Governor Deploys Equipment and Personnel to Assist in Storm Response; State’s Emergency Operations Center has been Activated
Albany, NY (August 13, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today dispatched resources to assist Long Island’s recovery from the nearly 13 inches of rain that fell between the hours of midnight Tuesday and 7:15 a.m. Wednesday that resulted in flash floods. The State’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated to monitor the situation.
The flooding caused closures on eleven major highways in Long Island. Cars were stranded on the Southern State Parkway at exits 38 and 39, but all westbound lanes are now re-opened and residual flooding has cleared from the roadway. The Northern State Parkway at is closed at Rt-107, and the LIE is closed at exit 50. The State’s Emergency Management Non-Commissioned Officer fleet has been dispatched, and both the Traffic Incident Management system and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit are engaged in flood operations. The State also dispatched a pumping truck to the 1st Precinct in Babylon.
NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services (DHSES) officials from the Office of Emergency Management and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control in Nassau and Suffolk Counties are assisting local emergency management officials. DHSES has sent water pumps, and is ready to deploy any additional resources to the region if requested.
As of 10:00 a.m., the following road closures were in effect:
I-495 westbound between Exits 50-49
Northern State Parkway eastbound and westbound at Exit 35
Wantaugh State Parkway north and southbound from the Southern State Parkway to Sunrise Highway
Southern State Parkway eastbound from Exit 40-43
Long Island Expressway westbound off ramp at Exit 56 (Rte 111)
Ocean Parkway eastbound, right lane closed in the Town of Oyster Bay
Route 27 under Wellwood Avenue, lanes restricted by disabled vehicles
Motor Parkway eastbound and westbound at Hawthorne Avenue in Islandia
Steps taken to assist flooded areas include:
Roads and Bridges
The New York State Department of Transportation has 400 maintenance staff working in the affected areas pumping water from roadways and clearing debris carried by the floodwaters from drainage grates and recharge basins. The Department has teams deployed to assess any road damage.
Heavy rain caused flooding, delays and some interruptions of service along the MTA Long Island Rail Road this morning. A section of the Port Jefferson Branch remains suspended between Huntington and Port Jefferson after flooding washed out some ballast from under the tracks east of Smithtown, and the LIRR is arranging substitute bus service.
Scattered delays of 30 minutes persist throughout the LIRR network because of weather-related problems, including some sections of track and yards where water rose above the rails and reached the third rail power source. The Montauk Branch is also experiencing 90-minute delays due to an earlier disabled train. Limited service has been restored on the Far Rockaway Branch.
Some station parking lots have experienced flooding, and some station buildings have been damaged by rising water.
The New York State Public Service Commission extended its Call Center Helpline hours today until 7:30 P.M., and continuing from 7:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M., Thursday, August 14, as needed. Anyone needing assistance with a utility problem should call the Call Center Helpline at 1-800-342-3377.
The Department of Financial Services Disaster Hotline can be called at 1-800-339-1759 with insurance questions about storm-related property damage. Property owners with building code related questions can call the Department of State's Division of Code Enforcement & Administration at 518-474-4073.
The NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services urges people in the affected regions to adhere to the following recovery tips:
- Listen to the radio or TV for instructions from local officials.
- Wait until an area has been declared safe before entering it. Be careful driving, since roads may be damaged and power lines may be down.
- Before entering a building, check for structural damage. Turn off any outside gas lines at the meter or tank. Let the building air out to remove foul odors or escaping gas.
- Upon entering the building, use a battery-powered flashlight. DO NOT use an open flame as a source of light. Gas may be trapped inside.
- When inspecting the building, wear rubber boots and gloves.
- Avoid standing water in your home until the power has been shut off to avoid electrocution.
- DO NOT turn on electrical appliances until an electrician has checked the system and appliances.
- Throw out any medicine or food that has had contact with flood waters.
- If you have a private well and it has been affected by flood waters discontinue using your well for drinking and cooking purposes.
- If your public water system issues a boil water notice you should bring water to a full rolling boil for 1 minute then allow the water to cool before using.Shovel out mud with special attention to cleaning heating and plumbing systems.
- Flooded basements should be drained and cleaned as soon as possible. Structural damage can occur if drained too quickly. When surrounding waters have subsided, begin draining the basement in stages, about 1/3 of the water volume each day.
DEC Forest Rangers are prepared to respond with 4WD vehicles, ATVs and kayaks if necessary.
Emergency Spill Response:
DEC operates a 24-hour Emergency Spill Hotline at 1-800-457-7362 for the public to notify the department of suspected spills.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has closed shellfish harvesting areas in most towns in Nassau and Suffolk counties to protect the public health. Effective immediately and continuing until a determination is made that conditions no longer exist that may make shellfish hazardous for use as food, the following areas are designated as uncertified and the harvest of shellfish is temporarily prohibited:
Towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay (south shore): All that area of Hempstead Bay, East Bay and South Oyster Bay and their tributaries in the Towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay.
Town of Oyster Bay (north shore): All of Oyster Bay Harbor and all of Cold Spring Harbor lying southerly of a line extending easterly from the stone house on Plum Point (Centre Island) to the northerly side of the beach pavilion at West Neck Beach (Town of Huntington) on the eastern shore of Cold Spring Harbor.
Towns of Babylon and Islip: All that area of Great South Bay and its tributaries lying westerly of the northbound span of the Robert Moses Causeway bridges.
Towns of Islip and Brookhaven (south shore): All that area of northern Great South Bay, including Nicoll Bay, lying west of Green Point and northerly of a line of buoys extending easterly from the southern base of the northbound span of the Robert Moses Causeway Buoy R N "30" located south of Green Point.
Town of Brookhaven (north shore): All of Stony Brook Harbor, Flax Pond, Port Jefferson Harbor and Mount Sinai Harbor.
Town of Huntington: All of Northport Bay, Duck Island Harbor and Centerport Harbor lying easterly of a line extending southerly from the southernmost point of West Beach (also known as Sand City Beach) to the northeastern corner of the beach pavilion at the Town of Huntington’s Crescent Beach in Huntington Bay.
Town of Smithtown: All that area of Stony Brook Harbor and its tributaries.
DEC will re-open areas as soon as possible based on the results of water quality testing to be conducted on samples that will be collected from the affected areas over the next several days.
Additional information about temporary shellfish closures will be available on DEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7765.html.