The forecast for Hurricane Sandy is still uncertain, but here at Watershed Post HQ we're preparing for the worst: A storm that dumps as much rain on us as Tropical Storm Irene did just over a year ago. Rainfall like that, coupled with the healthy levels of water in our streams and reservoirs already, could cause serious flooding.
We'll be providing live coverage of the storm all weekend and next week on our Hurricane Sandy page. (You can stay posted on our Facebook page and our Twitter feed, too.) We'll be using a special hashtag for the Catskills: #SandyCatskills. You can also check for town-by-town Sandy updates on our town pages. Click on "Towns" in our site menu above and then select your county and then town.
Our biggest resource here at the WP is you, our readers. During Irene, you came together to create an incredible up-to-the-minute resource of storm information that was a lifeline for tens of thousands.
Once again, we need you.
Here are some ways you can help us prepare for the storm:
- Send us your contact info - email, Facebook name, cell phone number, and landline numbers. One of the biggest problems of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee was communication: For many towns and counties, we simply couldn't get through to anyone who could tell us what was going on. So this year, we're trying to change that by building a list of reliable sources in every town and county in the Catskills ahead of time. This is where you come in. If you will be in the Catskills next week and are willing to have us contact you to get information about storm conditions in your area, please send your contact info to [email protected], tweet it to @watershedpost, Facebook it to us at www.facebook.com/watershedpost, or call it in to us at 845-481-0115.
- Urge your local officials to talk to us. It's hard for us to get through to the powers that be in many places. (We're getting the brush-off from some officials as we call today.) Urge your local town or county official take our calls or, even better, to call us and use us to get the word out when the storm hits. The more they reach out, the more gets known, faster.
- Volunteer to be a liveblog moderator. We will be launching a live blog to follow the storm, and we'll need volunteers to moderate comments to the blog and provide information in 2-hour shifts throughout the week. The shifts will be 7am to 9am, 9am to 11am, 11am to 1pm, 1pm to 3pm, 3pm to 5pm, and 5pm to 7pm. Name a day and time that works for you. (To see how the live blog worked last time around, click here.)
- Send us photos and videos of what you see. You are our eyes and ears. Email them to [email protected], tweet them to @watershedpost, post them to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/watershedpost, or upload them to our Flickr pool.
We will be working with a team of journalism students at SUNY New Paltz (and with their fearless leader, Adam Bosch) to make calls around the region on Monday night. All next week, if the storm hits, we'll need all hands on deck. Stay safe, and keep us posted.