Long Island Welcome Center Placed in Emergency Management Mode Beginning at 9 p.m. and Will Be Base of Operations Until Further Notice
Stockpile Resources - Including Sandbags, Generators and Pumps - Also Prepared for Deployment
Tropical Storm Force Winds Expected Across Long Island
100 National Guard Deployed Along with 20 High-Axle Vehicles for Immediate Response
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed several state agencies to deploy a range of assets and personnel to Long Island in preparation of any severe weather resulting from Hurricane Jose, including 100 members of the National Guard, 13 members of the New York Task Force-2 Urban Search and Rescue Team, and 20 High-Axle vehicles. Agencies are currently deploying assets to the Long Island Welcome Center in Dix Hills which will be placed into Emergency Management Mode at 9 p.m. tonight until further notice, serving as the base of emergency operations for Long Island.
While in Emergency Management Mode, the center will only be open to members of the public in the case of an emergency or if they are seeking shelter during severe weather. Neither the retail store nor information services will be available while in Emergency Management Mode.
"Hurricane Jose, while expected to weaken to Tropical Storm before it passes New York State, will still bring damaging winds, rains and coastal flooding to down state areas and we are prepared to assist with resources and personnel in the affected areas," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge residents to make preparations now for Tropical Storm force winds which could cause some power outages and for coastal communities, prepare for flooding, especially during high tides."
Hurricane Jose is moving north at 9 mph, and is expected to continue this path through tonight when it is expected to turn towards the north-northeast Tuesday night. The storm will bring dangerous rip currents, high waves, beach erosion and some coastal flooding, especially in the back bays of Long Island. Tropical storm force winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph are expected Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning, especially along the forks of Long Island, as Jose moves past New York State. Total rainfall of 3 to 5 inches is possible across eastern Long Island Tuesday through Wednesday. While the center of the storm is expected to remain east of Long Island, impacts will occur well away from its center.
Currently, the National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Watch until Wednesday, September 20 at 6 p.m. for Kings (Brooklyn), Southern Queens, and Richmond (Staten Island) counties, specifically the southern bays and Atlantic Ocean beaches of New York City, lower New York Harbor, and the Arthur Kill (Staten Island Sound).
State Agency Assets
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has deployed four high-axle vehicles, six sandbaggers, and nearly 1,000 feet of inflatable aqua dam. Each of the high-axle vehicles has been equipped with personal flotation devices, hand lights, hand tools (forcible entry and shovels), blankets and an inflatable boat.
New York State stockpiles in Brentwood and John F. Kennedy International Airport also have the following resources available for deployment as necessary:
- 29 generators
- 58 light towers
- 252,000 bottles of water
- 97,104 ready-to-eat meals
- 155 pumps that range from 2", 3", 4" and 6"
- Two sandbaggers; 200,000 sandbags
Additionally, 13 members of the New York Task Force-2 Urban Search and Rescue Team which was previously assist with Florida's Hurricane Irma response has been redeployed to Long Island ahead of the storm. Personnel from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Office of Emergency Management is also staffing the Nassau and Suffolk County Emergency Operations Centers in advance of the storm.
The Department of Transportation is deploying 20 large dump trucks, one wood chipper, one Sew-VacTrucks, and one large dewatering pump to the Welcome Center immediately and will deploy additional equipment and crews from Long Island and three other regions, should conditions warrant. Variable Message Signs will be activated along the Long Island Expressway and other roadways informing motorists that the Welcome Center is in Emergency Management Mode. As part of this, the Welcome Center's store will also remain closed until further notice.
The New York National Guard is also on alert and has deployed 100 soldiers and 20 high axle vehicles to assist in the region with a light debris removal response force. Soldiers will be stationed at National Guard facilities in Farmingdale and Gabreski Airport.
The New York State Police will dispatch additional Troopers, along with four air boats and four zodiac boats for deployment as needed. One of each has been pre-deployed. All four-wheel drive vehicles and high-axle vehicles in the downstate region will be in service and operational.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has positioned 10 boats strategically across Long Island to assist with emergency response efforts. There are also 20 uniformed officers and dozens of other emergency management and spill response experts, and water and coastal engineers, at the ready to provide support for any coastal flooding and emergency situations that arise.
The MTA and its agencies - New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels - are monitoring the storm continuously and pre-positioning personnel, equipment and supplies to be ready to address any adverse conditions. For the duration of the storm, extra personnel will brought in to staff the customer information, stations, track and operations departments.
In preparation for any potential severe weather, New York State Parks has 100 operations staff and 25 park police closely monitoring weather updates and storm preparation efforts. New York State Parks has already deployed a 24' McKee Craft center console with uniformed officers to assist. Park visitors should monitor www.nysparks.com or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.
Finally, PSEG Long Island secured 291 line personnel and 121 tree personnel from out-of-state crews by Tuesday afternoon, for a total workforce of 900. These crews will focus on power restoration and the removal of debris that may result from high-winds.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "Out of an abundance of caution, I have directed all Suffolk County departments to coordinate with our partners at the state and local level in preparation for this weather heading our way. I encourage all residents to use extreme caution while driving and avoid traveling when possible during periods of reduced visibility. I thank Governor Cuomo for providing these critical resources to support our local efforts to keep Long Islanders safe."
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said, "The safety of Nassau County residents and all New Yorkers is our utmost priority, and we thank Governor Cuomo for providing resources and personnel to help protect against extreme weather and mitigate damage. I have activated the Nassau County Emergency Operations Center, and I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and other leaders as we prepare for these extreme weather events."
NY-Alert is the state's free, subscription based, customizable, all-hazards alerting system. Alerts, such as important information regarding severe weather, can be emailed and also pushed to your cell phone via text message. To subscribe, visit the NY-Alert website at: www.nyalert.gov. For more information on NY-Alert, visit the FAQ page at: www.nyalert.gov/faq.
The Governor offered the following safety tips:
Have a plan for you and your family
- Discuss with family members what they should do in the event of a disaster, such as a hurricane or severe storm. Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency, such as a fire, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home.
- Designate an out-of-area friend or relative whom separated family members should call to report their whereabouts. Make certain all family members have the phone number.
- Know the hurricane risks in your area - learn the storm surge history and elevation of your area.
- Learn about local community's sheltering plans, including the location of official shelters.
Before the Storm Hits
- Tie down or bring inside lawn furniture, trash cans, tools and hanging plants that could be projectiles during the storm.
- If you have a basement, check sump pumps to ensure they are operating and be prepared to use a backup system.
- Have a standby generator or alternative source of power available.
- Know how and when to turn off water, gas and electricity in your home.
- Check on neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled.
- Ensure that enough non-perishable food and water supplies are on hand.
- Have at least a one-week supply of medications on hand.
- Determine if your family has any special needs and develop a plan for meeting those needs. For example: If you have a family member on a life-support system, does your electric utility know about it? Individuals with special needs or others requiring more information should contact their County Emergency Management Office.
- Make plans now on what to do with your pets should you be required to evacuate your residence.
- Learn the warning signals and evacuation plans of your community.
- Review your insurance policy. Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowner's insurance. Inventory household items with photographs.
- Obtain and store materials, such as plywood, necessary to properly secure your home.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed of dead wood.
- If applicable, determine where to move your boat in an emergency.
For more safety information, visit the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website at: www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/index.cfm