October 25, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Anticipated Heavy Rainfall and High Winds Impacting Several Regions This Week

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Governor Hochul Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Anticipated Heavy Rainfall and High Winds Impacting Several Regions This Week
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National Weather Service Predicting Significant Rainfall Over Next Two Days in Capital Region, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, New York City and Southern Tier Regions

Governor Urges New Yorkers to Exercise Caution Ahead of Tuesday Morning Commute and Plan Ahead for Inclement Weather and Hazardous Travel Conditions

Governor Kathy Hochul declared a State Disaster Emergency on Monday evening ahead of predicted heavy rainfall expected to impact areas in the Capital Region, Long Island, New York City, Mid-Hudson and Southern Tier regions beginning late Monday evening through Wednesday morning. Rainfall totals of four or more inches may impact these regions with several areas expected to see more than one inch of rain per hour, creating the potential for flash flooding.  

The Declaration covers Bronx, Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Greene, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Ulster, Westchester, and contiguous counties.

"I am proactively declaring a State of Emergency to ensure we can provide the necessary resources to respond to this storm and protect lives and property in regions where the forecast is calling for significant rainfall," Governor Hochul said. "I am encouraging New Yorkers to prepare now for inclement weather expected over the coming days and urging commuters to take precaution ahead of heavy rainfall expected tomorrow morning."

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch which is currently in effect for the several regions through Tuesday afternoon. For a complete listing of weather advisories in your area, visit your area's National Weather Service website.

Earlier Monday, Governor Hochul directed State agencies involved in emergency response to prepare assets for deployment to impacted regions. Those agencies are listed below and remain vigilant and ready to assist.

Agency Preparations

Department of Transportation

The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with the following assets:

  • 1,408 large dump trucks 
  • 300 large loaders 
  • 77 tracked and wheeled excavators
  • 72 chippers
  • 20 graders
  • 16 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
  • 14 tree crew bucket trucks

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 656 operators and supervisors prepared to respond to any wind or flood related issues across the state with small to medium sized excavators, plow/dump trucks, large loaders, 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. Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of weather conditions on the Thruway.

Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 228 Large Dump Trucks
  • 124 Small Dump Trucks
  • 68 Loaders
  • 29 Trailers
  • 8 Vac Trucks
  • 9 Tracked Excavators
  • 10 Wheeled Excavators
  • 9 Brush Chippers
  • 100 Chainsaws
  • 25 Aerial Trucks
  • 23 Skid Steers
  • 87 Portable Generators
  • 70 Portable Light Units

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 live traffic cameras, real-time traffic information 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, follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter, and visit thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The Division's Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring weather conditions and its Emergency Operations Center is currently activated. The Division will coordinate any necessary state agency response operations and remain in contact with localities throughout the coming days. Additionally, the Division's Office of Fire Prevention and Control is prepared to coordinate response of State agency water rescue assets, including the deployment of New York State Task Force-2 (NY-TF2), the State's Urban Search and Rescue team. OFPC's NY-TF2 and State agency swift water rescue teams are capable of deploying swift-water rescue technicians operating rescue boats and high-axle vehicles to supplement and support local response capabilities.

Department of Environmental Conservation

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets, including swift water rescue teams, are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Park visitors should check parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.

Department of Public Service

New York's utilities have approximately 5,500 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts across the State. Department of Public Service staff will track the utilities' work throughout the storm restoration and will ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to the regions impacted the most.

New York State Police

State Police are prepared to deploy additional Troopers, as needed, to affected areas. All State Police specialized vehicles, including four-wheel drive vehicles and Utility Task Vehicles, are staged and ready for immediate response. All Troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.

New York Power Authority / Canal Corporation

The New York Power Authority and New York State Canal Corporation are monitoring conditions and preparing all assets. NYPA and Canals representatives are in close contact with state, county, and local emergency personnel.  NYPA also stands at the ready to send NYPA transmission and other personnel to assist if needed. The Canal Corporation will update the public as needed through Notice to Mariners alerts. Members of the public may sign-up to receive these notices here.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is taking all necessary precautions to protect its transportation network and deliver safe service. MTA agencies are working closely together, coordinating with local partners to develop plans should service be impacted. The MTA is prepositioning essential backup equipment across commuter railroads, subways, and agency's bridges and tunnels.  On the subway, maintenance personnel are inspecting track drains in flood-prone areas and staging track pumps and storm boxes.

The MTA encourages customers to take extra precautions when traveling during heavy rain and strong winds. This includes allowing for extra travel time, taking extra caution when walking on platforms and stairs, watching for slippery conditions, and being mindful of overhead foliage or wires that may have fallen.

Port Authority

The Port Authority is monitoring weather conditions. Speed restrictions may be in effect at the bridges, as well as along roadways to and from the crossings. Passengers through the Port Authority's facilities are encouraged to reach out to carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays and cancelations. For the latest information about Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up for PA alerts or download one of the PA mobile apps.

Safety Tips

Prepare for 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.
  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Take only essential items and bring pets if possible.
  • Develop and practice a 'family escape' plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
  • Avoid driving or going outdoors during a storm. Flooding and damaging winds can make traveling dangerous.
  • If you must be outside, do not walk into flowing water.  Six inches of swiftly moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • If you must drive, remember: "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"  Don't drive through flooded roads as cars can be swept away in only two feet of moving water.  If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle.  If water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.  Do not drive around road barriers.

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

If experiencing a power outage, New Yorkers should:

  • Turn off or disconnect major appliances and other equipment, e.g., computers, in case of a momentary power surge that can damage these devices. Keep one light turned on so you know when power returns. Consider using surge protectors wherever you use electronic equipment.
  • Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities, visit the State Department of Public Service.
  • Check to see if your neighbors have power. Check on people with access or functional needs.
  • Use only flashlights for emergency lighting - candles pose the risk of fire.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed - most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately four (4) hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat - they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
  • In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors. Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.
  • If you are in a tall building, take the stairs and move to the lowest level of the building. If trapped in an elevator, wait for assistance. Do not attempt to force the doors open. Remain patient - there is plenty of air and the interior of the elevator is designed for passenger safety.
  • Remember to provide fresh, cool water for your pets.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion and dangerous driving conditions. If you must drive during a blackout, remember to obey the 4-way stop rule at intersections with non-functioning traffic signals.
  • Remember that equipment such as automated teller machines (ATMs) and elevators may not be working.

For more safety tips, visit the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Safety Tips web page here.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

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

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