Storm Will Impact New York City and Long Island the Hardest With Rain and Heavy Winds Which Could Cause Power Outages
Interior Areas of the State Will See Mixed Precipitation While Higher Elevations Could Get Several Inches of Snow
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed state agencies to pre-deploy state emergency assets ahead of a storm system which is being forecast to deliver heavy rains and strong winds across New York City and Long Island, as well as mixed precipitation and light snow to interior portions of the state. The storm is currently forecast to impact the coastal areas of New York the hardest and deliver up to 2 to 3 inches of rain in some locations, with wind gusts up to 45 mph at times. It could also cause localized, minor flooding in poor drainage areas, minor coastal flooding, hazardous travel conditions and potential power outages in those areas until Sunday morning. Governor Cuomo is urging New Yorkers to prepare themselves, their families and their property for the storm and to monitor local weather forecasts for updated information.
"New York City and Long Island will face a cold, wet and windy day Saturday, while Upstate New York will see a mixed bag of precipitation," Governor Cuomo said. "State agencies have been directed to pre-deploy emergency assets, stand ready to assist our local partners, and remain in contact with utility companies throughout the weekend to ensure any power outages are addressed as quickly as possible. As the storm moves closer, I am urging all New Yorkers in its path to stay alert and monitor local forecasts for changing weather conditions."
A low-pressure system will move up the East Coast beginning Friday and continuing into Saturday before moving out early Sunday morning. Brief transition periods of rain mixing with snow are forecast to occur Saturday and early Saturday night in portions of the Capital Region and Hudson Valley Region, with temperatures in the low 40s and winds up to 25 mph. Winds will increase from the northwest at 10-20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph in New York City and up to 45 mph along coastal areas on Long Island. Snow accumulation will generally be up to a half-inch, except in the western portion of the Mid-Hudson Valley where 1 to 2 inches of snow is expected.
New Yorkers can view the latest weather forecasts and any current watches, warnings or advisories by visiting the National Weather Service website here.
Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with 3,594 supervisors and operators. All residency locations will remain staffed for 24/7 operation throughout the duration of the event and priority cleanup operations. Long Island residencies will also have quick response crews staged and ready to address storm disruptions. Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 1,606 large plow trucks
- 180 medium duty plows
- 52 tow plows
- 313 large loaders
- 38 snow blowers
- 14 tree crew bucket trucks
- 33 traffic signal trucks
- 79 chippers, 10" (min) capacity
The Thruway Authority has 671 operators and supervisors ready to deploy 251 large snowplows, 94 medium snowplows, 11 tow plows and 62 loaders across the state with more than 122,000 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.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The MTA is taking all necessary precautions to ensure that its services run safely and reliably during and after the storm. MTA agencies - NYC Transit, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, Bridges & Tunnels and Construction & Development - are closely monitoring weather conditions and making the following preparations:
- Staffing incident command centers to coordinate monitoring and response activity.
- Staging personnel at key locations throughout the service region for faster response.
- Focusing monitoring and resources on flood-prone locations.
- Reviewing all construction plans and making any adjustments needed, such as suspending crane operations.
- Inspecting track pumps, track and station drains and sewer connections.
- Staging debris removal trains and preparing emergency response equipment and materials such as dump trucks, generators, and fuel.
- Deploying customer messaging across all platforms, including urging caution while traveling and planning for additional travel time.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
All facilities of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are currently open. The agency has winter storm response personnel and equipment on hand at the airports, tunnels, bridges, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, George Washington Bridge Bus Station and PATH to maintain operations during the storm. The Port Authority urges motorists to use caution as speed restrictions may be in effect at the George Washington and Staten Island bridges, as well as along roadways to and from the crossings. Travelers are encouraged to reach out to bus carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays, cancelations and re-bookings. For the latest information about Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up for PA alerts, or download one of the PA mobile apps.
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 Historical 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.
New York State Police
The New York State Police has instructed all Troopers to remain vigilant and closely monitor conditions for any problems. Additional personnel will be deployed to affected areas as needed. All four-wheel drive vehicles and all specialty vehicles, including snowmobiles and Utility Terrain Vehicles, are in-service.
Department of Public Service
New York's utilities have approximately 5,500 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response and restoration efforts 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.
If traveling during heavy rain, please drive with care and keep these safety tips in mind:
- DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
- DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
- Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
- Follow recommended routes. DO NOT ignore emergency detours to view flooded areas.
- As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
- Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
- Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
- If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.
Prepare for flooding and severe weather:
- Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby cities. Severe weather warnings are issued on a county basis.
- 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 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 waterproofing.
- Have disaster supplies on hand, including:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Emergency food and water
- Non-electric can opener
- Essential medicines
- Checkbook, cash, credit cards, ATM cards
If experiencing a power outage, New Yorkers should:
- Turn off or disconnect major appliances and other equipment, e.g., computers, in case of a momentary power surge that can damage these devices. Keep one light turned on so you know when power returns. Consider using surge protectors wherever you use electronic equipment.
- Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities in NYS 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 (4) hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat - they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
- In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors. Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.
- If you are in a tall building, take the stairs and move to the lowest level of the building. If trapped in an elevator, wait for assistance. Do not attempt to force the doors open. Remain patient - there is plenty of air and the interior of the elevator is designed for passenger safety.
- Remember to provide fresh, cool water for your pets.
- Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion and dangerous driving conditions. If you must drive during a blackout, remember to obey the 4-way stop rule at intersections with non-functioning traffic signals.
- Remember that equipment such as automated teller machines (ATMs) and elevators may not be working.
For more safety tips, visit the DHSES website at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/index.cfm.