December 20, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Urges Caution as Potentially Heavy Rains are Expected Throughout New York

Governor Cuomo Urges Caution as Potentially Heavy Rains are Expected Throughout New York

Moderate to Heavy Rain Expected Throughout the State Beginning Thursday Evening Creating Potential Difficulties for Holiday Travel

Flood Watches Begin Tonight For New York City, Long Island, Capital, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson Regions

State Emergency Operations Center to be Activated Friday Morning and Will Actively Monitor Throughout the Duration of the Storm

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers to prepare themselves and use caution while traveling as a potentially significant rain event is forecasted to move into the state Thursday evening. While precipitation totals are not expected to reach dangerous levels in elevated areas, the potential for flooding in low lying and coastal areas does exist depending upon the rate of rainfall. Drivers should use caution while traveling this holiday weekend and prepare for the possibility of difficult road conditions in areas prone to flooding. The State Emergency Operations Center will be activated tomorrow morning and will actively monitor throughout the duration of the storm.

"With the impending system of heavy rain set to move through the state tonight, I urge New Yorkers to use caution when traveling and to be aware of potential flooding throughout parts of the state," Governor Cuomo said. "The State is prepared to assist localities with assets and personnel at a moment's notice and we will continue to monitor this system and its impacts until it has moved completely through the state."

This weather system is currently approaching New York from the Southeast and will bring a widespread, soaking, moderate to potentially heavy rainfall Thursday night into Saturday morning across the much of the state. Current forecasts are calling for up to 2 inches of rain in Upstate counties during this period. In New York City and Long Island, totals are expected to be slightly higher, potentially reaching 3 inches in some areas. The rainfall may produce some poor drainage flooding of low lying areas, and ponding of water on roadways and minor coastal issues during high tides. Due to this potential, the National Weather Service has issued multiple flood watches for the majority of counties in the Capital, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson Regions of the state, as well as coastal flood warnings for parts of New York City and Long Island. 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 260 light towers
  • Nearly 1,300 pumps
  • Over 2 million sandbags
  • 19 sandbaggers
  • Over 300,000 bottles and cans of water
  • Over 27,500 ready to eat meals
  • 9,600 cots
  • Over 12,000 blankets and 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

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

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


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