Monday October 29, 2012

Here is an update via Mayor Dan Bianchi's office from Monday morning's emergency meeting at Pittsfield City Hall:

-- Mayor Dan Bianchi will sign a declaration of emergency that will enable reimbursement for the city for part of the costs associated with Hurricane Sandy.

-- As of 10:30 a.m., it still appears that wind gusts - projected at this point to be in the 65 mph range - will provide the greatest threat to public safety and property damage.

-- City highway crews are scheduled around-the-clock to handle tree emergencies to keep public roads and sidewalks open.

City utility trucks are staged at Big Y in Pittsfield in preparation for Hurricane Sandy on Monday morning.
City utility trucks are staged at Big Y in Pittsfield in preparation for Hurricane Sandy on Monday morning. (Ben Garver, Berkshire Eagle Staff)
If a tree goes down on public or private property with power line involvement, the public MUST stay away and call 911. If a tree goes down on private property and is blocking a public way, the city will clear the public way.

-- Asplundh Tree Company is already staged to help city crews keep major roads open.

-- Many proactive steps have already been taken to limit the potential for flooding. The reservoir is down several feet and able to absorb extra run-off from the Housatonic River to lessen impacts in the city of Pittsfield. Both Pontoosuc and Onota lakes have been drawn down in an effort to retain the 1 to 3 inches of rain predicted for the city.

-- All major culverts throughout the city have been checked to ensure they are open. Catch basins have also been checked, but city residents are asked to keep an eye on catch basins in their neighborhoods to help avoid flooding.

-- An Emergency Shelter has NOT yet been opened. If conditions warrant a shelter, Reid Middle School will house and feed city residents in need of a safe place to wait out the storm. Local media will be kept updated about plans for a shelter.

-- The city will make the decision about Wednesday's scheduled trick or treat night on Tuesday morning.