November 1, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Urges Caution for Heavy Rain and Flooding Expected in Western New York and the Finger Lakes

Governor Cuomo Urges Caution for Heavy Rain and Flooding Expected in Western New York and the Finger Lakes

Moderate to Heavy Rain Expected in Western New York and the Finger Lakes Region Starting Thursday Afternoon Through Friday Afternoon

Flood Watch Issued for the Area

Rainfall Expected to Move from Western to Eastern New York Through Saturday Bringing an Expected 2-3 Inches

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers to prepare for heavy rain and thunderstorms that will be moving through the state starting Thursday afternoon and ending on Saturday. Heavy downpours are possible and could cause flooding in low lying, urban or poor drainage areas. Rainfall amounts of 1.5 to 2.5 inches are expected Thursday through Friday in western New York and the Finger Lakes Region. This heavy rain will fall on already saturated soils. The rain will move across the state and the Capital Region, Mid-Hudson and Mohawk Valley can expect 2 to 4 inches of precipitation by the time the rain ends on Saturday.

"With several systems of heavy rain set to move through New York in the next few days, I am urging New Yorkers to use caution when traveling and to be aware of potential flash floods throughout upstate," Governor Cuomo said. "The state is ready to provide assets and personnel as necessary to ensure localities have the resources they need to deal with potential flooding and to keep our communities safe."

In western New York and the Finger Lakes Region, a slow moving front and area of low pressure will bring periods of rain Thursday through Friday. The heaviest rain will fall Thursday afternoon through Friday morning, and may result in minor flooding. Rainfall amounts of 1.5 to 2.5 inches are expected. Flood Watches have been posted for western New York, including Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Erie and Wyoming counties and will be in effect from Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon. Minor flooding is possible along creeks and rivers. High pressure will bring a return to dry weather on Sunday and Monday.

The Capital Region, Mid-Hudson and Mohawk Valley will experience 2-3 inches of rain Thursday and Friday before the rain ends by midday on Saturday. Noticeable rises will take place on waterways Friday night through Saturday, while mainstream river flooding is not expected at this time, smaller rivers and streams could experience issues.

For a complete listing of weather watches and warnings, visit the National Weather Service website.

The state's ten regional stockpiles are prepared to deploy key resources to assist with any flooding issues should they occur. Currently, stockpiles are equipped with:

  • Over 700 generators
  • Over 240 light towers
  • Over 1,300 pumps
  • Over 2 million sandbags
  • 19 sandbaggers
  • Over 400,000 bottles and cans of water
  • Over 27,500 ready to eat meals
  • 9,600 cots
  • 12,340 blankets and 13,613 pillows
  • 6,771 feet of Aquadam

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

Conact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

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


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