State of Emergency Issued for Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, and Sullivan Counties
125 Members of the New York National Guard Deployed to Assist with Recovery Operations
Mobile Command Center en Route to Assist Department of Financial Service’s Mission to Assist with Insurance Claims in Putnam Valley
Over 154,000 New Yorkers Without Power in the Affected Areas
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today toured storm damage in Putnam County and delivered a recovery update in response to several severe thunderstorms that occurred throughout Tuesday. At the height of the storm, over 200,000 utility customers were without power, mainly in the Mid-Hudson Region. The severe weather felled trees and power lines, damaged vehicles and homes, and resulted in at least two fatalities. As part of the recovery effort, the Governor has deployed 125 members of the New York National Guard and to further assist communities with recovery efforts. Currently, thousands of state and local personnel are on site in the affected areas with pre-deployed equipment to clear transportation corridors of debris and assess damage throughout the affected areas.
“As these extreme weather events continue, New York is committed to stepping up our preparedness and ensuring that all impacted New Yorkers receive the assistance they need to recover and clean up after the storm,” Governor Cuomo said. “We're on the ground and are working tirelessly to restore power and help the affected communities recover as quickly as possible.”
New York National Guard
The National Guard deployment began this morning with 125 members out of Camp Smith in Westchester County. They will be assisting state, county and local personnel with efforts ranging from debris clearance to traffic control.
State Agency Response Efforts
Currently, state officials from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, State Police, and Department of Public Service, have been deployed to the region to assist with recovery operations. 33 large generators from the state’s ten regional stockpiles have been sent to Dutchess, Orange and Westchester Counties to support traffic operations and power generation at key facilities in the region, as well as ten pallets of bottled water to Putnam County. Additionally, 125 members of the National Guard and 25 personnel from the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and Office of Emergency Management are currently assisting localities with damage assessments and emergency operations support. A mobile command center is also en route that will be staffed by Department of Financial Services personnel to assist Putnam Valley residents with insurance claims.
Department of Transportation
558 DOT personnel are available for storm response in the Mid-Hudson Region and an additional 424 staff available for storm response in Sullivan County. In addition, the Department has deployed more than 120 maintenance staff and supervisors from the Capital Region, the Mohawk Valley, Central New York and the Southern Tier to help the region dig out from the storm, including four tree crews, 14 brush/chipper crews, and four traffic signal crews that have been deployed to the region to assist in recovery efforts.
The following assets are prepared for deployment as needed: 386 large dump trucks, 102 larger loaders, 27 excavators, 23 chippers, 11 traffic signal trucks, 8 graders, 7 water tanker trucks, 5 vacuum trucks, 4 bucket trucks, one bulldozer, and one water pump.
In addition, the Department has Variable Message Signs up on state roads in the affected regions warning motorists of road severe weather conditions. Motorists are also reminded to check 511NY by calling 511 or by accessing www.511ny.org before traveling. The free service allows users to check road conditions and transit information.
Motorists are reminded that State Law mandates that if an intersection is "blacked out" and the traffic signal is not operational, the intersection is automatically a "four way" stop. In the event of closed or blocked roadways due to flooding, downed power lines or debris, motorists are advised to exercise caution and obey all traffic signs or barricades in place, regardless of whether a roadway looks clear.
Mobile users can download the updated, free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. The app now features Drive mode, which provides audible alerts along a chosen route while a user is driving, warning them about incidents and construction. Users can set a destination prior to departing and receive information on up to three routes.
New York is committed to stepping up our preparedness and ensuring that all impacted New Yorkers receive the assistance they need to recover and clean up after the storm.
New York State Thruway Authority
Currently, New York State Thruway Authority maintenance crews are in the process of removing trees and debris from the shoulders of the Thruway system in the Hudson Valley region. The Thruway Authority stands at the ready to assist as called upon.
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 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. For real-time updates, motorists can follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter or visit www.thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.
New York State Department of Public Service
New York's utilities have added 650 line, tree, and service workers to their existing base of 4,300 workers for restoration efforts. Crews are being moved to the areas that have had the greatest storm damage, including Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Westchester counties. Department staff will continue to monitor the utilities' efforts during the storm restoration period.
The Department of Public Service has extended Call Center Helpline hours starting today, Wednesday, May 16, until 7:30 p.m., to assist consumers in their storm restoration efforts. The Department of Public Service Call Center Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-342-3377.
Currently there are over 154,000 customers without power from the storm.
Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC has assets pre-positioned to deploy to storm-ravaged communities in the Hudson Valley, including certified chainsaw operators, sawyers and sled teams, pole saws, generators, and light stands. DEC staff, including Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs), are also pre-positioned to respond as needed. DEC has assessed campgrounds and State Lands in storm-impacted areas and staff are removing felled trees as necessary.
Metro-North railroad forced worked throughout the night to clear more than 100 trees that had fallen across the tracks and repair third rail damage caused by fallen trees. Service has resumed systemwide with the exception of the northern Harlem Line between Southeast and Wassaic, which will resume this afternoon with the departure of the 3:43 p.m. train from Grand Central to Wassaic.
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.
Prepare for Power Outages
New Yorkers should always avoid any downed power lines as they may be live and should be considered extremely dangerous.
If You Lose Power:
- Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities, 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 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.
After a Power Outage:
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40°F (4°C) for two or more hours, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. "When in doubt, throw it out!"
- If food in the freezer is colder than 40°F and has ice crystals on it, it can be re-frozen.
- If you are concerned about medications having spoiled, contact your doctor.
- Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.