Tornado Watch Issued for Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Counties until Midnight
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers, especially in the Mid-Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island to be prepared for severe thunderstorms that are moving east out of Pennsylvania and could impact the lower portions of the state this evening. Some supercell tornado risk will likely persist this evening, and potentially somewhat increase as winds just above the surface strengthen across the region. Aside from a tornado risk, some hail and wind may also occur during this storm.
"Tornadoes and severe weather can happen quickly with very little notice and it's critical for all New Yorkers to be prepared for power outages by having supplies on hand," Governor Cuomo said. "We are at the ready with assets and personnel to assist communities if storms worsen, and we urge residents to stay tuned to local media for weather warnings and download NY-Alert for up to the minute emergency notifications."
Showers and thunderstorms will continue through late tonight and will taper off in the early hours Wednesday. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds up to 40 m.p.h. and heavy rain. This rainfall coupled with recent heavy rain events have made areas, especially in the Southern Tier, more susceptible to flooding and flash flooding. The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester Counties until Midnight tonight. A Flash Flood Warning has been issued for Westchester, Orange, and Rockland Counties until 9:45 p.m., and a Flash Flood Watch has been issued for Broome, Chemung, Delaware, Steuben, Sullivan, and Tioga Counties through 2 a.m. These storms may intensify, so be certain to monitor local radio stations and available television stations for additional information and possible warnings from the National Weather Service. To receive weather-based alerts and notifications in your area, subscribe to NY-Alert, New York State's free, subscription-based emergency notification system.
At the Governor's direction, the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services - Office of Emergency Management is activated for enhanced monitoring and has been in touch with local emergency management, and is in close contact with the National Weather Service.
Governor Cuomo offered the following safety tips:
Before the Storm Hits
- Tie down or bring inside lawn furniture, trash cans, tools and hanging plants that could be projectiles during the storm.
- If you have a basement, check sump pumps to ensure they are operating and be prepared to use a backup system.
- Have a standby generator or alternative source of power available.
- Check on neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled.
As the Storm Approaches:
- Stay inside, away from windows and glass doors.
- Charge your cellphones and important electronic devices
- Stay off roads. If you are traveling, find safe shelter immediately.
If you detect or see a tornado, remain calm, but take immediate action.
- If you are outdoors, seek shelter in a substantial building immediately. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in a ditch or low spot with your hands shielding your head.
- If you are in a mobile home or vehicle, get out immediately! Mobile homes or vehicles are easily tossed about by strong winds in the tornado. Take shelter in a substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in a ditch or low spot with your hands shielding your head. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car.
- If you are at home or in a small building, go to the basement or an interior room on the lowest floor. Stay away from windows. Closets, bathrooms, and other interior rooms offer the best protection. Get under something sturdy or cover yourself with a mattress.
- If you are in a school, hospital or shopping center, go to a pre-designated shelter area. Stay away from large open areas and windows. Do not go outside to your car.
- If you are in a high-rise building, go to an interior small room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Do not use the elevators - use stairs.