Thunderstorms and Heavy Rain Bring Potential for Flash Flooding; Parts of Capital Region, North Country and Mohawk Valley are Currently under a Flood Watch
Governor Urges New Yorkers to Monitor Weather Conditions and Develop a Plan in Event of Flooding
Governor Kathy Hochul today cautioned New Yorkers as severe weather is expected to impact the entire state today through this weekend. Thunderstorms and heavy rain are in the forecast for upstate regions, with current flood watches in effect through Friday evening for parts of the Capital Region, North Country and Mohawk Valley. As thunderstorms are expected across the state this weekend - especially today and Sunday - bringing the potential for impacts in flood-prone areas, Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to monitor their local forecast for the latest weather conditions and to sign up for emergency alerts.
"From unhealthy air quality to extreme heat, Mother Nature has certainly tested New Yorkers over the past several weeks and it looks like that trend will continue this weekend," Governor Hochul said. "Beginning today, much of the state should expect to see thunderstorms and periods of heavy rain through Sunday which may cause flash flooding, especially in portions of the North Country, Mohawk Valley and Capital Region. Our team is closely monitoring weather patterns and stands ready to assist any of our local partners, and I urge all New Yorkers to monitor their local forecasts, pay attention to alerts and plan accordingly."
State agencies and authorities are in constant communication with government partners throughout the state and are prepared to respond to any requests for assistance.
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "Rain and thunderstorms are likely to impact the entire state this weekend. We are keeping a close eye on conditions across the state but especially in areas of the North Country that flooded last weekend. Our State Fire and Emergency Management field staff are in touch with their local counterparts and ready to respond in the event of dangerous flooding."
A Flash Flood Warning has been issued for areas of Essex County and Clinton County in the North Country. Flood watches and advisories are currently in effect for Albany, Hamilton, Montgomery, Fulton, Warren, Washington, Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties. For a complete listing of weather alerts and forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website at https://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 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 coordinating any response needs with local governments. State Fire and State Emergency Management personnel are prepared to respond with personnel and resources, in the event of flash flooding.
Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation is monitoring weather conditions and prepared to respond with more than 3,470 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.). Crews are checking and clearing drainage structures to make sure they are free of debris and clogs.
Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 1,430 large dump trucks
- 319 large loaders
- 79 tracked and wheeled excavators
- 83 chippers
- 19 graders
- 17 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
- 14 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 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 weather conditions. DEC personnel are actively patrolling areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather—including heavy rainfall and local flooding—and will work 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 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. Response equipment is being fueled, tested and prepared for storm response use. State Parks has twelve sawyer crews available for deployment as needed. Park visitors should visit https://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
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 ready for immediate response. All Troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.
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: https://www.dhses.ny.gov/safety-and-prevention.