June 22, 2022
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Severe Thunderstorms and Heavy Rain Wednesday Afternoon into Thursday

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Governor Hochul Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Severe Thunderstorms and Heavy Rain Wednesday Afternoon into Thursday
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Parts of the Western New York, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Central New York Regions at Risk for Severe Storms Beginning Wednesday Afternoon, with Some Storms Containing Heavy Rain, Large Hail, and Damaging Winds

2-3 Inches of Rain Per Hour Are Possible in Areas of Southern Tier

Flash Flooding May Occur Hours After Rain Begins in Low-Lying Areas and Poor Drainage Areas

New Yorkers Urged To Use Caution and Stay Alert to Changing Conditions, Especially During Wednesday Evening Commute

Governor Kathy Hochul today urged New Yorkers to prepare for potentially severe weather throughout upstate New York beginning Wednesday afternoon. This weather system is expected to produce heavy rain and thunderstorms that will impact parts of Western New York, the Finger Lakes, Central New York and especially the Southern Tier, where there is a potential for 2-3 inches of rainfall per hour. Not only could these storms produce rounds of heavy rain, some 1" hail, and damaging winds, but given the storms' slow speed, flash flooding could occur in low-lying areas and poor drainage areas within hours of rainfall.

New Yorkers are being urged to use extreme caution if they are traveling in an impacted area over the next 24 hours and to pay close attention to local forecasts.

"A mixed bag of heavy rain, high winds, and some hail are forecast to blanket the state beginning today and continuing overnight, which could cause flooding in certain areas," Governor Hochul said. "I want New Yorkers to prepare for heavy rains as our State agencies are monitoring the forecast and ready to assist our fellow New Yorkers, if needed."

Already, the National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for Cayuga, Chemung, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, and Yates counties through late Wednesday. Areas within the watch could see several rounds of thunderstorms producing between 1-3 inches of rain each. Excessive storm runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood prone locations.

For a complete listing of weather alerts and forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts by subscribing to NY Alert at https://alert.ny.gov, a free service providing critical emergency information to your cell phone or computer.

State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "This storm has the potential to drop a large amount of rain within a condensed timeframe. New Yorkers, especially those in the Southern Tier, need to be prepared. Flash flooding is a real threat in these situations, so if you find yourself in an area under a Flood Watch, stay alert, check on your loved ones and neighbors if safe to do so, and remember -- never drive through a flooded roadway."

Agency Preparations

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Emergency Operations Center is monitoring weather and travel conditions, and will coordinate response needs with local governments. The State's stockpiles are prepared to deploy assets to localities to support any storm-related needs, including pumps, chainsaws, sandbags, generators, cots, blankets, and bottled water.

Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation is monitoring weather conditions and is prepared to respond with more than 3,370 supervisors and operators. All field staff are available to fully engage and respond.  Staff can be configured into any type of response crews that are needed (flood response, chipper, load & haul, sewer jet, cut & toss, traffic signal, etc.). Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 1,616 large dump trucks
  • 317 large loaders
  • 87 tracked and wheeled excavators
  • 77 chippers
  • 20 graders
  • 43 sweepers
  • 7 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
  • 15 tree crew bucket trucks

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 632 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, small generators, small 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:

  • 360 Large and Small Dump Trucks
  • 62 Loaders
  • 34 Trailers
  • 5 Vac Trucks
  • 16 Excavators
  • 9 Brush Chippers
  • 99 Chainsaws
  • 19 Aerial Trucks
  • 22 Skid Steers
  • 84 Portable Generators
  • 68 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.

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.

New York Power Authority / Canal Corporation

The New York Power Authority and New York State Canal Corporation are monitoring conditions and preparing all assets for impeding weather. NYPA and Canals representatives will remain in close contact with state, county, and local emergency personnel as necessary. NYPA is prepared to send NYPA transmission and other personnel to assist if needed. The Canal Corporation will update the public as needed through its Notice to Mariners alerts. Members of the public may sign-up to receive these notices on the Canal Corporation website.

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.

Severe Weather Safety Tips

Preparedness

  • 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 vehicle fueled or charged. 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

Flash Flooding

  • 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.

Lightning

  • 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.

 

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/safety.

 

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

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

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