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Irene: Ag secretary Vilsack to tour region Saturday

Irene: Ag secretary Vilsack to tour region Saturday

The latest on those without power.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit New York Saturday with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Paul Tonko and New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine. The group will survey crop damage during an aerial tour of Schoharie and Greene Counties.

The NYS Thruway Authority is this afternoon advising people to seek alternate routes if possible to avoid long delays on the Thruway between Exits 27 and 28. The west-bound section of the road has been restricted to one lane, between Exit 27 (Amsterdam) and Exit 28 (Fultonville, Fonda), while maintenance crews work on a Thruway bridge that crosses Route 5S, the New York State Thruway Authority announced.

A new traffic pattern has been put into place at milepost 178, reducing the westbound travel lanes to a single lane. Speed reductions have been posted within the construction zone, for both the east and westbound directions, and will be strictly enforced by State Police.

Westbound motorists may wish to consider this posted alternate route: From Exit 27 (Amsterdam), take Route 30 south; to Route 161 west; to Route 30A north; to Route 5S east; to Riverside Drive west; to re-enter I-90 west at Exit 28 (Fultonville).

From Tide: "Beginning today, the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program will bring its free laundry services to Cobleskill to provide clean clothes to those affected by Hurricane Irene. Working with the American Red Cross, the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program will be providing free full service laundry to relief workers and residents of New York who are in need of resources and support following the damage caused by the adverse weather. These residents and workers are encouraged to drop off their laundry to be washed, dried and folded, free of charge. No bedding, jackets, or other large pieces will be accepted.

"Tide Loads of Hope was created in 2005 to provide much needed free laundry services to families affected by Hurricane Katrina. Inspired by the resilience and spirit of the people of New Orleans, Tide was driven to expand the Loads of Hope program and has since helped families affected by disaster in Southern California, Texas, North Dakota, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama and most recently, Joplin, Missouri. Today, the program includes the Tide Loads of Hope truck outfitted with 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers. Collectively, Tide has washed over 44,000 loads of laundry for more than 32,000 families impacted by disasters since the program launched.

"The Duracell's Power Relief Trailer allows community members the ability to reconnect with their loved ones through recharging stations for their mobile devices, distribution of key Duracell products including batteries and flashlights, and information on how to get assistance in the area. Satellite phones, a computer kiosk station and Wi-Fi will also be available to help in recovery efforts.

HOW: People across the country can help support Tide Loads of Hope by purchasing a Tide Loads of Hope vintage tee by visiting www.tideloadsofhope.com. All profits from the tees go towards helping families affected by disaster.

WHERE: Walmart, 138 Merchant Place, Cobleskill

WHEN: Services available from on the following dates: 1 to 8 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Duracell Power Relief Trailer Services available today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

School tax bills delayed

Tax bills to residents of the Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District have not been mailed, the district said..

The school contracted with Schoharie County to print and prepare the mailings, but given the county state of emergency, the mailings were unable to be delivered this week. It is not currently known when tax bills will be mailed out.

This year, tax payments are due Sept. 1-Sept. 30 without a penalty. The collection dates will be adjusted once bills are actually mailed. Once the bills are mailed, residents will have 30 days to pay without a penalty and an additional 30 days to pay with a penalty.

Updated information will be posted on the school website as it becomes available. An announcement will be made once bills have been mailed out.

Power outages

From Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office this morning, here's the latest on power outages:

Total customers without power (statewide): 118,652 (92% restored to date)

LIPA: 78,000 (85% restored to date)

Con Edison: 811 (99% restored to date)

National Grid: 1,701 (99% restored to date)

NYSEG: 19,285 (93% restored to date)

Central Hudson: 16,743 (91% restored to date)

Orange & Rockland: 2,112 (97% restored to date)

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