Governor Kathy Hochul today urged New Yorkers to prepare for severe thunderstorms that are expected to affect parts of South End, Central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Capital Region, the Mid Hudson Valley and North Country starting this afternoon and continuing through tonight. Threats from these storms are wind gusts of up to 60 mph, hail up to an inch in diameter, and heavy rain that can lead to isolated flash floods. Impacts from severe storms could also include power outages and falling tree branches and power lines. Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to exercise caution and remain vigilant in areas likely to experience severe weather due to rapidly changing conditions this afternoon and evening.
“Severe thunderstorms are expected to move across the state today, bringing with them the threat of damaging winds, large hail and heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding,” he added. Governor Hochul said. “Many state agencies are preparing emergency response capabilities in case local governments need our help, and we are in close contact with communities across the state to ensure they are prepared. I encourage all New Yorkers in the path of these storms to keep an eye on their local weather forecast and plan accordingly.”
State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said: “We expect thunderstorms later in the day, including potentially severe thunderstorms that could bring damaging wind and hail. Stay alert today as you go about your day and be sure to listen to the local weather forecast before heading out tonight.”
For a complete list of weather alerts and forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website at https://alerts.weather.gov. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts by subscribing to NY Alert on https://alert.ny.gova free service delivering critical emergency information to your cell phone or computer.
Homeland Security and Emergency Services Division
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Emergency Operations Center monitors weather and travel conditions and coordinates any response needs with local governments. State stockpiles are ready to deploy assets to localities to meet all storm-related needs, including pumps, chainsaws, sandbags, generators, beds, blankets and water in a bottle.
The Department of Transportation monitors weather conditions and is ready to respond with over 3,380 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.). The statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 1,432 large dump trucks
- 306 big loaders
- 80 tracked and wheeled excavators
- 75 shredders
- 18 students
- 16 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
- 13 tree crew bucket trucks
The Thruway Authority has 632 operators and supervisors ready to respond to any wind or flood related problem statewide with small to medium sized excavators, plows/dump trucks, large loaders, portable VMS panels, towers portable lighting, smaller generators, smaller pumps and equipment transport trailers, as well as signage and other traffic control devices available for any detour or closure. Variable message signs and social media are used to alert motorists to highway weather conditions.
The statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 344 large and small dump trucks
- 62 Chargers
- 32 Trailers
- 3 Vac carts
- 16 Excavators
- 10 brush chippers
- 100 chainsaws
- 15 air trucks
- 20 compact loaders
- 84 portable generators
- 68 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 personnel 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 5,600 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response, repair and restoration efforts throughout New York State for this event. Agency staff will monitor the work of the utilities throughout the event and ensure that the utilities transfer the appropriate personnel to the areas 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.
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 through the MTA apps: MYmta, Long Island Rail Road Train Time and Metro-North Train Time.
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.
Severe Weather Safety Tips
- 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 vehicle fueled or charged. 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
- Never attempt to drive on a flooded road. Turn around and take another path.
- If the water begins to rise rapidly around you in your car, immediately abandon the vehicle.
- Don’t underestimate the power of fast moving water. Two feet of fast-moving floodwater will cause your car to float, and water moving at two miles an hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
- Follow the 30-30 rule: if the time between seeing lightning and hearing thunder is 30 seconds or less, the lightning is close enough to strike you. Seek shelter immediately. After the last flash, wait 30 minutes before leaving your shelter.
- Lightning strikes the highest object. If you are above a tree line, quickly drop below and crouch if you are in an exposed area.
- If you can’t get to shelter, stay away from trees. If there is no shelter, crouch in the open, twice as far 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 webpage at www.dhses.ny.gov/safety.