2012-10-25 / Front Page

100 County Roads Still Closed

Massive cleanup begins; 'comfort stations' opened
Eric Gross

UPDATED AS OF 12:45 pm Tuesday: Putnam County reports that more than 100 county roads remian closed. County Executive MaryEllen Odell advised residents to stay off roads so work crews can clear trees, wires and poles from the roadways as rapidly and safely as possible.

The road past the Putnam Hospital Center remains one lane, and was briefly blocked entirely overnight.

'Comfort stations,' so people can stay warm and dry, are open now at senior centers in Putnam Valley and Mahopac, until 9 pm. In addition, another station is open in Brewster, at Mt. Ebo Corporate Park, at the United Cerebral Palsy building, and in Patterson, at the Recreation Center, until 9 p.m.

A decision on schools in eastern Putnam is not yet available. Schools are closed today, Tuesday.

UPDATED AS OF 9:20 AM: The County 911 Center in Carmel has crashed. Authorities advise the public to call the Sheriff's Dept. at 225-4300, or your local police department, in case of emergency, according to our senior reporter Eric Gross.

Meanwhile, 85 percent of Putnam County and 90 percent of Westchester is without power, as trees are down throughout the region.

UPDATED AS OF 8 A.M. TUESDAY: Sandy will go down on record as one of the region’s most tragic and devastating storms.

Two boys were killed Monday night when a tree fell onto their family's home on Bonnieview Road in North Salem.

State Police Major Michael Kopy identified the victims as Jack Baumler, 11, and his neighbor, Michael Robson, 13 – both students at the North Salem Middle School.

Major Kopy said the boys had gotten together at the Baumler home with two other schoolmates aged 12 and 15 to ride out the storm when at 7:30 p.m. a 100 foot tall tree measuring three feet in diameter was uprooted by a strong gust of wind and crashed into the wood frame residence cutting the structure in half. Baumler and Robson were pinned beneath the mammoth tree and killed instantly while the other children suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to Danbury Hospital. The major said Jack's mother was at home at the time but escaped injury.

Paramedics from Putnam County rushed to the scene to assist Croton Falls FD personnel and North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps EMTs since the tragedy occurred less than a mile from the Southeast line. Members of the Brewster FD were also summoned for stand by duty.

Putnam’s only hospital found itself in a precarious position Monday night and early Tuesday resulting from downed trees and utility poles along Stoneleigh Avenue making Putnam Hospital Center inaccessible to emergency traffic.

Several ambulances from Carmel and Lake Carmel were forced to transport their patients to Danbury Hospital Monday evening since local roads throughout eastern Putnam were closed.

At 5 a.m., Carmel police reported Stoneleigh Avenue still a mess. A police spokesman said one lane of traffic had been "partially opened" from Drewville Road to the hospital.

Putnam Deputy Emergency Coordinator Michael Hengel manned the county's Emergency Operations Center throughout the overnight with a crew of other county employees and volunteers. Hengel reported three structure fires in Mahopac, Mahopac Falls and Putnam Valley. In the Putnam Valley blaze, fire crews were forced to lay hundreds of feet of hose across the Taconic State Parkway to attack the inferno.

Another fire was reported at 5 a.m. in a residence on Wyndam Lane in Carmel near the scene of an earlier fire that claimed the lives of four members of the Thomas Sullivan family. Firefighters found an overheated aquarium that was quickly extinguished.

The Carmel-Mahopac-Kent area suffered massive damage with uprooted trees and downed power lines.

As of 5:30 a.m. Tuesday 99 percent of the town of Kent had no electric service while of Carmel's 37,000 residents, more than 34,500 awakened to darkness.

Half of Patterson was without power while 40 percent of the Southeast-Brewster area was in the dark with a NYSEG spokesman advising "restoration will take days to complete."

 Earlier story, 11 p.m. Monday:

Two brothers were killed Monday night when a tree fell onto their family's home on Bonnieview Road in North Salem.

The boys were students at the North Salem Middle School.

State Police at Somers refused to provide any information other than to confirm that two children had perished but sources advised the youths were outside their home around 6:30 p.m. when the tree toppled onto them killing both boys instantly.

Paramedics from Putnam County rushed to the scene to assist Croton Falls FD personnel and North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps EMT's since the tragedy occurred less than a mile from the Southeast line. Members of the Brewster FD were summoned for stand by duty before being relieved at 10:45 p.m.

Both youths were pronounced dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, Stoneleigh Avenue in Carmel remains clogged with uprooted trees making Putnam Hospital Center inaccessible to emergency traffic.

Several ambulances from Carmel and Lake Carmel were forced to transport their patients to Danbury Hospital Monday evening since local roads throughout eastern Putnam remain closed.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2012-10-25 digital edition

Weekly Quotation

“Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you’re alive, it isn’t.” ~Lauren Bacall