Sandy whips up a frenzy in Poughkeepsie, where many locals took the day off to stay safe and play storm watcher for a day. YNN's John Wagner has more from the waterfront.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Sandy is coming through in bands, with stretches of rainy windy weather mixed with calm, bringing car loads of intrigued onlookers to Poughkeepsie's Waryas Park to check out the creeping flood.
"I'm almost in the Hudson, I'm in the Hudson River right now, this is ridiculous, this is horrible," said Brian Downey.
"It's coming up really fast and now the rain is starting again, so I imagine it's going to get a lot higher," said Michelle Conklin.
Poughkeepsie residents take not so gusty moments checking out the damage before Sandy got too close. Many afraid of what the morning will bring.
"Tomorrow morning it's going to be bad down here, so everybody's going to be prepared for the worst," said John Murphy.
"I feel like they always exaggerate. I mean even if it does get bad, what's the worst that can happen?" asked a skeptical Arianna Milanese.
Dutchess County officials say locals prepared for the worst, knowing how hard the area was hit during Irene.
"We're feeling all of the wind push back and certainly it's not often we see the kind of flooding surges we expect to see at the Hudson River," said Dutchess County Executive Mark Molinaro.
"First off, it's the sheer size from one side to the other is in excess of 1,000 miles, so it's going to affect many, many states and will eventually involve the entire north east and the mid-Atlantic states at the same time," said Dana Smith, Dutchess County's emergency response coordinator.
Sandy knocked down trees full of leaves across the city, powering down traffic signals. Some residents won’t be able to turn their lights on anytime soon, others got lucky.
"I don't really feel like a victim because it could have done a lot more damage and the City of Poughkeepsie came and reacted so quickly," said Phillip Behr. "I mean the trees down only a half hour and they're getting rid of it for me, so I'm thankful."
"It's gonna get worse than this, it's really tough out here, people gotta stay home," said Rocky Shahim.
Although Dutchess County is asking locals to stay off roads if at all possible, the storm damage isn't bad enough, yet, to declare a Dutchess State of Emergency.