With powering continuing to be out for most of Port Chester because of Hurricane Sandy damage, the village has arranged for dry ice to be available to Port Chester residents today.
Distribution is set for between to 2 to 3 p.m. and running until 8 p.m. at the Port Chester Senior Community Center, 222 Grace Church St. Mayor Dennis Pilla said priority will be given to senior citizens, persons with medical needs and families with children.
Dominic Neri, owner of Neri's Bakery in Port Chester, donated the use of a container truck for the Village to pick up the dry ice from Enfield, CT.
"We are very grateful to Mr. Neri for his great generosity," Pilla said. "Dry ice has become scarce due to the widespread power outages and transportation disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy, and Dom jumped at a moment's notice, once again, to be helpful to Port Chester. I thank him on behalf of our Village residents."
Throughout Port Chester, much of the village remains without power. The latest summary from Con Ed shows that 7,817 customers out of 10,254 in Port Chester are without power this morning.
Pilla said that two utility crews have been working in Port Chester, but that power has only been restored in a few areas.
"I understand that yesterday they completed clearing the roads in town of downed trees and power lines. It looks like we still have a ways to go," Pilla said. "That's what prompted our action to purchase dry ice for our residents."
Port Chester Village Manager Christopher Steers said two Con Ed liaisons are at Village Hall and Con Ed crews have completed their assessment and cleared a number of roads and down lines in coordination with the village DPW.
"We are ahead of a lot of other municipalities," Steers said. "There has been incremental progress in power restoration due to the coordinated effort. We have gone from about 95 percent of the village being out of power down to about 50-60 percent of the Village being without power."
Steers said a key concern in Port Chester today is the drop in temperature.
"We are warning all those individuals that have generators not to have them inside the structure due to the real risk of carbon monoxide poisoning," Steers said. "We are also warning individuals that need heat to avoid using open flames within structures, do not use their ovens to heat their homes, and if they have generators do not overload them."
On Wednesday night, Port Chester firefighters evacuated 30 residents of an Irving Avenue building because carbon monoxide reached dangerous levels because of fumes from a generator that was too close to the building.
Port Chester Village Board of Trustees member Bart Didden said this morning he believes the village will beging to see noticeable progress in electricl restoration within three days.
"The mayor has been making statements such as the cavalry is coming and raising the expectations of our residents, he should not do this," Didden said. "The people need to plan for the worse and be prepared to last anywhere from three to six more days minimum."
Didden suggested that anyone who has relatives or friends with power should consider doubling up with them as the temperatures are expected to dip this weekend.
Dry ice distribution today
If you go to the senior center this afternoon for dry ice, you'll need to bring a cooler, small box, or other insulated container if possible, to obtain a supply of dry ice. Residents will be required to sign a liability release in order to obtain the dry ice.
Dry ice is frozen Carbon Dioxide (-110 degrees) and must be carefully handled with insulated gloves. Handling and safety instructions will be provided with the dry ice.
Seniors who are unable to get out, and persons with disabilities can obtain dry ice by calling the Mayor's office at 914-939-5201 for assistance.
The senior center is also being used as a warming and charging center, and a place where residents without power can obtain a hot meal during lunch or dinner. The Center is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily during the continuing power outage.
Port Chester says the nearest overnight shelter is located at Rye Country Day School on Boston Post Road in Rye. The emergency shelter at Port Chester High School closed on Wednesday. The Red Cross continues to operate shelters in New Rochelle, Yonkers and Mount Kisco.