HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – It’s been one year to the day since a freak October snowstorm hit the Rivertowns, knocking out power, closing roads and putting a chilly damper on Halloween festivities. Residents look back to the damage caused by the storm and what the Rivertowns learned from it.
“It was a heck of a storm,” said Francis Frobel, Hastings-on-Hudson village manager. “It came at a time when we still had a high percent of foliage, maybe 65 or 75 percent, causing trees to fall.”
Although residents tried to prepare as much as possible, there’s not much that could have been done, Frobel said, because of all leaves still on the trees. Frobel said the village prepared by working with Con Edison and the Department of Public Works to trim back branches that could fall on power lines or roadways.
After reviewing the village’s preparations for the last storm, Frobel said the village has learned to be more aggressive and do more extensive trimming when storms approach. The storm knocked out power for up to 48 hours in some areas and those people without power flocked to the Hastings Public Library to stay connected with the outside world.
“Whenever that happens we tend to be stable, so people come down to recharge cell phones and get on email,” said Sue Feir, library director. “Usually if there’s been a storm, and there’s been a few in the past years that have been really freaky, we put out coffee pots. We’re not like a rescue center, but we certainly try to be sensitive to the fact that the village, no pun intended, is under the weather.”
Jen Corso, of WHoH-TV, said the station worked to keep people informed by providing email and television updates.
“We let people know which streets were closed, which roads to stay off of and what the latest Con Ed updates were,” Corso said.
Because of the storm's timing, many Halloween plans were interrupted Feir said, with some communities issuing trick-or-treating curfews or cancellations.