NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – It was just a year ago that the snow came... and came... and came... to North Salem, causing blocked roads, power outages, the loss of trees and, most important of all to the younger set: the loss of trick-or-treating opportunities.
The North Salem Daily Voice asked Supervisor Warren Lucas what changes have been made in equipment and protocol should another such storm arrive this year.
“Having power for the critical systems in town in the important thing. That includes the town’s water systems and the Peach Lake sewer system, which wasn’t even operating last year," he said.
“We’ve also been working on procedures by the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) for the Peach Lake sewer district and how we would manage the loss of power to every home’s grinder pumps if the area lost power for an extended period of time," Lucas said.
“The plant itself has backup generators that will run everything. We’re working to get better external electrical hookups for the town’s water systems.
“As of October, both the Croton Falls and Candlewood systems have external generator hookups, as required now by the Board of Health, so we can hook generators up without calling an electrician," Lucas said. "We’re going to be putting a generator in the Sunset Ridge water district next year, if all goes well. That system takes a lot of electricity to run and trying to find the right size unit in a pinch is a problem.
“We’re also streamlining our ability to send out messages to everyone and making sure our telecommunications capability has redundancy built in," he said, "so that we’re never out of working phones and, hopefully, Internet connections. That means testing everything out – Verizon phones, Cell phones, VOIP, Cablevision phone lines, etc.
“Everything else works on volunteers, and we have great people in town who always show up and help.”
Among the “great people” is North Salem’s Kurt Guldan, coordinator of Emergency Management and president of the North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Guldan has been named by the North Salem Chamber of Commerce as the Person of the Year.
The award will be presented at the Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Dinner on Nov. 13.