September 23, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Directs State Agencies to Prepare Emergency Response Assets as Thunderstorms and Heavy Rain Will Threaten Parts of State Through Friday

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Governor Hochul Directs State Agencies to Prepare Emergency Response Assets as Thunderstorms and Heavy Rain Will Threaten Parts of State Through Friday
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Parts of Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson, Capital District, New York City, and Long Island Could Receive Up to 3 Inches of Rain Through Friday Morning

Some Storms Could Contain Damaging Winds, Causing Downed Trees and Power Lines

Governor Kathy Hochul today directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets as a slow-moving cold front is forecast to bring heavy rainfall to several parts of the State beginning today and continuing through Friday morning. Total rainfall amounts of up to 3 inches with locally higher amounts and some embedded thunderstorms are possible for counties in the Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson, and Capital District, as well as New York City and Long Island. Heavy rainfall may cause flooding of roads and ponding of water in low-lying areas, and some storms may contain damaging winds, which could cause downed trees and power lines. Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to pay attention to updated weather forecasts and follow any local emergency orders that may be issued.

"These storms will deliver heavy rain and high winds and are forecast to impact parts of the state today and overnight, potentially causing flooding and wind damage in some locations," Governor Hochul said. "I have directed State agencies to prepare emergency response assets and be ready to assist local governments if needed. New Yorkers should pay close attention to the weather and always be ready with a plan should an emergency arise."

According to the National Weather Service, the weather system poses two threats in the form of heavy rainfall and potentially severe thunderstorms, some of which could contain high winds. A widespread 1 to 3 inches of rain is possible in several locations by Friday morning. Rain should clear for most areas by Friday as storms exit the state, and any lingering showers during the morning hours will taper off or become less numerous during the day.

For a complete listing of weather advisories in your area, visit your area's National Weather Service website.

Agency Preparations

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

  • 1,329 large dump trucks
  • 294 large loaders
  • 80 tracked and wheeled excavators
  • 73 chippers
  • 19 graders
  • 16 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
  • 15 tree crew bucket trucks

Thruway Authority
The Thruway Authority has 659 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:

  • 205 Large Dump Trucks
  • 112 Small Dump Trucks
  • 62 Loaders
  • 28 Trailers
  • 6 Vac Trucks
  • 9 Tracked Excavators
  • 10 Wheeled Excavators
  • 10 Brush Chippers
  • 99 Chainsaws
  • 22 Aerial Trucks
  • 21 Skid Steers
  • 87 Portable Generators
  • 65 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 forTRANSalert 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.

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 swiftwater rescue teams and 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 will inspect track drains in flood-prone areas and stage 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 for 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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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