October 10, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Urges Caution as Coastal Storm System Impacts New York

TOP Governor Cuomo Urges Caution as Coastal Storm...

Low Pressure System to Impact Long Island Coast Until Late Friday Night with Up to Two Inches of Rain in Suffolk County 

New Yorkers Should Prepare for 45 mph Wind Gusts, Beach Erosion and Coastal Flooding in Low Lying Areas 

NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has placed the State Watch Center into Enhanced Monitoring Mode 

Personnel and Equipment from DHSES, State Police, Dept. of Public Service, Dept. of Transportation, Dept. of Environmental Conservation and Parks Dept. Ready to be Deployed as Needed


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged caution as a low pressure system off the coast of Long Island is forecasted to create potentially difficult storm conditions throughout downstate New York until Friday. As a result, residents in New York City and on Long Island should prepare for wind gusts up to 45 mph, as well as potential beach erosion and coastal flooding in low lying areas. The National Weather Service has already issued multiple coastal flooding advisories, watches and warnings for points east of New York City which will remain in effect until Friday Morning. New Yorkers along the coast line are being urged to travel with extreme caution and prepare for the possibility of difficult road conditions.


"The Empire State is no stranger to difficult weather, and I am urging New Yorkers to be prepared for potentially dangerous high winds and coastal flooding throughout the course of this storm," Governor Cuomo said. "Our state agencies and emergency management teams are prepared with personnel and equipment to assist communities as quickly and effectively as possible if they are needed."


Throughout the event, New York City and points east should expect between one-quarter and one-half inch of rainfall generally, with portions of Suffolk County to receive up to two inches. As the low pressure offshore builds Thursday morning, New York could potentially experience wind gusts up to 45 mph at times.  Wind will gradually decrease during the late afternoon into the evening. Rain will continue into Friday and will decrease through the day.


The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood warning, which will be in effect beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday until 12 a.m. on Friday morning. A coastal flood watch will also be in effect from late Thursday night until Friday morning. For a complete listing of weather watches, warnings, advisories and latest forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website.


Agency Preparations

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has placed the State Watch Center into Enhanced Monitoring Mode and continues to be in constant communication with all state and local partners. The State Stockpile in Brentwood will also be staffed outside of normal business hours to ensure resources can be deployed as appropriate and staff from the State's Office of Fire Prevention and Control will also be on standby to deploy high-axle vehicles as needed.


The State Department of Transportation stands ready to assist with 3,390 supervisors and operators, including 378 on Long Island. The need for resource deployments will be continually re-evaluated as conditions warrant throughout the event. All affected Residency locations will be staffed for 24/7 operations throughout the duration of storm.  Mechanic support will be available 24/7 to keep response equipment operational.


Regional Crews on Long Island are currently actively engaged in rain/flood response preparations. This includes the inspection and clearing of drainage inlets, culverts and other drainage structures, as well as the monitoring of known potential tree issues. Routine patrols are also being conducted to maintain awareness of general conditions and flood response tools, including generators, pumps, chainsaws, light plants, and hand tools, are also being readied and loaded into response trucks for immediate dispatch.


All available rain/flood response equipment is ready to deploy.  Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 1476 Large Dump Trucks
  • 45 Loaders w/Grapple
  • 19 Vac Trucks w/Sewer Jet
  • 35 Tracked Excavators
  • 48 Wheeled Excavators
  • 54 Tractor Trailers w/ Lowboy Trailer
  • 15 Tree Crew Bucket Trucks
  • 37 Traffic Signal Trucks
  • 7 Water Pumps 
  • 77 Chippers 


Motorists are reminded to check 511NY before traveling at www.511NY.org or by downloading the mobile app. The free service allows users to check road conditions and features a winter travel advisory system with real-time travel reports and a color-coded map indicating which state roads are clear, wet or snow covered. The system provides motorists with a helpful resource to determine if travel is advisable.


Department of Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, emergency management staff, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and checking sensitive areas and infrastructure. Saw crew teams are strategically located in key regions of the state and ready to assist with any tree clearing and response needs. In addition, all available assets, including utility vehicles, are ready to assist with any emergency response.


The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has also been actively engaged in preparations for the storm. As with the Department of Transportation, Regional Crews on Long Island are actively inspecting and clearing of drainage inlets, culverts and other drainage structures, as well as monitoring known potential tree issues. Additionally, sandbags are being prepositioned near flood prone areas and berms are being reinforced at Gilgo and Jones Beach State Parks.


New York's utilities have an existing base of 4,500 workers available for restoration efforts, as needed. The utilities are on alert and are closely watching as the storm develops and will deploy restoration crews where needed. Department of Public Service staff will continue to monitor the utilities' efforts during the storm event.


The New York State Police have readied assets including all 4x4s, high-axle vehicles and boats for deployment as needed. Troopers have been instructed to remain on high alert and to closely monitor flood prone areas for rising waters while on patrol.


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 water-proofing


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


For more safety tips for all types of weather events, visit the DHSES website at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/index.cfm.  

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office