GOVERNOR HOCHUL URGES NEW YORKERS TO PREPARE FOR HEAVY RAINS AND POSSIBLE FLASH FLOODING THIS WEEKEND
Up to Three Inches of Rain Expected for Some Areas in the Capital, Central NY, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City and North Country Regions
Potential for Locally Higher Rainfall Amounts of Five Inches Could Cause Urban, Small Stream and Isolated Flash Flooding, Especially in Eastern Portion of State
New Yorkers Urged to Prepare Households and Vehicles for Heavy Rain Impacts, Use Extra Caution When Traveling Especially Near Flooded Roadways and Infrastructure
Governor Kathy Hochul today urged New Yorkers to prepare for heavy rainfall and possible flash flooding in some locations across the eastern portion of the state this weekend. A strong, slow-moving cold front is expected to bring showers and isolated thunderstorms starting today and continuing through Saturday in the Capital, Central New York, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City, and North Country regions. Up to three inches of widespread rainfall is expected with this system but excessive rainfall up to five inches in some places could result in urban and small stream flooding and isolated flash flooding. The heaviest rainfalls are expected Saturday with the eastern portion of the state at greatest risk of flooding. Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to monitor the weather forecast throughout the weekend and exercise extreme caution when traveling, especially near roadways and infrastructure that appear potentially unsafe from flooding impacts.
“We are keeping a close eye on a strong weather system that has the potential to dump more rain and cause more flooding this weekend in areas that are still recovering from last week’s storms,” Governor Hochul said. “I urge New Yorkers to monitor the weather this weekend but take steps now to prepare for heavy rain and flash flooding. State agencies will be standing ready throughout the storm to assist local governments as needed.”
Governor Hochul also noted that Tropical Storm Philippe is not expected to impact New York State, but state agencies are monitoring it and are prepared to respond if the storm changes course. For a complete list of weather alerts and forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website at alerts.weather.gov. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for NY Alert, the State’s free emergency alert system, at alert.ny.gov. County-by-county emergency information can be pushed by text or email.
State Agency Preparations
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ State Watch Center is monitoring weather and travel conditions, and coordinating any response needs with local governments. All the Division’s offices are prepared to respond with personnel and resources, in the event of severe weather impacts.
New York State Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond to the weather event with more than 3,480 operators and supervisors available statewide.
Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 1,433 large dump trucks
- 315 large loaders
- 79 chippers
- 84 wheeled and tracked excavators
- 31 traffic tower platforms
- 16 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
- 15 tree crew bucket trucks
The Thruway Authority has 659 operators and supervisors prepared to respond to any wind or flood related issues across the state with small to medium sized excavators, plow/dump trucks, large loaders, portable VMS boards, portable light towers, smaller generators, smaller pumps, and equipment hauling trailers, as well as signage and other traffic control devices available for any detours or closures. Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of weather conditions on the Thruway.
Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 334 Large and Small Dump Trucks
- 58 Loaders
- 31 Trailers
- 7 Vac Trucks
- 16 Excavators
- 8 Brush Chippers
- 100 Chainsaws
- 23 Aerial Trucks
- 22 Skid Steers
- 83 Portable Generators
- 67 Portable Light Units
The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which provides direct access to live traffic cameras, real-time traffic information and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic incidents along the Thruway, follow @NYSThruway on Twitter, and visit thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
New York State DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are monitoring the developing situation and weather forecasts and will actively patrol areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets, including swift water rescue teams, will be positioned to assist with any emergency response.
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Park visitors should visit parks.ny.gov, check the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.
Department of Public Service
New York’s utilities have approximately 5,500 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts across New York State for this event. Agency staff will track utilities’ work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact.
New York State Police
State Police are prepared to deploy additional Troopers, as needed, to affected areas. All State Police specialized vehicles, including four-wheel drive vehicles and Utility Task Vehicles, are staged and ready for immediate response. All Troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is closely monitoring weather conditions to ensure safe, reliable service. MTA employees will be poised to respond to any weather-related issues. To reduce the likelihood of flooding and respond to any instances of flooding that do occur, MTA crews will inspect drains in flood-prone areas to ensure they are functional, and supervisors will monitor flood-prone locations for any reports of flooding to ensure quick response.
Customers are encouraged to check new.mta.info for the latest service updates, and to use caution while navigating the system. Customers should also sign up for real-time service alerts via text or email. These alerts are also available via the MTA’s apps: MYmta and TrainTime.
The Port Authority is monitoring weather conditions. Speed restrictions may be in effect at the bridges, as well as along roadways to and from the crossings. Passengers through the Port Authority’s facilities are encouraged to reach out to carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays and cancelations.
For the latest information about Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up for PA alerts or download one of the PA mobile apps, including RidePATH which provides real-time updates and alerts for PATH service.
Flash Flooding Safety Tips
- Never attempt to drive on a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
- If water begins to rise rapidly around you in your car, abandon the vehicle immediately.
- Do not underestimate the power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car, and water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
Severe Weather Safety Tips for New Yorkers
All New Yorkers should know how to stay aware of severe weather and receive timely alerts that let them know what they need to do to stay safe, including evacuation. The best way to receive timely weather alerts is by signing up for NY-Alert, a free service that provides weather and other emergency-related alerts.
Take the following steps to ensure you and your loved ones are protected:
- Develop a household disaster plan and know how to always contact family members. Identify an out-of-town friend or family member to be the “emergency family contact” and make certain all family members have the contact info.
- Designate an emergency meeting spot – a familiar location where family can meet if the residence cannot be accessed.
- Know hurricane and storm risks in your community.
- If you live near coastal areas, learn about your area’s storm surge history and your community’s warning signals and evacuation plans, including safe routes inland and the location of official shelters.
- Know where to relocate pets during a storm – most shelters will not allow pets.
- Keep the following supplies on-hand:
- Enough non-perishable food and water supplies for 10 days.
- Battery-operated radios and flashlights and an ample supply of batteries.
- A first aid with supply of medicines.
- Important documents: Insurance policies, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc. in a waterproof container.
- Cash, checkbook, credit cards and ATM cards.
- An emergency contact list of people and organizations who may need to be called: schools, doctors, providers, and insurance contacts.
- Take the following preventative measures:
- Obtain and store materials, such as plywood, necessary to properly secure your home.
- Repair loose and clear clogged rain gutters and down spouts.
- Secure or bring inside lawn furniture and other loose, lightweight objects such as garbage cans and garden tools that could become projectiles in high winds. Also keep trees and shrubbery trimmed of dead wood.
- Review insurance policies to determine extent of coverage before a storm strikes.
- Determine where to move boats in an emergency.
- Be aware of local weather conditions by listening to National Weather Service broadcasts on NOAA Weather Radio and reports from local television and radio stations.
- Know how to turn off the power, heat and water at home.
About the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, follow @NYSDHSES on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter) or visit dhses.ny.gov.