Albany, NY (March 10, 2011)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today activated the state's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and directed key state agencies to ready personnel and resources in response to potential flooding in parts of the state.
"Due to heavy rain and melting snow, there is a real possibility of significant flooding in parts of the State," Governor Cuomo said. "That is why we are putting State agencies on alert, to plan for the worst while we hope for the best.
As of early this evening, a flood warning was in effect for the counties of Cattaraugus, Ulster and Orange. The National Weather Service expects to issue additional warnings as the night progresses. The entire State remains under a flood watch except for New York City and Long Island.
Among state agency preparedness activities:
- · The New York State Police has readied boats in addition to helicopters equipped with rescue harnesses in its Aviation Unit.
· The Department of Environmental Conservation has prepared rescue boats.
· The Department of Transportation has transferred an emergency response equipment trailer to Broome County, where a significant amount of flooding is possible.
· The State Office of Emergency Management is prepositioning sandbagging equipment in Poughkeepsie, Queensbury and various parts of Orange County.
Additionally, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Albany will be activated at 8 p.m. tonight and staffed full time with representatives of 12 agencies to coordinate the State's response until the threat has passed. The following agencies will be represented: Department of Transportation, Thruway Authority, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, State Office of Emergency Management, Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Police, Department of Health, American Red Cross, Department of Public Service, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Department of Correctional Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Services.
Motorists are advised not to attempt to drive over a flooded road. As little as six inches of water moving at 2 miles an hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge. A major concern during these late winter-early spring events is travel. Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related.