Updated 10/02/2012 04:34 PM
Orange County readies for potential disaster at Indian Point Power Plant with drill
A radiation leak at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Thankfully Tuesday, it was just an exercise. But how would the surrounding counties react if there was ever a disaster at the power station? YNN's Elaina Athans has more.
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GOSHEN, N.Y. -- Hundreds of emergency personal and volunteers took part in a massive Indian Point Power Plant exercise.
"This is the epicenter for emergency management," said Orange County IDA Executive Director James O'Donnell.
A regional response to a disaster at the Indian Point Power Plant is tested. A massive exercise is held evaluating how Albany, Orange, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties would handle an incident at the plant.
"(It's a) tremendous amount of work, tremendous amount of drilling. But bear in mind too, while we're doing this for Indian Point, it also helps us hone our skills for other emergencies," said Orange County Director of Operations Richard Mayfield.
All of the jurisdictions are working with the same scenario and executing necessary measures to keep the public safe. Tuesday's mock situation was a radiation leak at the plant. Schools had to be closed, air space cut off and homes were hypothetically evacuated. All the while the counties were trying to work in unison.
"If Rockland was to declare a State of Emergency, you can be sure we'd (Orange) starts getting phone calls 'What about us?' So it's important that the four counties are in sync with each other and the state," said O'Donell.
The drill itself is being tightly monitored by the federal government. FEMA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will evaluate the response. It's mandated every two years.
After so many exercises like this, Orange County officials are confident they can handle a situation.
"There's not too many scenarios at Indian Point that we don't know about, so we're prepared for anything," said O'Donnell.
The federal government will present their findings on the drill Friday in Tarrytown.