January 24, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Deploys 40,000 Bottles of Fresh Water to Washington County Following Water Main Break

Governor Cuomo Deploys 40,000 Bottles of Fresh Water to Washington County Following Water Main Break

While Water Was Restored Late Thursday, Boil Water Notice Is In Effect and the Governor is Urging Residents to Use Clean Drinking Water

Governor Reminds New Yorkers to Remain Prepared for Flooding Following Thursday's Warm Temperatures and Rain

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today deployed 40,000 bottles of water to support residents following a water main break in the town of Greenwich in Washington County. While water was restored late Thursday night to the approximately 5,000 people impacted, a boil water notice is in effect and the Governor is urging residents to use bottled drinking water out of an abundance of caution.

"When disasters strike, our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of New Yorkers, and we will always jump into action to ensure communities get the support they need," Governor Cuomo said. "In addition to providing clean drinking water to thousands of people in Washington County, we are in ongoing close coordination with local officials and are prepared to immediately provide further assistance as necessary."

After receiving notification of the break, state and local officials immediately began coordinating to identify needs throughout the community and deploy the resources necessary to keep the public safe. After confirming the scope of the break, 40,000 bottles of water were secured from the state's emergency stockpile in Guilderland and began to be transported to Greenwich.

Following Thursday's warm temperatures earlier in the day, New Yorkers have faced an increased threat of flooding due to ice jams near bridges, river bends, locks, and other potential obstruction areas along these rivers and streams. As a result, the National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for much of the state, including Washington County. New Yorkers should pay close attention to their local weather reports to stay updated with the latest information. For a complete listing of weather watches, warnings, advisories and latest forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website. New York stands to deploy Swift Water Rescue personnel and equipment should the state's assistance be required.

State agencies are prepared with the following resources to assist communities across the state with any ice jam flooding issues:

Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The state's ten regional stockpiles are prepared to deploy key resources to assist with any flooding issues. Currently, stockpiles are equipped with:

  • Over 730 generators
  • Nearly 1,300 pumps
  • Over 2 million sandbags
  • 19 sandbaggers
  • 6,771 feet of Aquadam

Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation is closely monitoring all potential ice jam and flood locations. The Department continues to clear culverts to ensure flood conditions do not arise and potential blockages are cleared quickly. At Sauquoit Creek in the Mohawk Valley, the Department has moved an excavator and other flood mitigation equipment to the area and is also transporting a long reach excavator from the Southern Tier to the Mohawk Valley.

Thruway Authority

Thruway Authority staff are actively inspecting drainage systems are monitoring for potential flooding. Staff are prepared to respond to any flooding issues statewide with more than 664 operators and supervisors, small to medium sized excavators, plow/dump trucks, large loaders, and a number of portable VMS boards, portable light towers, smaller generators, smaller pumps and equipment hauling trailers, as well as signage and other traffic control devices available for any detours or closures.

Department of Environmental Conservation

DEC is monitoring stream level forecasts and flood gauges on creeks, streams, and rivers to assess flooding risks and respond to potential flooding. In addition, DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, State Forest Rangers, water engineers, spill response staff, and emergency management personnel are ready to rapidly respond to any spills or search and rescue operations that are needed as flood waters rise.

Canal Corporation

NYPA continues to monitor conditions and remains in constant contact with emergency management officials.

The Canal Corporation continues to communicate with hydropower entities along the 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 the system and staff are closely monitoring known ice jam locations including known locations along the Mohawk River.

The Canal Corporation has a contractor on standby to send to Erie Canal Locks 8-10 in Schenectady and Montgomery counties to remove accumulated ice jams adjacent to the locks if they were to occur.

New York State Police

State Troopers are assisting with the ongoing flooding situation in Whitesboro, Oneida County, and are also monitoring along rivers and streams that are prone to ice jams and flooding in other affected areas. Troopers are ready to be deployed in case flooding occurs. All four-wheel drive vehicles are in service, and snowmobiles, Utility Task Vehicles and boats are ready for deployment as needed.

Flood Safety Tips

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.


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