October 16, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Urges Caution as Multiple Storm Systems May Impact New York With Several Inches of Rain

Governor Cuomo Urges Caution as Multiple Storm Systems May Impact New York With Several Inches of Rain

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 several different storm systems are forecasted to affect New York State which may create the potential for heavy rains and minor flooding in isolated areas. A system currently over the Northern Great Lakes is expected to move into the state over the course of Wednesday, and into Thursday. In addition, a low-pressure system will develop off the coast of Long Island Wednesday night and strengthen as it moves into New England on Thursday. The combination of these two systems will create the potential for heavy rain across most of the state, especially for areas around and south of the Capital Region. The National Weather Service has also issued several coastal flood advisories for areas in the lower Mid-Hudson, New York City and Long Island regions. New Yorkers should travel with extreme caution and prepare for the possibility of difficult road conditions.

"Heavy rain and strong gusts of wind will likely impact wide areas across the state and I urge all New Yorkers in the affected regions to use extra caution in the coming days," Governor Cuomo said. "We have state personnel and resources on standby and are prepared to help communities handle whatever Mother Nature throws our way."

Rain will begin in Western New York in the morning and move west to east throughout the day with the potential of 30 mph to 40 mph wind gusts. As the day progresses, the strong wind gusts will begin to subside, however the potential for heavy rains and thunderstorms will increase into the evening hours. Through the overnight, the rainfall rate will begin to decrease, though showers will remain possible across the state into Thursday along the return of potential 30 mph to 40 mph wind gusts. By the end of the event, areas around the Capital Region and points south could receive more than two inches of rainfall, with the potential for higher amounts in areas that experience prolonged heavier rain.

New Yorkers should plan accordingly and pay close attention to their local forecasts throughout the next 36 hours. For a complete listing of weather watches, warnings, advisories and latest forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website.

Agency Preparations

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

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 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.

Department of Transportation

The State Department of Transportation stands ready to respond to the upcoming weather event with 3,390 supervisors and operators available and prepared to respond. Regional crews are currently engaged in rain and flood response preparation. Drainage inlets, culverts and other drainage structures are being inspected and cleared of accumulated debris. Routine patrols are being conducted to maintain awareness of general conditions. Flood response tools, including generators, pumps, chainsaws, light plants, and hand tools, are being readied and loaded into response trucks for immediate dispatch.

Statewide equipment numbers are as follows

  • 1497 Large Dump Trucks
  • 45 Loaders w/Grapple
  • 18 Vac Trucks w/Sewer Jet
  • 35 Tracked Excavators
  • 49 Wheeled Excavators
  • 54 Tractor Trailers w/ Lowboy Trailer
  • 15 Tree Crew Bucket Trucks
  • 38 Traffic Signal Trucks
  • 7 Water Pumps (4-6 inch)
  • 75 Chippers 10" (min) Capacity

All affected Residency locations will be staffed for 24/7 operation throughout the duration of priority response operations. Mechanic support will be available 24/7 to keep response equipment operational.

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.

Thruway Authority

Thruway Authority staff are actively inspecting drainage systems and are monitoring for potential flooding. Staff are prepared to respond to any flooding issues statewide with more than 674 operators and supervisors, small to medium sized excavators, plow/dump trucks, large loaders, and a number of 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.

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. For real-time updates, motorists can follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter or by visiting www.thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.

Department of Environmental Conservation

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.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation regional crews are taking precautions to remove known hazardous limbs and trees and clear drainage structures of leaves. Emergency response equipment will be fueled and prepared for operation and staff will monitor conditions throughout the day.

Department of Public Service

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 staff will continue to monitor the utilities' efforts during the storm event.

New York State Police

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 us by phone:

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


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