January 24, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Deploys State Resources to Assist with Ice Jam Flooding in Whitesboro

TOP Governor Cuomo Deploys State Resources to...

Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Possibility of Flooding as Warm Temperatures and Rain Move into the State

Assets Include Swift Water Rescue Team, High Axle Vehicles and Long Arm Excavators to Assist Local Communities

Out of an Abundance of Caution, 4 Homes Evacuated Amid Flooding

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today deployed state resources to assist local communities impacted by flooding in Whitesboro due to ice jamming at the CSX-owned rail bridge. As a result of today's flooding, local authorities evacuated four homes out of an abundance of caution. New York has dispatched Swift Water Rescue personnel and equipment to assist localities in the Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier regions. In addition, Governor Cuomo urged New Yorkers in the Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier regions to take necessary precautions in anticipation of potential ice jam flooding on rivers and streams. The State will also be adding 5 large culverts under the CSX Bridge to mitigate the impact of flooding and building additional flood plain benches in the immediate vicinity.

"New York is taking action to assist communities impacted by destructive ice jam flooding and ensure the safety of our communities," Governor Cuomo said. "In New York we know Mother Nature's wrath all too well, and we are more prepared than ever to confront extreme weather and help residents recover as quickly as possible. When things are at their worst, New Yorkers are at their best, and we will do everything we can to support communities impacted by flooding."

Audio Photos

The Governor has deployed the following agency resources to assist in Whitesboro:
  • 2 High axle vehicles
  • 2 long arm excavators
  • 1 backhoe
  • 1 state police radio vehicle
  • 3 light towers
  • 2 100Kw generators
  • 1 swift water rescue team standing by

As temperatures increase, the threat for ice jam movement and possible ice jam flooding remains near clogging points by bridges, river bends, locks, and other potential obstruction areas along these rivers and streams.

In addition to the above mentioned resources, state agencies are prepared to assist across the state with any ice jam flooding issues.

"New York is taking action to assist communities impacted by destructive ice jam flooding and ensure the safety of our communities."

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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
  • 2,052,961 sandbags
  • 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.

Governor Cuomo Holds Weather Briefing in Whitesboro

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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