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With Ample Experience, Yorktown Prepares for Irene

YORKTOWN, N.Y.-- The Yorktown fire departments, volunteer ambulance corps, highway department and police department say the town is fully prepared for the potential of a serious hurricane this weekend, and their experience from previous storms leads their preparations.

“No pun intended, we’ve weathered very serious issues in the past and we’ll get through this one too,” said Yorktown Councilman Jim Martorano, at a press conference about preparation for the storm on Friday. “The key is to get through it without any injury or loss of life, that’s the key. We’ll get the power back, we’ll get the roads running again, we’ll apply to FEMA if we need to, we’ll get through this we just need to stick together.”

That sticking together and working together is what Yorktown Police Department Chief Daniel McMahon said makes everything possible.

The chief said three locations have been secured as shelters, if the need arises. The Yorktown Community Cultural Center is the first that will be activated if it is needed, and Supervisor Susan Siegel explained the YCCC is already in ready mode for when the storm hits.

She advised residents to listen to 100.7 WHUD to find out when and if the center is being opened. The other two centers that will open one at a time should need arise is Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School and Midlred E. Strang Middle School.

Mohegan Lake Fire Chief Brian Wolert asked all residents to stay inside, and be cautious with wires that are down.

“Definitely stay indoors,” Wolert said. “Presume everything outside is dangerous until it gets an all clear from us, don’t touch any wires that you see down thinking that they may be cable, telephone wires. It’s going to be a hard road to tow, but we’re going to take care of it.”

Both the Yorktown and Mohegan Lake fire departments urged people to stay inside.

Rich Cariello, captain of the Yorktown Volunteer Ambulance Corps said its building would be manned the entirety of the storm, they have a generator, and all three ambulances were ready.

“We’re getting calls from people that want sandbags, and unfortunately we just don’t have it,” said Councilman Nick Bianco. “That’s the only thing that I can see that we’re really not prepared, is having more sandbags.”

The sandbags were being used for emergency areas—like the Sewer Department that used an estimated 300 sandbags to block water from entering the facility. Their extreme caution and preparation came from Hurricane Floyd, when the department was flooded to nearly four feet, according to employees at the facility Friday.

“The biggest thing to this whole puzzle is, everybody knows its coming, so hunker in and stay home and come out Monday and talk to your friends about how much Scrabble you played,” said Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo.

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