December 6, 2012
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Heavy Rains and Possible Flooding Produced by Tropical Storm Andrea

Governor Cuomo Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Heavy Rains and Possible Flooding Produced by Tropical Storm Andrea

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers in southeastern parts of New York State, including New York City, Long Island and lower Hudson Valley communities, to prepare for heavy rains and possible flooding today and tomorrow as a result of the approaching Tropical Storm Andrea.

“As Tropical Storm Andrea approaches New York, we expect heavy rainfall and encourage New Yorkers in affected areas to prepare for possible flood conditions,” Governor Cuomo said. “It is important for New Yorkers to stay updated by following the news and in the case of evacuations, to listen to local emergency officials and first responders for their safety.”

In preparation for the heavy rain event, Governor Cuomo ordered the activation of the State Emergency Operations Center in Albany to monitor the storm and respond to local requests for assistance, if needed.

Commissioner of the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Jerome M. Hauer, said: “One of the greatest threats from flooding is moving water. Do not drive in moving water or into water of unknown depth, no matter what size vehicle you are traveling in. Water moving at just two miles per hour can quickly sweep a vehicle from the road.

Governor Cuomo also cautioned travelers to be on the lookout for washed-out roads, earth slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires and falling or fallen objects. “Street lights and power poles also may be hazardous, because they may still be active and pose a dangerous electrical hazard,” Governor Cuomo said.

The National Weather Service (NWS) today advised that the full force of Tropical Storm Andrea will affect Long Island, New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley with the potential of 2-4 inches of rainfall and isolated amounts of up to 5 inches of rainfall from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. today. The rainfall will combine with the daily high tide and an expected storm surge initially at 1 foot above normal and growing to 2 feet above normal this evening. In addition, associated winds out of the east are expected to reach gusts of up to 30 mph. The NWS has urged everyone in the areas in Andrea’s path to prepare for flooding.

Governor Cuomo also offered the following safety tips:

  • Have an emergency kit and an emergency plan in place, including non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
  • 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.

If you lose electrical service:

  • Call your utility first to determine area repair schedules. Turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when service is restored. Leave one light on to indicate power has been restored.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to help reduce food spoilage.
  • If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, fill plastic containers with water, leaving an inch of space inside each one. This will help keep food cold.

If you need to use a generator, follow these safety tips:

  • Before installing a generator, be sure to properly disconnect from your utility electrical service. If possible, have your generator installed by a qualified electrician.
  • Run generators outside, downwind of structures. NEVER run a generator indoors. Deadly carbon monoxide gas from the generator's exhaust can spread throughout enclosed spaces.
  • Fuel spilled on a hot generator can cause an explosion. If your generator has a detachable fuel tank remove it before refilling. If this is not possible, shut off the generator and let it cool before refilling.
  • Do not exceed the rated capacity of your generator. Most small, home-use portable generators produce 350 to 12,000 watts of power. Overloading your generator can damage it and appliances connected to it, and may cause a fire. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Keep children away from generators at all times.

Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • DO NOT operate generators indoors; the motor emits deadly carbon monoxide gas.
  • DO NOT use charcoal to cook indoors. It, too, can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide gas.
  • DO NOT use your gas oven to heat your home -- prolonged use of an open oven in a closed house can create carbon monoxide gas.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm.

Governor Cuomo urged New Yorkers to sign up for emergency information at NY-ALERT. “The best way to receive emergency information is to subscribe to NY-ALERT, the State’s alert and notification system. Go to it’s easy and it’s free.”