July 21, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies to Prepare Emergency Assets as Storms Are Expected to Impact Downstate Areas with High Winds, Heavy Rain

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Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies to Prepare Emergency Assets as Storms Are Expected to Impact Downstate Areas with High Winds, Heavy Rain
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Hudson Valley and Southern Tier Will See Scattered Showers and Potentially Severe Thunderstorms

Localized Flash Flooding Risk Elevated Due to Previous Rains

Large Hail and Heavy Downpours Could Lead to Minor Flooding in Low Lying and Poor Drainage Areas

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed State agencies to prepare emergency response assets as storms are forecast to bring high winds and heavy rain to the downstate area this afternoon. Storms are expected to produce potentially damaging wind gusts, and localized flash flooding is possible due to the amount of moisture in the ground from recent rains over the past several days. Locally heavy downpours may produce minor flooding of low lying, poor drainage and urban areas. Governor Cuomo urged New Yorkers to prepare for flash flooding conditions and stay tuned to local weather forecasts.

"Potentially severe thunderstorms are forecast to impact parts of the Hudson Valley and the Southern Tier this afternoon, bringing high winds and heavy rain to areas already impacted by storms," Governor Cuomo said. "With the amount of rain we've experienced during the last several weeks, the potential for a localized flash flood is high, so I urge New Yorkers to be on alert. At my direction, state agencies are assisting local partners and stand ready to help in case of an emergency."

An upper level disturbance will bring scattered showers and thunderstorms later today, especially for downstate areas including the Hudson Valley and the Southern Tier. The main threat from these storms is damaging wind gusts and possible large hail. Locally heavy rainfall should be brief, but isolated flash flooding cannot be ruled out due to moist soils. Most storms should exit the region by this evening, with dry conditions returning on Thursday.

New Yorkers can view weather alerts in their area by visiting the National Weather Service website here.

Agency Preparations

Department of Transportation

The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with the following assets:

  • 1,353 large dump trucks
  • 74 wheeled and tracked excavators
  • 301 large loaders
  • 15 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
  • 20 graders
  • 14 tree crew bucket trucks
  • 73 chippers

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 659 operators and supervisors prepared to respond to any wind or flood related issues across the state with small to medium sized excavators, plow/dump trucks, large loaders, 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. Variable Message Signs, Highway Advisory Radio and social media are utilized to alert motorists of weather conditions on the Thruway.
Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 217 Large Dump Trucks
  • 122 Small Dump Trucks
  • 65 Loaders
  • 28 Trailers
  • 6 Vac Trucks
  • 8 Tracked Excavators
  • 10 Wheeled Excavators
  • 10 Brush Chippers
  • 98 Chainsaws
  • 25 Aerial Trucks
  • 21 Skid Steers
  • 86 Portable Generators
  • 69 Portable Light Units

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 live traffic cameras, real-time traffic information 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, follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter, and visit thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.

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 Utility Terrain Vehicles, are in-service.

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, including swift water rescue teams, 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. Park visitors should check the parks website here 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 5,500 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response, and restoration efforts across the State.  Department of Public Service staff will track the utilities' work throughout the storm event and will ensure utilities shift the appropriate staffing to the regions anticipated to be impacted the most.

New York Power Authority / Canal Corporation

The New York Power Authority and the Canal Corporation are prepared and are currently monitoring forecasts and conditions. The Power Authority is ready to support power restoration activities if needed.

Thunderstorm Safety Tips

Before the Storm

  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended periods outdoors.
  • If a storm is approaching, keep a NOAA Weather Radio or AM/FM radio with you.
  • Watch for signs of approaching storms.
  • Postpone outdoor activities if storms are imminent.
  • Check on neighbors who require special assistance: infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities

During the Storm

  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
  • Move to a sturdy building or car. Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles.
  • If lightning occurs and sturdy shelter is not available, get inside a hard-top automobile and keep the windows up.
  • Get out of boats and away from water.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Use phones only in an emergency.
  • Get to higher ground if flash flooding or flooding is possible. DO NOT attempt to drive to safety. Most flash flooding deaths occur in automobiles.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640