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HomeEmergencyGov. Cuomo Preps New York Ahead of Expected Thunderstorms, Damaging Winds and Hail

Gov. Cuomo Preps New York Ahead of Expected Thunderstorms, Damaging Winds and Hail

Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies to Prepare Emergency Response Assets as Thunderstorms, Damaging Winds and Hail Expected to Impact New York State Wednesday Afternoon

Strong Winds and Hail Could Result in Power Outages, Downed Tree Limbs

Dangerous Lightning and Brief, Heavy Rainfall Possible in Several Locations

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed State agencies to prepare emergency response assets across the state for strong thunderstorms on Wednesday, as well as damaging winds and the possibility of hail in some locations.  Strong winds and hail could lead to downed tree limbs and possible power outages.  The storms could also contain dangerous lightning and brief, heavy rainfall in some locations.  Governor Cuomo urged New Yorkers to prepare for potentially hazardous weather and to keep a close eye on local forecasts for changing developments.

“A strong cold front on Wednesday is forecast to produce several thunderstorms and strong winds up to 60 mph in several areas across our state, as well as the potential for hail and lightning,” Governor Cuomo said. “State agencies are watching the conditions and are ready to assist local partners as needed.  I urge everyone to keep a close eye on the weather and be ready to take shelter and alter any prescheduled plans accordingly, including travel and outdoor activities.”

Strong, potentially dangerous storms are expected to develop on Wednesday afternoon across upstate locations as a cold front tracks eastward and exits the State by early evening.  Storms may linger through midnight Wednesday night for areas along and south of I-90.  Temperatures could reach up to 90 degrees in some locations through late Wednesday, but it should be cooler and less humid Thursday with highs in the lower 70s.

New Yorkers can view weather alerts in their area by visiting the National Weather Service website here.

Agency Preparations

Department of Transportation

The State Department of Transportation is closely monitoring the coming storm and is prepared to respond with the following assets:

  • 1,438 large dump trucks
  • 305 large loaders
  • 78 chippers
  • 78 tracked and wheeled excavators
  • 22 water tankers
  • 17 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
  • 15 tree crew bucket trucks

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 658 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, Highway Advisory Radio and social media are utilized to alert motorists of weather conditions on the Thruway.

Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 245 Large Dump Trucks
  • 126 Small Dump Trucks
  • 65 Loaders
  • 28 Trailers
  • 8 Vac Trucks
  • 7 Tracked Excavators
  • 9 Wheeled Excavators
  • 10 Brush Chippers
  • 99 Chainsaws
  • 23 Aerial Trucks
  • 22 Skid Steers
  • 88 Portable Generators
  • 69 Portable Light Units

The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available to download for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go.

Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway by following this link: www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml.

For real-time updates, motorists can follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter or by visiting www.thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.

New York State Police

The New York State Police has instructed all Troopers to remain vigilant and closely monitor conditions for any problems. Additional personnel will be deployed to affected areas as needed.  All four-wheel drive vehicles and all specialty vehicles, including Utility Terrain Vehicles, are in-service.

Department of Environmental Conservation

DEC Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets, including swift water rescue teams, are 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 check parks.ny.gov 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, and restoration efforts across the State.  Department of Public Service staff will track the utilities’ work throughout the storm event and will ensure utilities shift the appropriate staffing to the regions anticipated to be impacted the most.

Safety Tips

Before the Storm

  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended periods outdoors.
  • If a storm is approaching, keep a NOAA Weather Radio or AM/FM radio with you.
  • Watch for signs of approaching storms.
  • Postpone outdoor activities if storms are imminent.
  • Check on neighbors who require special assistance: infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

During the Storm

  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
  • Move to a sturdy building or car. Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles.
  • If lightning occurs and sturdy shelter is not available, get inside a hard-top automobile and keep the windows up.
  • Get out of boats and away from water.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Use phones only in an emergency.
  • Get to higher ground if flash flooding or flooding is possible. DO NOT attempt to drive to safety. Most flash flooding deaths occur in automobiles.

For more weather safety information, please visit the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/.

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