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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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HomeEmergencyNY Governor Cuomo Directs Agencies to Prep for Coming Weather Emergency: Storms, Heavy Rain, Winds

NY Governor Cuomo Directs Agencies to Prep for Coming Weather Emergency: Storms, Heavy Rain, Winds

Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies To Prepare Emergency Assets As Storms Are Expected To Impact Downstate Areas With Heavy Rain, High Winds 

Up to 4 Inches of Rain and Localized Flooding Possible as Rainfall Rates Could Reach Up to 2 Inches Per Hour at Times

Wind Gusts Up to 60 MPH Expected Throughout the Watch Area

Press Release comes courtesy of the NY Governors’ Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed State agencies to prepare emergency response assets as storms are forecast to bring heavy rain and high wind gusts to the downstate area this afternoon, threatening localized flooding conditions and isolated power outages.  Up to 4 inches of rain are possible in some areas, with rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour at times, and wind gusts up to 60 mph.  Governor Cuomo urged New Yorkers to prepare for flash flooding conditions and stay tuned to local forecasts for updated conditions.

“Another round of storms are expected to hit downstate this afternoon with heavy rain and high winds bringing with them possible flash flooding and isolated power outages, not to mention difficult travel,” Governor Cuomo said. “I have directed state agencies to stand ready to assist local partners if needed, and I encourage New Yorkers to pay close attention to weather forecasts and help to ensure loved ones and neighbors are prepared and safe.”

For the downstate area, including the Lower Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island, showers are expected to begin this morning, changing over to thunderstorms this afternoon.  Some storms may produce gusty winds and heavy rainfall, and an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.  It will be humid with highs in the mid-80s and winds generally at 5-10 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph in some locations at times.  More showers and thunderstorms are forecast to impact the downstate area throughout the week, bringing more rain and the potential for flooding and power outages.

A Flash Flood Watch also remains in effect for parts of Central New York, including southern Oneida County, until noon today.  Showers this morning may contain locally heavy rainfall.  Parts of the area that already received significant rainfall during the past several days are at risk, especially in poor drainage areas and locations that have very wet soils from recent rains. Rivers are expected to crest between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. tomorrow

Multiple Flash Flood Advisories, Watches and Warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service through Tuesday morning.  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 prepared to respond with the following assets:

  • 1395 large dump trucks
  • 74 wheeled and tracked excavators
  • 306 large loaders
  • 17 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
  • 20 graders
  • 15 tree crew bucket trucks
  • 77 chippers

Thruway Authority

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

Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 244 Large Dump Trucks
  • 117 Small Dump Trucks
  • 67 Loaders
  • 28 Trailers
  • 7 Vac Trucks
  • 7 Tracked Excavators
  • 9 Wheeled Excavators
  • 10 Brush Chippers
  • 100 Chainsaws
  • 24 Aerial Trucks
  • 22 Skid Steers
  • 88 Portable Generators
  • 68 Portable Light Unit 

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 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 conditions along the Thruway, follow @ThruwayTraffic 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 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 Environmental Conservation 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 the parks website 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.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The MTA is taking all necessary precautions to protect its transportation network and continue providing safe service. MTA agencies are working closely together, coordinating with local partners to develop precautionary plans should service be impacted. The MTA is deploying additional personnel and prepositioning essential backup equipment across the subways, commuter railroads, and agency’s bridges and tunnels. On the subway, maintenance personnel will inspect track drains in flood-prone areas, and check and stage track pumps and storm boxes prior to the storms.

The MTA encourages customers to take extra precautions when traveling during heavy rain and winds. This includes allowing for extra travel time, taking extra caution when walking on platforms and stairs, watching for slippery conditions and being mindful for overhead foliage or wires.

Port Authority 

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.

New York Power Authority / Canal Corporation

The New York Power Authority and the Canal Corporation are prepared and are currently monitoring forecasts and conditions. The Power Authority is ready to support power restoration activities if needed.

Thunderstorm 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.


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