Soaking Rains Forecast for Sunday into Monday Moving from West to East Could Cause Flooding in Already Hard Hit Areas in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes
Hurricane Activity Ramping Up in the Atlantic, Prepare Now for Potential Storm Systems
State Watch Center Activated to Monitor Current Storm System and Tropical Systems Forming in the Atlantic
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today encouraged New Yorkers to remain alert as heavy rainfall is forecasted to move into the state and combine with the remnants of Tropical Depression Gordon. Out of an abundance of caution, Governor Cuomo has activated the State's Emergency Operations Center beginning at 6 p.m. today through 6 p.m. Monday to monitor this period of heavy rain and the path of Tropical Storm Florence, which could make landfall on the east coast. With hurricane activity increasing, all New Yorkers should ready emergency supplies in the event Florence impacts New York State.
"With more heavy rain forecast for areas already impacted by last month's flash flooding, it is critical that residents take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their families safe," said Governor Cuomo. "Personnel across the state stand ready to assist with equipment and supplies should the heavy rain cause damage or any emergency situations."
A soaking rain is forecast to begin today and continue through Monday night with the heaviest rain occurring Sunday evening. Flood Watches have been issued by the National Weather Service in the Western, Southern Tier, Central, and Western Portions of the Mohawk Valley for Sunday evening through late Monday night. A wind advisory has been issued for strong southeast winds off the Chautauqua Ridge Monday morning as gusty winds to 50 mph could make travel difficult for high profile vehicles on I-90 in Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties. Potential risks mainly will be for flood prone small streams, creeks and watersheds as well as low lying and poor drainage areas. As rains intensify, the National Weather Service could issue additional weather watches and warnings. For an up to date list from the National Weather Service click here.
At the Governor's direction New York State has recently improved the NY-Alert emergency alerting system. NY-Alert warns citizens of critical information and emergencies and provides timely information to protect lives. Warnings and emergency information can be directed to a phone call, email, text message or fax. Visit alert.ny.gov for more information.
Flood Safety Tips
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.
- 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
- Know the hurricane risks in your area - learn the storm surge history and elevation of your area
- Learn about local community's sheltering plans, including the location of official shelters
- Pay attention to the news. Know the Emergency Alert System radio and television stations in your area that will carry official information. Also, monitor NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts, if possible
- Learn the warning signals and evacuation plans of your community
- Have at least a one-week supply of medications on hand
- Determine if your family has any special needs and develop a plan for meeting those needs
- For example: If you have a family member on a life-support system, does your electric utility know about it? Individuals with special needs or others requiring more information should contact their County Emergency Management Office
- Make plans now on what to do with your pets should you be required to evacuate your residence.
- Teach all family members, including children, how and when to call 911 or your local EMS phone number
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phones or save them in your contacts on your cell phone
- Discuss with family members what they should do in the event of a disaster, such as a hurricane or severe storm. Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency, such as a fire, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home
- Designate an out-of-area friend or relative whom separated family members should call to report their whereabouts. Make certain all family members have the phone number
- Install safety features in your residence such as smokedetectors and fire extinguishers
- Know how and when to turn off water, gas and electricity in your home
- Check your home and property for potential hazards to see what actions need to be taken to ensure your safety and to protect your belongings
- Review your insurance policy. Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowner's insurance. Inventory household items with photograph
- Obtain and store materials, such as plywood, necessary to properly secure your home
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed of dead wood
- If applicable, determine where to move your boat in an emergency
For more safety tips for all types of weather events, visit the DHSES website at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/index.cfm