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Cuomo: "We're keeping our fingers crossed"

Sunday, August 28, 2011
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Water flowing over Route 30 in the area of Breakabeen, Schoharie County, during storms felt in the area from Hurricane Irene on Sunday, August 28, 2011.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson
Water flowing over Route 30 in the area of Breakabeen, Schoharie County, during storms felt in the area from Hurricane Irene on Sunday, August 28, 2011.

— Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in Gilboa this morning to survey the Blenheim-Gilboa Dam after a small earthquake Friday.

The dam was unaffected by the quake, the governor and officials said. It’s also expected to be unaffected by the more-pressing issue of Irene.

Dam officials indicated water had been let out in anticipation of the storm and that high rainfall amounts are not expected to have an impact there.

Statewide, Cuomo addressed the ongoing storm, giving power outage numbers as of early this morning, 400,000 were without power statewide then, he said.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Cuomo said. “New Yorkers are performing admirably, citizens are really coming together and are helping each other and are pitching in and they’re acting intelligently.”

New Yorkers, the governor said, like to think they’re tough and can handle anything.

“But they’re also smart, and this is the time to be smart,” Cuomo said, adding a short time later, “We’re smart enough to know we don’t mess with Mother Nature and let the storm take its course and we’ll get on with business.”

The growing impact of the storm could be seen on the trip to Gilboa and back. A dam security official manned the gate to the dam roadway earlier. Within an hour, he had moved to a freshly fallen tree near the gate that blocked a lane of the road. The security official directed cars around it.

To Gilboa, a small part of Route 30 between North Blenheim and Breakabeen had water pouring over from the cliffs just after 8 a.m.

An hour later, that water had dislodged small rocks from the cliffs and into the roadway, the rushing water splashing up as it ran past.

The road was soon closed, but not before a convoy of pickup trucks stopped, several men getting out and moving the rocks from the roadway to get through.

At another point a man stopped in another truck and appeared to have moved small limbs from Route 30.

By 9:30 a.m., power was out in Middleburgh. At Apple Foods, at the corner of routes 30 and 145, next to the swelling Schoharie Creek, small convenience store and gas station Apple Foods was all but shut down.

One woman asked clerk Raman Singh if she could pay cash for gas. The pumps, though were inoperable due to the power being out. The power went out about an hour earlier, Singh said.

“Just waiting for it to come back,” Singh told The Daily Gazette in the darkened store. “It’s crazy, man, it’s crazy.”

“A lot of people need gas, so they can get away somewhere safe,” Singh said of the inoperable pumps, “and water keeps coming up in the river.”

 
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