Multiple Rounds of Storms Produced More Than Eight Inches of Rain in Some Areas, Causing Flash Flooding Emergencies in Mid-Hudson and Finger Lakes Regions
State Emergency Operations Center and State Fire Operations Center Activated to Respond to Local Requests for Assistance; State Deployed Six Swift Water Rescue Teams and Two High-Axle Vehicles Deployed to Assist with Flood Rescue Efforts in Orange and Ontario Counties
Road Closures Remain in Orange, Westchester, Ulster, Putnam, Dutchess and Rockland Counties; Metro-North Services Suspended in Northern Parts of Hudson and Harlem Lines
5,500 Still Without Power as of Monday Morning; Orange and Ontario Counties Remain Under State of Emergency
Video of State Police Rescue Efforts in Orange County Available Here
Governor Kathy Hochul today provided an update on the storms causing widespread flooding in the Mid-Hudson and Finger Lakes regions, with more than eight inches of rain falling within a 24-hour period in some locations. The Governor declared States of Emergency in Orange and Ontario counties as numerous road closures and reports of flooding were addressed by state and local responders. At Governor Hochul's direction, the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Office of Emergency Management activated the State Emergency Operations Center and State Fire Operations Center on Sunday to support local requests for assistance. Additional State agencies deployed personnel and equipment to assist local response to flash flooding in both the Mid-Hudson and Finger Lakes regions.
“New York is in the middle of a dangerous 48 hours where extreme weather conditions have put much of our state at risk,” Governor Hochul said. “I have declared a State of Emergency for Orange and Ontario Counties, where flooding last night made significant damage. While the storm has already passed through the southern part of New York, conditions remain dangerous in further north where there are ongoing extreme weather conditions. I urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant, monitor local forecasts and have an evacuation plan ready if you're in a danger zone.”
A total of six swift water rescue teams were deployed to impacted areas, including two from DHSES’ Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC), three from New York State Police, and a joint OFPC/Parks team, as well as two (2) high axle vehicles to Ontario and Rockland counties. The OFPC and State Parks team conducted door to door checks at 120 homes in Ontario County, which resulted in the voluntary evacuation of more than a dozen individuals and five pets. DHSES’ Office of Emergency Management field staff remain active in both Orange and Ontario counties and are embedded in local emergency operations centers. DHSES deployed a total of 45 staff yesterday and overnight to respond to flood incidents, including 32 OFPC personnel and 13 OEM field staff.
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “We are working hand in glove with local officials in the Hudson Valley and Finger Lakes to assess damage and address immediate needs. We are also focused on ensuring our response assets are in place in the North Country to respond to the ongoing threat of flash flooding there. New Yorkers in the eastern part of the state must stay alert to conditions today.
As of 8:00 a.m. this morning, the following roads are closed in the Mid-Hudson region:
- Route 218, Route 9, Route 9W, 9A, Route 293, Route 32, Route 6, Palisades in Orange County
- Route 202, Bronx River Parkway, Saw Mill River Parkway, U.S. Route 6, Taconic State Parkway, Route 100 in Westchester County
- Route 22 in Ulster County
- Taconic State Parkway and Route 9D in Putnam County
- Taconic State Parkway, Route 9D in Dutchess County
- Palisades Parkway and 9W in Rockland County
Amtrak suspended service between Albany and New York City, and approximately 90 Amtrak passengers were provided lodging at the Albany Rensselaer Train Station overnight. The Metro-North Hudson line service was suspended Monday to allow for inspection and repairs to track and infrastructure.
Bear Mountain and Harriman State Parks are also closed today due to road closures and flood issues.
The American Red Cross has established two shelters – one in Ontario County at the Canandaigua Town Hall (5440 Route 5 & 20 West, Canandaigua) and in Orange County at the Sacred Heart School (7 Cozzens Avenue, Highland Falls).
Today flood watches are in effect for the eastern third of the state through today and into tomorrow. There is a high risk for excessive rainfall leading to flash flooding for areas in the North Country, particularly in the Lake Champlain area, as well as heavy rain for portions of the Mid-Hudson, Capital Region, and North County.
For a complete listing of weather alerts and forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website at alerts.weather.gov.
New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts by subscribing to NY Alert at alert.ny.gov, a free service providing critical emergency information to your cell phone or computer.
State Agency Operations
Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation is monitoring and responding to weather conditions and has more than 3,470 supervisors and operators available statewide, including more than 545 in the Hudson Valley region. Staff are currently assessing damage and working to get state roads back open as quickly as possible. Plans are in place to deploy additional resources to the Hudson Valley as needed.
The Department is currently deploying 23 bridge inspection teams from the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier and Long Island, with contractor forces to assist with bridge inspections in the Hudson Valley. It also deploying 10 damage assessment teams from the region and across the state to assess damages on both state and local roads.
Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 1,427 large dump trucks
- 323 large loaders
- 79 tracked and wheeled excavators
- 84 chippers
- 19 graders
- 18 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
- 15 tree crew bucket trucks
The Thruway Authority has 654 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:
- 362 Large and Small Dump Trucks
- 59 Loaders
- 33 Trailers
- 6 Vac Trucks
- 12 Excavators
- 8 Brush Chippers
- 100 Chainsaws
- 23 Aerial Trucks
- 22 Skid Steers
- 83 Portable Generators
- 67 Portable Light Units
The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available to download for free on iOS 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.
Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are on alert and continue to monitor weather conditions. DEC personnel are actively patrolling areas and infrastructure that could have been impacted by heavy rainfall and local flooding and are working closely with state and local agencies to coordinate flood mitigation equipment including pumps and sandbags in the event mitigation is needed to protect homes, businesses, or infrastructure. All available assets, including swift water rescue teams, are positioned to assist with any ongoing emergency response.
In conjunction with the Governor’s Emergency Declaration, DEC is issuing a corresponding emergency declaration to support expedited storm response permitting (see information on how to request an Emergency Authorization at: dec.ny.gov/permits/96337.html). In addition to expedited permitting to address the impacts from recent storms, DEC has in place a general permit for work in protected streams that allows for, among other things, repair of existing culverts and bridges, bank stabilization up to 150 or 500 feet, and debris removal. The general permit can be found at: www.dec.ny.gov/permits/121588.html.
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 visit parks.ny.gov, check the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.
Department of Public Service
As of Monday morning, there were approximately 5,500 power outages, with the majority of outages in Putnam County. Last night, nearly 400 utility workers were deployed in storm-impacted areas. New York's utilities have approximately 5,500 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts across New York State for this event. Agency staff will track utilities' work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact.
New York State Police
State Police have deployed additional Troopers, to affected areas. All State Police specialized vehicles, including four-wheel drive vehicles and Utility Task Vehicles, are also ready for immediate response. Motorists should avoid the impacted regions. The Palisades Parkway Northbound is closed from exit 14 to Long Mountain Traffic circle.
State Police currently has the following deployed:
- Total Sergeants: 9
- Total Troopers: 87
- 3 Swift Water Rescue Teams
- 3 Airboats
- 3 Inflatable Rescue Boats
- 18 Underwater Recovery Team Members
I urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant, monitor local forecasts and have an evacuation plan ready if you're in a danger zone."
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is closely monitoring weather conditions to ensure safe, reliable service. MTA employees will be poised to respond to any weather-related issues and remove any downed trees that may fall across tracks. Customers are encouraged to check new.mta.info for the latest service updates. Customers should also sign up for real-time service alerts via text or email. These alerts are also available via the MTA's apps: MYmta and TrainTime.
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, including RidePATH which provides real-time updates and alerts for PATH service.
Severe Weather Safety Tips
- 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
- Never attempt to drive on a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
- If water begins to rise rapidly around you in your car, abandon the vehicle immediately.
- Do not underestimate the power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car, and water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
- Follow the 30-30 rule: If the time between when you see a flash of lightning and hear thunder is 30 seconds or less, the lightning is close enough to hit you. Seek shelter immediately. After the last flash of lightning, wait 30 minutes before leaving your shelter.
- Lightning hits the tallest object. If you are above a tree line, quickly get below it and crouch down if you are in an exposed area.
- If you can't get to a shelter, stay away from trees. If there is no shelter, crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from a tree as it is tall.
- If outdoors and a Tornado Warning is issued, seek shelter immediately. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in a ditch or low spot with your hands shielding your head.
- If at home or in a small building, go to the basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of the building. 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 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 in a high-rise building, go to an interior small room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Do not use elevators - use stairs instead.
For more information on personal preparedness and how to stay safe during severe weather, visit: dhses.ny.gov/safety-and-prevention.
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