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Cuomo directs state agencies to deploy resources statewide as heavy rains are forecast for New York

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Fri, Jul 10th 2020 10:15 am

Low-pressure tropical storm system moving up East Coast expected to produce several inches of rain, may cause localized flash flooding Friday & Saturday

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday directed state agencies to strategically deploy response resources as heavy rains are expected across much of the state in the coming days. Throughout Friday and Saturday, a low-pressure tropical storm system will move up the East Coast and is expected to dump several inches of rain in the Mid-Atlantic Coast, New York and Southern New England. New Yorkers should pay attention to local weather reports and take steps to ensure their families are protected in the event of flooding.

"With widespread thunderstorms expected across the state and heavy rain and flash flooding expected to hit New York City and Long Island in the coming days, I am urging all New Yorkers to stay alert and be careful during these potentially severe weather conditions," Cuomo said. "I am deploying state personnel and resources to communities across the state to ensure they have the support they need to respond to anything Mother Nature may throw our way."

On Friday, temperatures will range between the mid-80s and low-90s with a chance of thunderstorms statewide. Rainfall totals will be between a half inch in upstate to two inches New York City and Long Island regions as the low-pressure system continues moving north. Temperatures should cool off during the overnight hours statewide.

On Saturday, temperatures will once again range between the mid-80s and low-90s with a chance of thunderstorms across the region. Rainfall totals will be higher in areas with thunderstorms. Gusty winds are also possible along the Long Island coast in the coming days.

For a complete listing of weather watches, warnings, advisories and latest forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website.

Agency Preparations

√ Department of Transportation

The DOT is prepared to respond to this weekend's storm event with the following assets:

  • 15 tree crews with bucket trucks
  • 16 water tankers
  • 6 water pumps (4-6 inch)
  • 18 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
  • 77 chippers
  • 78 tracked and wheeled excavators
  • 305 large loaders
  • 1,352 large dump trucks

All affected residency locations will be staffed for 24/7 operation throughout the duration of this event.

√ Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 645 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:

  • 204 large dump trucks
  • 118 small dump trucks
  • 60 loaders
  • 25 trailers
  • 10 vac trucks
  • 10 tracked excavators
  • 8 wheeled excavators
  • 9 brush chippers
  • 99 chainsaws
  • 19 aerial trucks
  • 22 skid steers
  • 87 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 emails that 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 roadways.

√ Department of Public Service

New York's utilities have approximately 4,500 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response and restoration across New York. DPS staff will track the utilities' work throughout the storm event and will ensure the utilities shift the appropriate staffing to the regions anticipated to experience the greatest impact.

√ Department of Environmental Conservation

DEC environmental conservation police officers (ECOs), forest rangers and emergency management staff are on alert closely monitoring the track of the storm, and equipment is ready to deploy to communities impacted by heavy rain, flooding and strong winds. All available assets, including drone pilots, boats and utility vehicles, are ready 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.

Parks crews in the Long Island region will be staging sandbags at facilities with known flooding issues and reinforcing sand berms at Gilgo State Park and Jones Beach State Park central mall.

√ State Police

The New York State Police has instructed all troopers to closely monitor conditions for any problems, and will be prepared to deploy additional patrols in affected areas as needed. All four-wheel drive vehicles are in-service and all specialty equipment, including boats and utility vehicles, is staged and ready for immediate deployment.

Safety Tips

If traveling during heavy rain, New York officials said 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
  • Plan what to do with your pets.
  • 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 waterproofing.

√ 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

√ If experiencing a power outage, New Yorkers should:

•Turn off or disconnect major appliances and other equipment, e.g., computers, in case of a momentary power surge that can damage these devices. Keep one light turned on so you know when power returns. Consider using surge protectors wherever you use electronic equipment.

•Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities, visit the New York State Department of Public Service.

•Check to see if your neighbors have power. Check on people with access or functional needs.

•Use only flashlights for emergency lighting – candles pose the risk of fire.

•Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed – most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.

•Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat – they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.

•In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors. Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.

•If you are in a tall building, take the stairs and move to the lowest level of the building. If trapped in an elevator, wait for assistance. Do not attempt to force the doors open. Remain patient – there is plenty of air and the interior of the elevator is designed for passenger safety.

•Remember to provide fresh, cool water for your pets.

•Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion and dangerous driving conditions. If you must drive during a blackout, remember to obey the four-way stop rule at intersections with nonfunctioning traffic signals.

•Remember that equipment such as automated teller machines (ATMs) and elevators may not be working.

For more safety tips, visit the DHSES website at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/index.cfm.

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