Governor Kathy Hochul today instructed state agencies to prepare emergency response capabilities as the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole are expected to hit New York City as early as Friday evening, bringing the potential for heavy rain and floods. The highest rainfall totals of two to three inches, with some localized higher totals, are expected in the areas of central New York, the Finger Lakes and western New York, as well as areas of the plateau of Tug Hill in the northern region of the country. Minor flooding in flood-prone areas is likely and maximum wind gusts of up to 40 mph are possible, with higher wind speeds expected downriver. Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to closely monitor local forecasts over the next few days for weather conditions and to follow any possible emergency orders issued before or during extreme weather events. New York State agencies and authorities have already engaged local government partners across the state and stand ready to respond, if needed.
“Beginning Friday evening, a late-season weather system has the potential to dump three inches or more of rain in some locations, and I urge all New Yorkers to prepare for flooding,” Governor Hochul said. “If you plan to travel on Friday and Saturday, please exercise caution and check local weather conditions before you travel.”
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said: “Nicole is moving north and there is a chance of heavy rain and gusty winds over the next few days in parts of the state. Governor Hochul and I are asking New Yorkers to prepare for the advance, pay attention to local forecasts, make a plan if your area will be affected, and don’t forget to check on your vulnerable neighbors and loved ones this weekend.”
State agency preparations
The Department of Transportation is ready to respond with over 3,280 supervisors and operators. All field staff are available to fully engage and respond. Personnel can be configured into any type of response teams needed (flood response, chipper, load and carry, sewer jet, cut and launch, traffic lights, etc.). In preparation, crews check and clean drainage structures to ensure they are free of debris and clogs. The statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 1,516 large dump trucks
- 333 big loaders
- 79 crawler and wheeled excavators
- 72 shredders
- 18 students
- 14 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
- 14 tree crew bucket trucks
The Thruway Authority is closely monitoring weather conditions for the upcoming storm and has 651 operators and supervisors ready to respond to any wind or flooding issues statewide. There are excavators, plows/dump trucks, large loaders, portable VMS panels, portable light towers, generators, pumps and equipment transport trailers as well as signs and warning signs. other traffic control devices available for deployment for any detour or closure. Variable message signs and social media are used to alert motorists to weather conditions on the 570-mile Thruway.
Equipment numbers available statewide are as follows:
- 349 large and small dump trucks
- 63 Chargers
- 30 Trailers
- 7 Vac Trucks
- 14 excavators
- 8 brush chippers
- 100 chainsaws
- 21 aerial trucks
- 22 compact loaders
- 84 portable generators
- 65 portable lighting units
The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app downloadable for free at iPhone and android devices. The app gives motorists direct access to live traffic cameras, real-time traffic information and navigation assistance while on the move. Motorists can also register TRANS Alert emails that 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 roads in New York State.
Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Environmental Protection Police officers, rangers, emergency management personnel, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure that may be at risk. be affected by extreme weather conditions. All available assets, including swiftwater rescue teams, are positioned to assist in any emergency response.
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York State Police and Park staff are on high alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and their impacts. Park visitors should check parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates on park hours, openings and closings.
Civil Service Department
New York Utilities has approximately 7,125 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response, repair and restoration efforts across New York State for this event. This includes an additional 1,500 workers secured by Con Edison and Orange & Rockland and an additional 125 workers secured by National Grid’s northern division. Agency staff will monitor the work of the utilities throughout the event and ensure that the utilities transfer the appropriate personnel to the regions experiencing the greatest impact.
New York State Police
State police are ready to deploy additional troops, as needed, to affected areas. All State Police specialty vehicles, including four-wheel drive and utility vehicles, are staged and ready for immediate response. All troop backup power and communications equipment has been tested.
Metropolitan Transport Authority
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority closely monitors weather conditions to ensure safe and reliable service. MTA employees will be ready to respond to any weather-related issues and remove downed trees that may fall onto the tracks.
During periods of peak winds, MTA Bridges and Tunnels plans to implement a ban on empty tractor-trailers and tandem trucks. Pedestrian walkways on bridges may also be closed due to forecast high winds.
Customers are encouraged to check new.mta.info for the latest service updates and to exercise caution when navigating the system. Customers must also sign up to receive real-time service alerts via SMS or email. These alerts are also available via the MTA applications: MYmta and TrainTime.
The Port Authority monitors weather conditions. Speed restrictions may be in effect at bridges, as well as along roads to and from level crossings. Passengers passing through Port Authority facilities are encouraged to contact carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays and cancellations. For the latest information on Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up to AP alerts or download one of the PA mobile apps, including RidePATH which provides real-time updates and alerts for the PATH service.
- Prepare for inclement weather:
- Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby towns. Severe weather warnings are issued by county.
- Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground if you need to leave quickly.
- Develop and practice a “family escape” plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
- Make a detailed list of all valuables, including furniture, clothing, and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
- Stock up on emergency supplies of canned food, medicine, 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 supplies available.
- Keep your automobile fueled. If the power supply is cut off, gas stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small first aid 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 drugs
- Checkbook, cash, credit cards, bank cards
For more safety tips, visit the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Safety Tips webpage at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/index.cfm.