LAKE PLACID - Emergency officials met with village trustees here this morning to plan for a major storm expected to hit northern New York later today.
Hurricane Sandy was expected to make landfall in the Northeast this afternoon. State and federal emergency declarations have been issued, and Essex County followed suit this morning with a local emergency order of its own.
Officials with the Lake Placid Police Department, the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department, the Municipal Electric Department and the village Department of Public Works convened at the fire station at 10 a.m. Lake Placid village Mayor Craig Randall said he called the meeting to make sure everyone was on the same page before the storm hits.
"We're hopeful that we don't have any unusual events," he said. "I'm sure we're going to have some trees down. We're probably going to have some flooding.
"Based on prior experience, particularly with (Tropical Storm) Irene, areas in the village and the town that are prone to flooding - River Road, I think, would be the primary area - those folks should be advised to move to higher ground and get themselves out of that risk."
Lake Placid police Chief Bill Moore, who participated in a conference call with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this morning, said Hurricane Sandy will be a "different animal than Irene." He said there will likely be less flooding but much more powerful winds.
"We're hearing it's 30- to 40-mile-an-hour sustained winds, and up to 80 miles an hour of gusts," Moore said. "Most definitely, there will probably be 60-mile-an-hour gusts later tonight. We're treating it sort of as a Nor'easter, a normal storm that we would have, but this will be in the form of rain and not snow."
Moore said the storm's peak is expected to move through the area between 7 p.m. today and 1 a.m. Tuesday. He said he anticipates some power outages to occur in the village because of downed trees.
"We're hopeful that we're not going to have long-term outages of power," Moore said.
DPW Superintendent Brad Hathaway said the village's water service won't be disrupted, but he urged customers to conserve water nonetheless.
Moore also reminded homeowners with generators to operate them in a well-ventilated area.
"I'm confident that our crews will do everything the community expects," Randall said.