December 15, 2013
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Declares Flood State of Emergency

Governor Cuomo Declares Flood State of Emergency

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo declared a State of Emergency in counties affected by flooding due to heavy rainfall combined with melting snow runoff. The State of Emergency covers Essex, Franklin, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

"Last night, I declared a State of Emergency and activated the State Emergency Operations Center to provide support and deliver assets to communities experiencing flooding in the Mohawk Valley and the North Country, Governor Cuomo said. "While the floods are now receding in some areas, I urge New Yorkers in impacted counties to stay safe, heed the advice of their local emergency first responders and look out for their friends and neighbors.

Under a State of Emergency, critical resources that are normally restricted to State use are mobilized to assist local governments and laws and regulations that would otherwise impede their rapid response are suspended.

The Governor activated the New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYSOEM) early Tuesday to closely monitor the severe weather that has produced flooding, heavy rain, high winds and snow. Flooding has occurred in the Upper Hudson and Upper Mohawk River Basins, causing road closures and the evacuation of some residential areas.

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer said, Accelerated snow melt and significant snow pack coupled with the recent warm weather and heavy wind and rains resulted in moderate to significant flooding in the Upper Hudson and Mohawk River Basins of New York State. We are asking people to stay alert, listen to emergency instructions and cooperate with local officials if needed.

The New York State Emergency Operations Center is staffed by representatives from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Department of Health, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Public Service Commission, State Police, Thruway Authority, Department of Transportation, Office of Developmental and Disability Services and by representatives for the American Red Cross and the National Weather Service.

The State deployed sand bag fillers and 10,000 sand bags to Herkimer and Oneida Counties, as well as providing 10,000 sandbags for the South Edwards Dam in St. Lawrence County. Two Swift Water Rescue Teams have been staged between Herkimer and Montgomery Counties and another is being sent to the Warren County Corridor and are ready to be deployed if needed.

Public Safety

The Division of State Police contacted all regional Troop Commanders to ensure that resources and staffing patters have been identified for the storm. Troop Emergency Management personnel have been pre-designated to staff open county Emergency Operation Centers. Weather related incident reporting procedures are in place for the duration of the storm. All specialty use vehicles, boats and equipment have been staged for deployment as needed. No State Police resources have been tasked at this time and all calls for service are being met.

Pre-positioned assets were sent to the following locations:

Swift water assets are deployed to Herkimer County at the NYS DOT yard at Exit 30 and to Clinton County, staged at the OGS stockpile in Plattsburgh.

The NYS Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications Strategic Technology Reserve (STR) vehicle #4 was deployed to Exit 30 of NYS Thruway with OFPC swift water team. Rammer One and STR #2 are staged at the Plattsburgh stockpile.

State Fire Protection Specialists are deployed to the Franklin, Herkimer and Jefferson County Emergency Operations Centers.

Governor Cuomo urges people in these areas to follow all safety recommendations from local officials and reminds New Yorkers to take the following actions:

  • Monitor the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Weather Radio or your local radio and TV station broadcasts for information.
  • If local officials advise evacuation, do so promptly.
  • Bring outside possessions inside the house or tie them down securely. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other movable objects.
  • If there is time, move essential items and furniture to upper floors in the house. Disconnect electrical appliances that cannot be moved. DO NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water.
  • If you are told to shut off water, gas, or electrical services before leaving, do so.
  • Secure your home: lock all doors and windows.

When traveling:

  • Make sure you have enough fuel for your car.
  • Follow recommended routes. DO NOT sightsee.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.

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