January 10, 2020
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies To Deploy Response Assets as Heavy Rains May Cause Flooding Throughout Upstate New York This Weekend

TOP Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies To Deploy...

Total Rainfall Amounts Could Reach Up to Three Inches in North Country and Northern Areas of Mohawk Valley, Central New York and Western New York

 

Over an Inch of Ice Possible in the North Country Between Saturday Evening and Sunday Afternoon

 

Heavy Rain May Produce Excessive Runoff and Flooding of Low-Lying Areas, Smaller Rivers and Streams

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed state agencies to deploy emergency response assets as a weather system is forecast to bring heavy rains, ice and potential flooding throughout much of upstate New York. Total rainfall amounts could reach up to three inches in the North Country and across the northern portions of Western New York, Central New York, and the Mohawk Valley. Heavy rain falling on nearly saturated ground and snowpack across higher terrain may cause excessive runoff, resulting in flooding of low-lying and urban areas, smaller rivers and streams. New Yorkers are being urged to use caution while traveling throughout the weekend and to closely monitor local weather reports.

"This storm system will deliver a significant amount of rain and ice across many portions of the state with the potential for flooding in some of our more problematic areas, so New Yorkers must take precautions this weekend when traveling,” Governor Cuomo said. “I have directed state resources to take a proactive approach, and crews are already downing potentially hazardous tree limbs and clearing creeks and streams of debris to help lessen flooding concerns.”

Throughout Friday,mostly cloudy skies are expected with a chance of rain showers statewide, except in the Long Island and New York City Regions. The rain may mix with freezing rain in the Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier Regions, with sleet expected in the North Country and Southern Tier Regions and snow in the North Country Region. Temperatures will range from the low 40s to the low 50s. On Saturday, rain is expected to continue throughout the state, with temperatures ranging from the high 40s to the low 60s throughout the afternoon and dropping to high 20s to the mid-50s during the evening. As those temperatures drop, the potential for ice accumulation will persist in the northern portions of the North Country. By Sunday afternoon, there may be between one half to over an inch of ice accumulation in areas like Ogdensburg and Massena.

In terms of total rainfall, up to three inches of rain is possible by Sunday afternoon in portions of the North Country and the northern portions of the Mohawk Valley, Central New York, and Western New York Regions. Elsewhere, up to two inches is possible in the southern Western New York and western Finger Lakes Regions, and up to one and one half inches is possible throughout the rest of the Finger Lakes and Central New York Regions. Rain totals continue to decrease moving south, with less than a quarter inch expected in the New York City and Long Island Regions

Flood Watches are currently in effect from Friday evening through Sunday for more than 20 counties across upstate New York.  A Flood Watch is issued when there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts.  New Yorkers should monitor forecasts throughout the weekend and be alert for possible flood warnings.  For more forecast information or to view all issued watches, warnings and advisories, please visit the National Weather Service website.

Agency Preparations

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Emergency Operations Center has been activated to Enhanced Monitoring Mode and will monitor weather conditions, coordinate state response operations and stay in contact with localities throughout the duration of the event. State Stockpiles are also prepared to deploy assets to localities affected by storm-related needs, including pumps, chainsaws, sandbags and bottled water. Additionally, the Division’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control has its Swift Water Urban Search and Rescue teams standing by to assist local first responders in the event assistance is needed. Teams are equipped with boats and high-axle vehicles. 

Department of Transportation

The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with 3,716 supervisors and operators available statewide.  To support snow and ice response activities in critical areas, 56 plow truck operators, 12 supervisors, 6 mechanics, 4 traffic signal technicians, 10 reserve plow trucks, 12 medium duty crew trucks, 2 signal trucks, and 3 mechanic service trucks are being deployed as follows:

    • North Country:
      • Receiving 17 plow operators, 3 supervisors, 3 medium duty crew trucks, and 7 reserve plow trucks from Capital Region
      • Receiving 13 plow operators, 2 supervisors, 2 medium duty crew trucks, and 3 reserve plow trucks from Central NY
      • Receiving 5 plow operators, 1 supervisor, 2 mechanics, 2 traffic signal technicians, 1 medium duty crew truck, 1 traffic signal truck and 1 mechanic service truck from Western Southern Tier
      • Receiving 2 traffic signal technicians, and 1 traffic signal truck from Finger Lakes
      • Receiving 6 plow operators, 2 supervisors, 2 mechanics, 2 medium duty crew trucks, 1 mechanic service truck from Mid-Hudson  
      • Receiving 15 plow operators, 4 supervisors, 2 Mechanics, 4 medium duty crew trucks, and 1 Mechanic Service Truck from the Eastern Southern Tier

The need for additional resources will be re-evaluated as conditions warrant throughout the event.  All Residency locations will be staffed for 24/7 operation throughout the event.  All available equipment is ready to deploy.  Fleet mechanics in affected areas will be staffing all main Residency locations 24/7 to perform repairs and keep trucks on the road.  Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

    • 1587 Large Plow Trucks
    • 181 Medium Duty Plows
    • 51 Tow Plows
    • 329 Large Loaders  
    • 76 Chippers  
    • 35 Traffic Signal Trucks  
    • 13 Tree Crew Bucket Trucks 

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 695 operators and supervisors ready to deploy 239 Large Snow Plows, 106 Medium Snow Plows, 11 Tow Plows and 62 Loaders across the state with more than 120,000 tons of road salt on hand. Variable Message Signs, Highway Advisory Radio and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway. 

The Thruway Authority is also encouraging motorists to download its mobile app which is available 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 here

Division of State Police

State Police patrols have been instructed to remain vigilant and monitor weather conditions for any problems. State Police will be ready to deploy additional personnel to affected areas as needed.  All four-wheel drive vehicles are in-service and all specialty vehicles, including snowmobiles and utility vehicles, are staged and ready for deployment. 

Department of Environmental Conservation

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets are positioned to assist with any emergency response. 

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Response equipment is being fueled, tested and prepared for storm response use. Park visitors should check parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.

Department of Public Service

New York's utilities have approximately 4,500 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response and restoration across New York State. Department of Public Service staff will track the utilities' work throughout the storm event and will ensure the utilities shift the appropriate staffing to the regions anticipated to experience the greatest impact.

Safety Tips

Prepare now for possible flooding:

  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Practice your family escape plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
  • Make an itemized list 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.

For more flood safety tips, please visit the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info.

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