New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Coordinating Deployment of Multi-Agency Flood Rescue Teams to Hudson Valley and Long Island
Widespread Three to Five Inches of Total Rain Anticipated Throughout Friday Across New York City, Long Island and Hudson Valley, With Locally Higher Amounts Up to Seven Inches of Rain, Causing Concern for Dangerous Flash Flooding
Flash Flood Warnings in Effect for Parts of New York City and Long Island Until 10:15 A.M. Friday; Most of New York City, Long Island and Hudson Valley Remain Under a Flood Watch Through Friday Evening
New Yorkers Urged to Use Caution, If Commuting Today, and Avoid Walking or Driving Through Floodwaters
Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the State’s ongoing response to heavy rainfall in the New York City, Long Island and Hudson Valley regions, which experienced up to three inches of rain overnight, and remain under a Flood Watch through Friday. The National Weather Service forecast expects these regions to see a widespread three to five inches of rain or more through Friday night, with rainfall rates of one inch per hour. Flash flooding is the biggest risk for communities that see the heaviest rainfall as a result of this storm, which can cause dangerous travel conditions and threaten life and safety. Given that, Governor Hochul instructed the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to stage flood rescue teams in Nassau and Westchester counties, where they will be ready for rapid deployment in the event of a flash flood emergency requiring rescues. The Governor and her entire administration stand ready to support local communities should they be impacted by flooding today.
“Heavy rain is expected throughout downstate today, and we’re paying close attention to any flash flooding impacts given the amount of rain in the forecast,” Governor Hochul said. “State agencies are prepared to respond to requests for assistance from our local government partners and I encourage all New Yorkers to pay close attention to the storm conditions and forecast if you’re heading out today.”
The National Weather Services issued a Flood Watch for most of the New York City, Long Island and Hudson Valley regions. A Flash Flood Warning is in effect until 10:15 a.m. for parts of New York City and Long Island. Coastal Flood Advisories are also in effect.
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 NY Alert, the State's free emergency alert system, at alert.ny.gov. County-by-county emergency information can be pushed by text or email.
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Heavy rain will inundate transportation systems and likely cause flash flooding in some areas today. This means that it will be dangerous to travel, especially by car. My team is communicating with all of our partners in government and we’ll continue to monitor conditions and deploy resources as necessary to keep New Yorkers safe.”
State Agency Preparations
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' State Watch Center is monitoring weather and travel conditions, and coordinating any response needs with local governments. The Division’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) activated its Fire Operations Center to support response to the storm, with two of its flood rescue teams, consisting of six personnel and one boat each, deploying to Nassau and Westchester counties, in the event of a flood emergency requiring civilian rescues. An additional flood rescue team from the New York State Police was also deployed to Westchester County, with three personnel and two boats.
New York State Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond to the weather event with nearly 3,500 operators and supervisors available statewide. Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 1,426 large dump trucks
- 315 large loaders
- 81 chippers
- 80 wheeled and tracked excavators
- 28 traffic tower platforms
- 15 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
- 15 tree crew bucket trucks
New York State Thruway Authority
Thruway Authority staff continues to closely monitor the forecast and weather impacts on the Thruway system. The Thruway Authority has 661 staff members prepared to proactively inspect storm drains across the system, fine-tune equipment and monitor rock slopes in areas susceptible to heavy rain. Deployable equipment includes small to medium sized excavators, large loaders, portable VMS boards, portable light towers, small generators, small pumps and equipment hauling trailers, as well as signage and other traffic control devices available for any detours or closures.
The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which provides 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 incidents along the Thruway, follow @NYSThruway on Twitter, and visit thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
New York State DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are monitoring the developing situation and weather forecasts and will actively patrol areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets, including swift water rescue teams, are being activated and positioned to assist with any emergency response. Additional personnel are currently being staged for emergency deployment.
New York State 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.
New York State 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 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 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.
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.
To reduce the likelihood of flooding and respond to any instances of flooding that do occur, MTA crews will inspect drains in flood-prone areas to ensure they are functional, and supervisors will monitor flood-prone locations for any reports of flooding to ensure quick response. Elevator and escalator specialists will be deployed to flood-prone locations to attend to any weather-related elevator and escalator troubles.
Customers are encouraged to check new.mta.info for the latest service updates, and to use caution while navigating the system. 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 for New Yorkers
All New Yorkers should know how to stay aware of severe weather and receive timely alerts that let them know what they need to do to stay safe, including evacuation. The best way to receive timely weather alerts is by signing up for NY-Alert, a free service that provides weather and other emergency-related alerts.
Take the following steps to ensure you and your loved ones are protected:
- Develop a household disaster plan and know how to always contact family members. Identify an out-of-town friend or family member to be the "emergency family contact" and make certain all family members have the contact info.
- Designate an emergency meeting spot - a familiar location where family can meet if the residence cannot be accessed.
- Know hurricane and storm risks in your community.
- If you live near coastal areas, learn about your area's storm surge history and your community's warning signals and evacuation plans, including safe routes inland and the location of official shelters.
- Know where to relocate pets during a storm - most shelters will not allow pets.
- Keep the following supplies on-hand:
- Enough non-perishable food and water supplies for 10 days.
- Battery-operated radios and flashlights and an ample supply of batteries
- A first aid with supply of medicines.
- Important documents: Insurance policies, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc. in a waterproof container.
- Cash, checkbook, credit cards and ATM cards.
- An emergency contact list of people and organizations who may need to be called: schools, doctors, providers, and insurance contacts.
- Take the following preventative measures:
- Obtain and store materials, such as plywood, necessary to properly secure your home.
- Repair loose and clear clogged rain gutters and down spouts.
- Secure or bring inside lawn furniture and other loose, lightweight objects such as garbage cans and garden tools that could become projectiles in high winds. Also keep trees and shrubbery trimmed of dead wood.
- Review insurance policies to determine extent of coverage before a storm strikes.
- Determine where to move boats in an emergency.
- Be aware of local weather conditions by listening to National Weather Service broadcasts on NOAA Weather Radio and reports from local television and radio stations.
- Know how to turn off the power, heat and water at home.
About the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, follow @NYSDHSES on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter) or visit dhses.ny.gov.