New York State Issues Update on Heavy Rain and Flooding

State Watch Center Monitoring Potential Flooding Issues in the Southern Tier and Tropical Systems Forming in the Atlantic

Statewide Stockpiles Staffed and Equipment Prepared for Deployment as Necessary

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued an update on the heavy rain moving through the state today. The Governor also urged New Yorkers to prepare for potential flooding—especially for those in flood-prone areas in the Finger Lakes, Central New York and Southern Tier.  Additionally, coastal communities in New York City and Long Island could experience minor coastal flooding during periods of high tide. At the Governor’s direction, the State’s Emergency Operations Center continues to monitor this period of heavy rain and tropical storm activity in the Atlantic Ocean. With hurricane activity increasing, all New Yorkers should ready emergency supplies in the event a tropical storm system impacts New York State.

“Heavy rain continues to move into the state today and early tomorrow which could cause additional flooding in areas that were devastated by flash flooding only weeks ago,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are prepared and ready to help communities tackle whatever Mother Nature brings our way. I urge all New Yorkers living in affected areas to stay informed and plan ahead to stay safe.”

The state’s ten regional stockpiles are prepared to deploy key resources to assist with any flooding issues should they occur. Currently, stockpiles are equipped with:

  • Approximately 700 generators
  • Over 200 light towers
  • Over 1,250 pumps
  • Over 1.8 million sandbags
  • 18 sandbaggers
  • Over 438,000 bottles and cans of water
  • Over 28,500 ready to eat meals
  • 9,650 cots
  • 12,340 blankets and 13,613 pillows
  • 6,771 feet of Aquadam

Rain first began to move through the state yesterday evening and has moved into western, central and downstate regions of the state. The rain will continue moving slowly east through tomorrow morning. Total rainfall of 1 to 3 inches is expected through Tuesday morning with the higher amounts in the Southern Tier. Ponding of water on roadways is possible with the heavier rains which could make driving difficult.  While widespread thunderstorms are not expected, severe thunderstorms are possible for Ulster and Dutchess Counties, which could bring gusty winds that could down tree limbs and cause scattered power outages in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Flood Watches have been issued by the National Weather Service in parts of Western New York, the Southern Tier, Central New York, and the western portions of the Mohawk Valley through Tuesday morning.  In the New York City and Long Island Regions, minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible during the times of high tide through this evening, especially in Queens and Nassau Counties.  A coastal flood warning has been issued until midnight tonight for these counties.

The state’s Strategic Stockpiles are staffed and equipment has been prepared for deployment as necessary. The New York State Emergency Operations Center is at Level 4 activation, indicating Enhanced monitoring through Tuesday.

As rains intensify, the National Weather Service may issue additional weather watches and warnings. For an up to date list from the National Weather Service click here.

Stay Informed

At the Governor’s direction New York State has recently improved the NY-Alert emergency alerting system.  NY-Alert warns citizens of critical information and emergencies and provides timely information to protect lives. Warnings and emergency information can be directed to a phone call, email, text message or fax. Visit alert.ny.gov for more information.

Flood Safety Tips

Traveling

If traveling during heavy rain, please drive with care and keep these safety tips in mind:

  • DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
  • DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
  • Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
  • Follow recommended routes. DO NOT ignore emergency detours to view flooded areas.
  • As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
  • Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
  • Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
  • If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.

Prepare for flooding and severe weather

  • Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby cities. Severe weather warnings are issued on a county basis.
  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Develop and practice a ‘family escape’ plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
  • Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
  • Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.
  • Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries and emergency cooking equipment available.
  • Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
  • Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing

Have disaster supplies on hand, including:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Checkbook, cash, credit cards, ATM cards

 

Hurricane Preparedness

  • Know the hurricane risks in your area – learn the storm surge history and elevation of your area
  • Learn about local community’s sheltering plans, including the location of official shelters
  • Pay attention to the news. Know the Emergency Alert System radio and television stations in your area that will carry official information. Also, monitor NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts, if possible
  • Learn the warning signals and evacuation plans of your community
  • Have at least a one-week supply of medications on hand
  • Determine if your family has any special needs and develop a plan for meeting those needs
  • For example: If you have a family member on a life-support system, does your electric utility know about it? Individuals with special needs or others requiring more information should contact their County Emergency Management Office
  • Make plans now on what to do with your pets should you be required to evacuate your residence.
  • Teach all family members, including children, how and when to call 911 or your local EMS phone number
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones or save them in your contacts on your cell phone
  • Discuss with family members what they should do in the event of a disaster, such as a hurricane or severe storm. Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency, such as a fire, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home
  • Designate an out-of-area friend or relative whom separated family members should call to report their whereabouts. Make certain all family members have the phone number
  • Install safety features in your residence such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
  • Know how and when to turn off water, gas and electricity in your home
  • Check your home and property for potential hazards to see what actions need to be taken to ensure your safety and to protect your belongings
  • Review your insurance policy. Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowner’s insurance. Inventory household items with photograph
  • Obtain and store materials, such as plywood, necessary to properly secure your home
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts
  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed of dead wood
  • If applicable, determine where to move your boat in an emergency

 

For more safety tips for all types of weather events, visit the DHSES website at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/index.cfm