Tours Storm Damage in Cambridge -- Photos Available Here
Issues Update on Severe Weather in the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, and North Country
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the National Guard to deploy personnel to Washington County to assist local emergency responders with tree and debris removal. The Governor also issued an update on the severe storms that moved through the eastern portion of upstate New York yesterday afternoon and evening. Storms accompanied by strong, gusty winds of 40 mph to 60 mph knocked out power to over 100,000 customers and toppled trees and limbs, damaging some homes in these regions.
“Extreme weather is now the norm and brings with it a higher level of preparedness and response," Governor Cuomo said. “State agencies will remain in the field working with our local partners to help communities recover as quickly as possible.”
Additionally, personnel from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Police, Department of Public Service, and the Department of Transportation, and the Thruway Authority are on the ground with local officials to assess recovery efforts from damage in affected communities, removing downed trees and restoring power as quickly as possible. This morning, the Department of Environmental Conservation Rangers and mobile units from the State Police assisted local fire departments in the rescue of a female victim who was trapped under a large tree at Rock Pond near Putnam Pond Campground in Ticonderoga, Essex County. In addition, a coordinated effort between the Village Mayor, DEC and DHSES has resulted in the decision to open the gates at the lower locks and village dam at Saranac Lake to control water releases starting at noon today. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Southeastern Franklin County and Northwestern Essex County until 4:30 a.m. Sunday due to rain and snowmelt.
State Agency Actions
The Department of Public Service
New York's utilities have added 900 line, tree and service workers to their existing base of 4,300 workers for restoration efforts, if needed. Crews have been moved to the areas that have the greatest storm impact. Department of Public Service staff will continue to monitor the utilities' recovery and restoration efforts.
The Department of Public Service will extend Call Center Helpline hours starting Saturday May 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as needed, to assist consumers in their storm restoration efforts. The Department of Public Service Call Center Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-342-3377.
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 752 generators, 260 light towers, 1,254 pumps, 13 sandbaggers, more than 1,700,000 sandbags, more than 56,000 ready-to-eat meals, more than 430,000 bottles and cans of water, over 9,000 cots, approximately 12,000 blankets and 13,000 pillows, over 4,000 flashlights, 960 traffic barriers, 594 traffic barrels, and over 6,000 feet of aqua dam.
The Thruway Authority stands ready to respond with assets and personnel for any weather-related issues.
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 by following www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml. 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 State Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation has deployed more than 200 personnel including more than 30 supervisors to 12 impacted counties. They are currently clearing trees and debris, and making sure that roads are safe for drivers and utility personnel. Crews have been working through the night since the storm hit and will continue to be on the scene throughout the day until the roads are clear.
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.
Department of Public Service
As of 11 a.m. there are over 93,000 customers without power statewide. There are currently approximately 4,300 utility workers deployed statewide, with additional crews en route to the most impacted areas in North Country and north of Capital Region. National Grid and NYSEG have secured approximately 250 workers from Connecticut, Canada, and continue to request additional crews from out of state.
As a result of the power outages, the Department of Public Service will extend Call Center Helpline hours starting Sunday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as needed, to assist consumers in their storm restoration efforts. The Department of Public Service Call Center Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-342-3377.
Severe storms have been responsible for nearly 200 deaths across the United States in 2017 and on average, over the last ten years, nearly 200 people die each year throughout the U.S. from severe weather. Governor Cuomo recommended the following safety tips to prepare and keep you and your family safe before a storm:
- Have a plan and practice it. Know what to do, and where to go if a watch or warning has been issued for your area.
- Have multiple ways to receive emergency weather information. New Yorkers are reminded to download NY-Alert for up to date weather, transportation and other emergency alerts. NY-Alert is free and can be downloaded at NYAlert.gov
- At home and at work, keep a battery-operated radio and flashlight on hand, as well as a supply of batteries. Keep an emergency supply of water, medications, and non-perishable foods handy. If you use medication that requires refrigeration, most can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem - check with your physician or pharmacist.
- Have an emergency supply kit for your home, your vehicle, and a separate kit for each of your family members if you have to evacuate quickly. For a list of supplies visit www.prepare.ny.gov/be-prepared.
Governor Cuomo also urges residents to stay away from any lines that are down as they may be live and should be considered extremely dangerous. Motorists are reminded that State Law mandates that if an intersection is "blacked out" and the traffic signal is not operational, the intersection is automatically a "four way" stop. In the event of closed or blocked roadways due to flooding, downed power lines or debris, motorists are advised to exercise caution and obey all traffic signs or barricades in place, regardless of whether a roadway looks clear.
The Governor is offering these additional safety tips:
- Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power. Charge cell phones and any battery-powered devices.
- If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, consider filling plastic containers with water, leaving an inch of space inside each one - this will help keep food cold if the power goes out.
If You Lose Power
- Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities, visit the New York State Department of Public Service. Check to see if your neighbors have power. Check on people with access or functional needs.
- Use only flashlights for emergency lighting - candles pose the risk of fire.
- Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed - most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Do not use a charcoal grill to cook indoors - they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
- Take a few moments to check the battery or battery back up on your smoke and carbon dioxide alarms.
After a Power Outage
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40°F (4°C) for two or more hours, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. "When in doubt, throw it out!"
- If food in the freezer is colder than 40°F and has ice crystals on it, it can be re-frozen.
- If you are concerned about medications having spoiled, contact your doctor.
- Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.
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.
- 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.