Hurricane Sandy blew and blew and blew...but that was about it.
Despite fears that the "Frankenstorm" would rival 2011's Irene and Lee in destruction and devastation, by 8am yesterday Sandy's wrath added up to just 527 National Grid customers without power and two closed roads-Gridley Road in Middleburgh, and a portion of Patria Road, all the results of high winds and downed trees.
"It seems it's all subsiding," Kevin Neary, Schoharie County Emergency Management Office director said in an early-morning conference call Tuesday with department heads and supervisors.
"It's been a very fortunate night."
Storm preparation began Thursday as the county started working around the clock to secure generators, set up emergency shelters, and compile lists of still-closed roads and bridges.
Resources like generators and manpower will likely now head south to the hard-hit New York City area, Mr. Neary said; Suffolk and Nassau Counties have already requested help from local firefighters-many of whom spent Monday night at their stations or on call.
"It's our turn to return the favor of last year," he said, adding, "Clearly, we were spared. This was a very, very good drill."
In part because of what the county experienced with Hurricane Irene, officials said residents prepared early and took extra precautions.
"It was a much more pro-active response," said Undersheriff Ron Stevens.
National Grid's Kevin Cushing said he expects outages to bounce up and down over the next day or so, but he characterized them as scattered, small and tree-related and located mostly in Blenheim, Fulton, Summit, and Jefferson.
NYSEG was also reporting about 100 customers without power in southern portions of the county, Mr. Cushing said.
There was also some disruption of long-distance phone service in some areas, officials said.
Though the Red Cross was on hand to help set up emergency shelters at local schools and other sites if needed, only one, at Middleburgh Elementary School, was opened.
No one needed it, Red Cross officials said, and it was to close at noon yesterday.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Harold Vroman said Irene taught everyone involved in storm preparation valuable lessons and he praised Mr. Neary.
"I know Kevin doesn't like to be singled out for credit, but when you put the right people in place and let them do their jobs...you end up getting things done. The cooperation and communication we saw worked."
Though the AmeriCorps volunteers working in Schoharie will likely be sent to other areas now, Mr. Neary said the Green Shirts working with SALT are available to help with things like downed trees.
Contact SALT at 702-5017 for more information.
Mr. Neary said he also wants feedback for residents; call his office at 295-2276 or 296-8619.
"The only way we're going to improve what we do in the future is to hear from people," he said.
"We don't want people to wake up paranoid, but we're in the paranoid business. We say we're paranoid and pessimistic but with a good attitude on life."