Irene hits Bethlehem

Motorists traverse standing water at the underpass on Elsmere Avenue Sunday morning, Aug. 28.

Motorists traverse standing water at the underpass on Elsmere Avenue Sunday morning, Aug. 28. Rachel Brennan

— There are no nuisance calls in times like these, said Dan Ryan, chief of the Delmar Fire Department.

"If someone sees a tree down in the road, even if there are no lines down, we need to know about it," said Ryan on Sunday morning, Aug. 28, in the midst of Tropical Storm Irene. Ryan said it is important for police and fire officials to know about any damage or obstructions in roadways as these are access roads for emergency services.

"A downed tree may not seem life threatening, but if it keeps us from where we need to go, it is," said Ryan.

When The Spotlight spoke with Ryan at around 10 a.m., he had just briefed two dozen or so firefighters on hand for what to expect throughout the day.

The most anticipated call, Ryan said, is for "pump outs," or pumping out flooded homes whose occupants may be in danger as water levels reach electrical mains or other components.

There are pretty much all hands on deck at the Delmar Fire department, as there are at most fire and police departments throughout the Capital District, and Ryan said the department has stocked up on pumps, generators and fuel for what he anticipates will be a long day in Bethlehem.

To contact the Delmar Fire Department, call 475-7324

or 439-1122.

To contact the Elsmere fire Department, call 439-9144.

To contact the Selkirk Fire Department, call 767-0015.

To contact the North Bethlehem Fire Department, call 489-6556.

On Friday the town issued the following statement:

The residents of the Town of Bethlehem can expect heavy rains and winds beginning Sunday morning and continuing through Monday. The Town has, and will continue to prepare for this event and will respond accordingly. All Town departments including, Seniors, Highway and DPW have and will take all necessary precautions to deal with this storm.

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