December 13, 2013
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Declares State of Emergency in Yates County, Deploys State Assets to Flood Damaged Areas in Finger Lakes

Governor Cuomo Declares State of Emergency in Yates County, Deploys State Assets to Flood Damaged Areas in Finger Lakes

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a State of Emergency for Yates County and deployed state resources to flood damaged areas in the Finger Lakes, including the Penn Yan vicinity in Yates County.

Communities in Yates County as well as other areas of Western and Central New York were hit hard by severe thunderstorms and rain showers last night, leaving flooded roads, houses, and damage throughout the region. Given the extensive damage in Penn Yan and surrounding communities, I am declaring a State of Emergency for Yates County to help local governments receive the resources they need as soon as possible, Governor Cuomo said. The State is in close contact with local officials, and has deployed emergency response and recovery teams to affected communities to assist where needed. With the forecast calling for additional thunderstorms and more potential flash flooding, the State will be monitoring the situation closely to see how we can assist local communities, and I urge New Yorkers 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 has already directed the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to deploy its mobile command and communications vehicles and water rescue team to Yates County. Local officials continue to report a major flood event over a large portion of the county, including the villages of Branchport and Penn Yan where severe damage has occurred to roads and buildings. In addition, the Town of Jerusalem initiated evacuation and sheltering operations as a result of flooding. The American Red Cross has been notified of the situation. Additionally, there has been one home collapse due to the flooding. There have been no injuries reported associated with the collapse.

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer said, We have been in close contact with local emergency management officials in the areas affected by the storm-related flooding and we will continue to monitor conditions closely and provide whatever assistance necessary. We are asking people to stay alert, listen to emergency instructions and cooperate with local officials if needed.

The National Weather Service In Binghamton Has Issued a Flood Warning For Urban Areas And Small Streams in Central Yates County until 5:3o pm today. County Officials continue to indicate streams and creeks at bankfull. Area streams and creeks will begin to recede later today. Some locations continuing to experience minor flooding include Bluff Point, Branchport, Guyanoga, Italy, Keuka Park, Mays Mills, Milo Center, Penn Yan, Potter And Yatesville.

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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