Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State Response to Nor’easter Expected to Bring Heavy Rains and Potential for Flooding
New York (STL.News) Governor Kathy Hochul updated New Yorkers on the State’s response to the nor’easter spinning across the state and delivering heavy rainfall and flooding conditions in the Capital Region, Long Island, New York City, Mid-Hudson and Southern Tier regions through Wednesday morning. Rainfall totals of up to 3 inches have accumulated in downstate regions and another 2-3 inches of rain are expected to impact the Long Island, Mid-Hudson, New York City and Southern Tier regions throughout the rest of Tuesday. Wind gusts up to 60 MPH are possible in Long Island into Wednesday. Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers in affected areas to keep close tabs on the weather throughout the day, exercise caution while traveling, and to follow any emergency orders issued by local authorities in response to the storm.
“We are keeping a close eye on the weather forecast and working to communicate with our partners in government on the heavy rain and wind we’re expecting to see through tonight and into tomorrow,” Governor Hochul said. “All New Yorkers should remain vigilant and be prepared to follow any emergency orders issued by local governments. I am strongly urging everyone to monitor their local weather forecasts and use caution on your commute home this evening and Wednesday morning.”
As of Tuesday morning, many areas downstate received up to 3 or more inches of rain associated with this nor’easter, and more rain is expected through this evening. The National Weather Service has issued multiple weather watches and advisories, including Flash Flood, Coastal Flood and High Wind Watches and Advisories through Wednesday. For a complete listing of weather advisories in your area, visit your area’s National Weather Service website.
On Monday, Governor Hochul declared a State Disaster Emergency for several counties, including Bronx, Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Greene, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Ulster, Westchester, and contiguous counties.
Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with the following assets:
- 1,409 large dump trucks
- 304 large loaders
- 78 tacked and wheeled excavators
- 73 chippers
- 20 graders
- 16 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
- 14 tree crew bucket trucks
The Thruway Authority has 656 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:
- 228 Large Dump Trucks
- 124 Small Dump Trucks
- 68 Loaders
- 29 Trailers
- 8 Vac Trucks
- 9 Tracked Excavators
- 10 Wheeled Excavators
- 9 Brush Chippers
- 100 Chainsaws
- 25 Aerial Trucks
- 23 Skid Steers
- 87 Portable Generators
- 70 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.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division’s Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring weather conditions and its Emergency Operations Center is currently activated. The Division will coordinate any necessary state agency response operations and remain in contact with localities throughout the coming days. Additionally, the Division’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control is prepared to coordinate response of State agency water rescue assets, including the deployment of New York State Task Force-2 (NY-TF2), the State’s Urban Search and Rescue team. OFPC’s NY-TF2 and State agency swift water rescue teams are capable of deploying swift-water rescue technicians operating rescue boats and high-axle vehicles to supplement and support local response capabilities.
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 6,200 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 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 has prepositioned essential backup equipment across commuter railroads, subways, and agency’s bridges and tunnels.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels has banned tandem and empty tractor trailers from MTA’s seven bridges on Tuesday, Oct. 26, through 10 p.m.
On the subway, maintenance personnel are inspecting track drains in flood-prone areas and staging 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 of overhead foliage or wires that may have fallen.
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.
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.
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Take only essential items and bring pets if possible.
- Develop and practice a ‘family escape’ plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
- Avoid driving or going outdoors during a storm. Flooding and damaging winds can make traveling dangerous.
- If you must be outside, do not walk into flowing water. Six inches of swiftly moving water can knock you off your feet.
- If you must drive, remember: “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” Don’t drive through flooded roads as cars can be swept away in only two feet of moving water. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof. Do not drive around road barriers.
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, check with 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 here.