Hudson Valley News | WAMC

Hudson Valley News

Dave Lucas / WAMC

The race to represent the newly-drawn 19th Congressional district, which includes Ulster, Dutchess, Greene and Columbia counties, returns Chris Gibson to Washington -   Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Chris Gibson's supporters gathered last night in Valatie at the Winding Brook Country Club.  There were nervous moments, as a recent Siena poll had challenger Kingston Attorney Julian Schreibman closing the gap: trailing the Congressman by just 5 points...

Battle lines have been drawn: districts have been redrawn. Several of today's most-watched races are taking place in the Hudson Valley. WAMC's Dave Lucas reports.

In Congress, Republicans Chris Gibson and Nan Hayworth are running for second terms in newly re-drawn districts against fiercely competitive Democratic challengers.

Hayworth is up against former Clinton White House aide Sean Patrick Maloney, in the battle for the new 18th Congressional District, which includes Orange and Putnam counties along with portions of Dutchess and Westchester.

  With roughly 15,000 Orange County residents still without power, County Executive Edward Diana has called on the State Public Service Commission to review local utility companies’ performance in response to damage and outages left by the storm.

“It is simply unacceptable that so many Orange County residents remain without power this long after the storm,” Diana said. “The outages threaten the life and safety of our residents, especially our sick and elderly. Many students in the county also remain out of school for the entire week due to the ongoing power outages.”          

Consolidated Edison says power has been restored to more than 80 percent of its customers who were blacked out in the storm. More from WAMC’s Dave Lucas.

The utility still had 156,800 customers without power at midday Monday. That included about 68,000 homes and businesses in suburban Westchester County.

Con Edison said it expects to resolve "the vast majority" of the Sandy-related outages by next weekend.

But efforts to get the rest back on line could be hampered by more wet, windy weather expected to hit the coast Wednesday.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, County Election Boards in the Lower Hudson Valley say they are ready for tomorrow's election... WAMC's Dave Lucas reports

State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson want to sit down with top officials of the utilities that serve the region to discuss the preparedness of their companies on storm response.

“This is not a witch hunt,” said Gunther. “This is about making sure the communication between the utility companies, the public, and government officials during Hurricane Sandy is greatly improved for any future natural disaster.”


   There are four gas stations in the Village of Chester, which is situated along Route 17M, paralleling Route 17. Being in southern Orange County, people from New Jersey have been driving up, filling their vehicles and extra gas cans.

There were many as 50 or 60 vehicles lined up at stations at one time and have been running out of gas until new shipments arrive.

That prompted Mayor Philip Valastro to impose a $50 limit on each motorist’s purchase.

The monumental effort to restore power and rail service to counties north of New York City continues, but as we hear in this report from Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas, communities are struggling with a variety of other challenges... Most of the electricity is back on, the MTA and CSX have crews working on railroad services, but there's still a lot of debris that needs clean-up and still a lot of problems with landline and cellular telephone service.

As the word spread Thursday of the difficulty that oil companies were having in delivering gasoline to service stations, panic set in from New Jersey to New York City and up into the Hudson Valley.

By late afternoon, vehicles were lined up for blocks in the region, waiting to buy the “liquid gold.” Compounding the problem was the continued major power outage with people buying generators in record numbers, adding to the demand at the pumps.

Many stations ran out of gas with people still waiting at the pumps.

Amtrak says it's still working on restoring train service to and from New York City and plans to run a test train through a tunnel that has been cleared of water. More from WAMC's Dave Lucas.

Communities throughout the Catskills and commuters who ride the rails to New York City are seeing a slow return to normalcy in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has an update.

Some commuters were able to board Metro-North trains this morning and more households and businesses have the lights back on - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has more on the Hurricane Recovery effort.

  Sullivan County public safety and fire officials are concerned about the increase in carbon monoxide calls that have come in over the last two days.

Matt Rourke / AP

The Westchester County Department of Health on Wednesday urged people with private wells that were flooded to either boil their water before consumption or to use bottled water as a precautionary measure since sewage and other harmful contaminants can be washed into private wells by storm waters. 

New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy are trying to resume normal lives despite grim projections of power and mass transit outages lasting several more days. Subway tracks and commuter tunnels beneath New York City sustained heavy damage and Metro-North Railroad service remains suspended today. Utilities have crews out repairing damaged and downed transmission lines. Hudson Valley Bureau chief Dave Lucas has an update:

The Westchester County Department of Health is advising people who use the Hudson River waters for recreational purposes, namely swimmers, boaters, kayakers and windsurfers to avoid direct contact with the water until further notice along the Westchester shoreline. This advisory is due to flooding-related shutdowns at one waste water treatment plant and two waste water pumping stations along the river that have resulted in raw and partially treated sewage entering the Hudson River.

Steady progress was made Tuesday in repairing damage to Central Hudson’s electric system in the wake of severe winds delivered by Tropical Storm Sandy.

By 8 p.m., power was restored to more than 50,000, or nearly half of all impacted customers, and crews worked throughout the night.

Consolidated Edison says power will be restored everywhere in Manhattan and Brooklyn within four days, but it could be at least a week for other boroughs and Westchester County because power is delivered to those areas largely using overhead lines. More from WAMC's Dave Lucas.

On Tuesday morning, ConEd said that 337,000 customers were without power in the two boroughs. There were 442,000 without power in the boroughs of Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx and Westchester County following Hurricane Sandy.

Officials in Ulster County say dozens of roads and streets are closed because of trees and power lines knocked down by Sandy. More from WAMC's Dave Lucas.

County Executive Michael Hein said Tuesday that the storm is blamed for one death. State police say 69-year-old Doreen Richardson was killed Monday evening when her vehicle was struck by a large section of roof that blew off a home in a trailer park in Kerhonkson.

Hurricane Sandy has left a path of destruction behind in its wake and Hudson Valley Bureau Chief reports there are ongoing problems with travel disruptions and power outages as clean-up efforts continue.

Hank Gross

  Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, Monday, presented his proposed 2013 budget of $408.3 million that comes in under the two percent state tax cap and reduces spending by $7.6 million.

Molinaro attributed the reduced spending plan to his three-pronged approach at reinventing county government.


  Former President Bill Clinton made a brief appearance at a rally for Democratic congressional candidate Sean Patrick Maloney Sunday afternoon.  Clinton touted Maloney’s qualifications saying that he was competent in both the White House and in state governance.

“Being elected to Congress is a job,” Clinton said. “It requires a preference for evidence over ideology, for arithmetic over illusion, for shared prosperity over trickle down, for we’re-all-in-this-together over you’re-on-your-own.”

Credit Hank GrossHein, in the Ulster County emergency operations center on Sunday, said they were prepared for Irene a year ago, and are confident they can handle SandyEdit | Remove

Students, parents and teachers in an Orange County School District are embracing mobile-optimized learning technology, as we hear in this report from Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.

  US Senator Kristen Gillibrand came to the Hudson Valley on Thursday to announce her support for the Women’s Enterprise Development Center.

The senator is working to secure a federal investment for the effort that would see creation of a satellite center on the Marist College campus in Poughkeepsie.

“I think we can ignite a very powerful economic engine by just finding these great women with business ideas and helping them get started,” said Gillibrand.

She made her comments at a stop at Oxyvita, Inc., adjacent to Stewart Airport in New Windsor.

  State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office released an audit of the City of Newburgh’s financial oversight that said officials failed to accurately track the city’s budget which led to millions of dollars in shortfalls and a higher than necessary tax hike for its residents.

The audit, released on Thursday, said that the city, after failing to account for a $1.3 million deficit, passed an unbalanced budget in 2010 that created a new $ 6 million cash deficit which was closed the following year with a 41 percent tax levy increase.

A yearlong celebration gets underway Friday in Orange County... with a visit from the Fab Four... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

The race for New York's newly drawn 102nd Assembly district seat pits Republican Pete Lopez, seeking his fourth two-year term against Democratic challenger Jimmy Miller, who served for two decades as official spokesman for the Albany police department: Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas takes a closer look at the race.

  The New Paltz Town ReUse building was officially opened for business on Wednesday, providing a one-stop location for the municipality to collect recyclables and offer them for reuse.

Town Recycling Coordinator Laura Petit said the town has a good track record of reuse with a wide variety of items.

The Environmental Integrity Project and 16 other organizations have petitioned the US Environmental Protection Agency to require the oil and gas extraction industry, including those companies engaged in hydrofracking, to report a list of the chemicals they use to extract natural gas.

The issue has become a regional hot potato since fracking in the Marcellus shale and Utica shale areas has been placed on the table.