State Emergency Operations Center Activated to Enhanced Monitoring
Flood Watches Continue as Rain and Warmer Temperatures Loosen Ice Causing Jams on Streams and Rivers
Governor Cuomo today activated 130 National Guard personnel and equipment to be ready to deploy to support localities with ice jam flooding due to warm temperatures and rain in rivers and streams across the state. With warmer temperatures and rainfall forecasted for much of the state today, the potential exists for jammed ice to move and cause renewed flooding at known ice jam locations. Currently, the flooding potential continues through mid-week. Ice jams and ice jam potential are being monitored statewide, especially in the Western New York Region, the North Country, the Mohawk Valley Region, the Capital Region, and in the Southern Tier. People living in areas that are prone to ice jam flooding should take the time in advance to take precautions.
"As ice jams and high water levels threaten our communities, the state is working with our local partners to help mitigate flooding across the state," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge residents in areas prone to flooding to stay informed and take precautions to protect themselves, their families and their homes."
The National Weather Service has issued Flood Watches and Advisories for ice jam flooding for many portions of the state. Please monitor local forecasts for the most up to date information. A Flood Warning is already in effect in Warren County until 10:00 a.m. Wednesday for flooding along Route 418 between Thurman and Warrensburg, along River Road in Thurman, and along Stony Creek Road at the bottom of Cameron Road in Warrensburg due to an ice jam along the Hudson River. A Flood Warning in also effect in Central Eric County until 6:15 p.m. for the Cazenovia Creek in Cazenovia Park in West Seneca. Water levels also continue to fluctuate along other area creeks including the Buffalo and Cayuga Creeks, as an imminent risk of ice jam flooding also remains along those creeks.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino, Sr. said, "The Division is working closely with our local and state partners on ice jam and flooding issues throughout the state. We will continue to provide any resources and expertise needed as we monitor and respond to any issues as they arise throughout the duration of this event."
State Agency Preparations
Division of Military and Naval Affairs
At the Governor's direction, there are 130 Airmen and Soldiers on State Active Duty today to assist state and local governments alleviate flooding and ice jams as temperatures and water levels rise. There are 12 personnel from the 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry with four vehicles in Malone and 13 personnel with four vehicles from the 2-108th Infantry in Plattsburgh. There are 26 personnel and five vehicles on call at the Armed Forces Reserves center in Scotia. They are assigned to the 2-108th. In Syracuse, the 427th Brigade Support Battalion has 25 personnel and five vehicles in the Thompson Road Armory. The 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, also in Syracuse, has 25 personnel and five vehicles standing by at the Air Base for missions. Ten Soldiers from the 204th Engineer Battalion with five vehicles are on duty in Binghamton to assist with possible flooding in that area. There are additional soldiers providing logistics support to the mission.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is prepared to respond to requests for assistance with assets from its stockpiles, including 723 generators, 263 light towers, 1,295 pumps, 9 sandbaggers, more than 1,843,000 sandbags, and over 51,000 pre-filled sandbags, more than 46,700 ready-to-eat meals, almost 70,000 bottles and 348,000 cans of water, over 9,000 cots, approximately 12,000 blankets and pillows, over 4,000 flashlights, 960 traffic barriers, 594 traffic barrels, and over 6,800 feet of aqua dam.
Department of Transportation
New York State Transportation is continuously monitoring all waterways that potentially threaten the state highway system. Staff are on alert and flood watches are in effect at critical points with a history of flooding. NYSDOT is working with state and local partners to respond to any flooding impacts immediately.
Motorists are reminded to check 511NY by calling 511, or visiting www.511ny.org before traveling. The free service allows users to check road conditions and transit information. Mobile users can download the free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. The app features Drive mode, which provides audible alerts along a chosen route while (a user is driving, warning them about incidents and construction. Users can set a destination prior to departing and receive information on up to three routes.
New York State Police
The New York State Police is prepared to add additional patrols to affected areas as needed, and all available 4X4 vehicles will be in use. All specialized resources, including aircraft and boats, will be staged and ready for deployment.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation
The State Department of Environmental Conservation is using FEMA flood plain maps and professional experience to identify flood prone areas, including creeks and streams, where snow melt and rain could cause damaging flooding. The Department of Environmental Conservation will monitor stream level forecasts and flood gages on creeks, streams, and rivers to assess flooding risks and respond to potential flooding that would activate any of the 106 Flood Control Projects DEC maintains and operates across New York State. Over 100 of the Agency's Environmental Conservation Police Officers, State Forest Rangers, water engineers, spill response staff and emergency management personnel are ready with 25 boats and other emergency management tools to rapidly respond to any spills or search and rescue operations that are needed as flood waters rise. DEC's fleet of drones and six operators have continued to survey ice jam conditions along waterways, flying missions over the Salmon River, Saranac River, Hudson River, Mohawk River, Sauquoit Creek, Fish Creek and the Susquehanna River. DEC drone operators will be undertaking additional surveys today as needed and in coordination with sister state agencies to anticipate, alert and respond to any known ice jam conditions and associated flood risks. DEC is also monitoring wastewater treatment plants throughout the state, based on risk conditions and staff are ready to respond to any emergencies caused by flooding.
Thruway Authority staff are monitoring the roadway and bridges for any potential flooding or debris. Maintenance crews are working 24/7 shifts and are ready to address any issues that arise.
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 here. 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 Power Authority and Canal Corporation
NYPA continues to monitor conditions and remains in constant contact with emergency management officials. Additionally, Canal staff continues to communicate with water management and hydropower entities along the New York State Canal System regarding changes in releases and conditions as well as developing hazards.
The Canal Corporation has taken pre-emptive actions statewide to mitigate potential flood impacts throughout Canal System and staff are closely monitoring known ice jam locations including known ice jam locations along Lock E7-8 pool along the Mohawk River in the Capital Region, Fish Creek below Lock E22 near Sylvan Beach in the Central New York Region, the Upper Hudson River near Warrensburg and the Upper Hoosic River near Hoosick Falls in the Capital Region, West Canada Creek below Kast Bridge in the Village of Herkimer adjacent to the non-canalized Mohawk River below Herkimer Dam in the Mohawk Valley Region, and Canandaigua Outlet near Lock E-27 in the Finger Lakes Region, as well as other high gradient streams tributary to the Canal.
Below are flood preparation safety tips:
- 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 - as well as potentially photo and video documentation -- 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 water-proofing
- Check on your insurance coverage. Homeowners' insurance policies generally do not cover flood damages. Only flood insurance can protect your home against flood damages. You can purchase flood insurance whether or not you live in a mapped flood zone
For a list of complete list of weather terms and preparation ideas before during and after a flood, visit the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/flood/floodprepare.cfm.