joseph McCarthy: “Senator, have you no shame?” I’m afraid the same question could be asked of the village auhorities given their shoddy performance the last several days. Or maybe it really is the case that no one is in charge. Clearly it’s not the Mayor.