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County officials gearing up effort to assist residents without power

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CANTON - The St. Lawrence County Office of Emergency Services is reporting after its 10:30 a.m. briefing there are currently over 7,000 people without power, primarily in the southwestern part of the county.

A warming center opened at 9 a.m. today at the Gouverneur High School, and the Salvation Army is providing food and beverages to those who come to the center. St. Lawrence County Public Health and Mental Health will be arranging for both nurses and counselors to be at the center after noon today.

If needed, the warming center will be turned into a shelter this evening and cots will be moved in.

National Grid has informed countyh officials the power outages could last as long as midnightDec. 24. Crews are being mobilzed and targeting the worst hit areas today. Yet, precipitation continues and temperatures are expected to stay below freezing for the next week. Crews may also be sent to assist from Franklin County where the situation seems to have abated.

Ft. Drum, in conjunction with the Sheriff Kevin Wells, will begin going door to door today to assess the needs of all those out of power, checking to see if they have medical needs, have food or generators, etc. The military will provide 10 teams of two people each to conduct this assessment. The Office of the Aging will make phone checks on those listed as needing asssitance in an emergency as will the Department of Social Services.

A generator has been secured from SUNY Potsdam and the Edwards Senior Housing Center is now with power. The Office of the Aging Nutrition program will continue to provide meals to the residents in that area.

Those without power are being reminded to use generators cautiiously, making sure they are used outside the residence and that they are well ventilated.

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