Wednesday, September 23

Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on Tropical Storm Isaias

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the impacts of Tropical Storm Isaias as the storm continues to move through the state. The storm is continuing on a northern track through the eastern portion of the state and has already caused multiple downed trees, localized flash flooding and caused 870,000 power outages. Approximately 80,000 electric customers have been restored so far, while 869,611 were still without power as of 10:00 p.m. Tuesday. Emergency response personnel from multiple state agencies are currently out in the field assisting local partners with response efforts and the Department of Public Service is working with utility companies to restore service as quickly as possible.

Multiple watches, warnings and advisories for Tropical Storms, Floods, Tornados and High Winds remain in place by National Weather Service and are expected to until later Tuesday evening. New Yorkers can view the complete listing of these notices, as well as access the latest forecasts, by visiting the National Weather Service website here. New Yorkers should also continue monitoring local weather forecasts for the most up-to-date information.

“The State’s emergency response personnel are on the ground and fully engaged with our local partners to support any storm-related needs,” Governor Cuomo said. “As the storm continues to move out of the state, we will work around the clock to ensure communities are safe, transportation is open and that utilities get the power turned back on.”

New York’s utilities have approximately 4,500 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response and restoration across New York State. Department of Public Service staff will track the utilities’ work throughout the storm event and will ensure the utilities shift the appropriate staffing to the regions anticipated to experience the greatest impact.  In addition, PSEG LI, Con Edison, Orange & Rockland and Central Hudson have secured more than 2,000 additional mutual aid line workers to support their response and restoration efforts due to the expected impacts from Tropical Storm Isaias. 

Electric outages by company are as follows:

  • CHGE – 109,000
  • CONED – 205,335
  • NGRID – 19,077
  • NYSEG – 89,370
  • ORU – 103,889
  • PSEG-LI – 342,681

Current power outage numbers by county are as follows:

  • Albany: 1,814
  • Bronx: 22,848
  • Columbia: 7,182
  • Delaware: 524
  • Dutchess: 26,253
  • Essex: 305
  • Fulton: 326
  • Kings: 13,101
  • Monroe: 259
  • Montgomery: 117
  • Nassau: 142,479
  • New York: 165
  • Niagara: 1,112
  • Orange: 48,416
  • Oswego: 134
  • Putnam: 35,006
  • Queens: 48,583
  • Rensselaer: 2,264
  • Richmond: 26,292
  • Rockland: 60,878
  • Saratoga: 7,206
  • Schenectady: 1,058
  • Schoharie: 436
  • Suffolk: 198,047
  • Sullivan: 11,735
  • Ulster: 4,776
  • Warren: 1,792
  • Washington: 268
  • Westchester: 125,605

STATE AGENCY RESPONSE ACTIVITY 

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Emergency Operations Center remains activated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will monitor weather conditions, coordinate state response operations and stay in contact with localities throughout the duration of the event. State Stockpiles are also prepared to deploy assets to localities to support any storm-related needs. This includes pumps, chainsaws, sandbags and bottled water. Additionally, the Division’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control’s Swift Water Urban Search and Rescue teams remain pre-deployed in areas within the storm track to assist local first responders in the event support is needed. Teams are equipped with boats and high-axle vehicles.

Department of Transportation

DOT crews in the Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island are activity engaged in clearing downed trees from the state system.  A few state roads are temporarily closed, but maintenance crews have been swiftly responding to clear the roads.  As the storm continues to make its way north, DOT crews stand ready to respond and clear the roads as quickly as possible through the duration of the event. 

Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:  

  • 1433 large dump trucks.
  • 48 loaders w/grapple
  • 313 loaders
  • 16 vacuum trucks w/sewer jet 
  • 28 tracked excavators 
  • 47 wheeled excavators 
  • 61 tractor trailers w/ lowboy trailer
  • 14 tree crew bucket trucks
  • 35 traffic signal trucks
  • 6 water pumps 
  • 77 chippers 

All affected residency locations are staffed for 24/7 operation throughout the duration of priority response operations.  Mechanic support will be available 24/7 to keep response equipment operational. 

Flood/debris quick-response crews remain pre-staged in the Mid-Hudson and Long Island Regions overnight Tuesday to perform immediate response to any needs that arise. Additional crews will be called-in as needed to provide additional support.

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority currently has an empty trailer ban on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and the speed limit has been reduced to 35MPH. Additionally, maintenance crews are responding to numerous reports of trees down.

Currently, 647 operators and supervisors are 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, Highway Advisory Radio and social media are utilized to alert motorists of weather conditions on the Thruway.

Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 213 Large Dump Trucks
  • 127 Small Dump Trucks
  • 61 Loaders
  • 25 Trailers
  • Vac Trucks
  • 10 Tracked Excavators
  • 7 Wheeled Excavators
  • 11 Brush Chippers
  • 99 Chainsaws
  • 20 Aerial Trucks
  • 21 Skid Steers
  • 87 Portable Generators
  • 69 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 real-time traffic 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 by following this link: www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtmlFor real-time updates, motorists can follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter or by visiting www.thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has more than 10,000 employees working in the field restoring and delivering service and responding to damage caused by Tropical Storm Isaias.  On the subways, where all outdoor lines were temporarily suspended earlier in the day, all but four (A, B, W and Z trains) plus the Staten Island Railway have been fully restored.  On the Long Island Rail Road, crews have restored service on the Long Beach and Far Rockaway branches.  Hudson Line service has resumed on Metro-North with limited outbound service from Grand Central Terminal.  

The Harlem and New Haven Lines including the Branches remain suspended due to extensive damage to our infrastructure. Crews will continue to work throughout the evening to restore full service as soon as possible. Customers are encouraged to stay home if possible and monitor new.mta.info, the MYmta app, and MTA agencies on Twitter for the latest service information. Customers may also sign up for text and email alerts at MYmtaalerts.com.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 

Travelers through the Port Authority’s airports, terminals and bus station are encouraged to reach out to carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays, cancelations or rebookings.

Due to storm-related wire and signal work, PATH will honor NJT tickets/passes at the Newark Penn Station, Hoboken and 33rd St stations.

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. 

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 and sawyers, are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation

State Parks operations crews are currently assessing storm damage and cleaning up debris. A number of state parks and pools in Long Island and the Hudson Valley are indefinitely closed to protect visitor health and safety. Potential visitors are urged to visit https://parks.ny.gov/ for updates on park status.

Additionally, 8 State Park sawyer crews are supporting DOT road clearing efforts and 4 person Park Police Swiftwater Rescue Team is staged in Kingston supporting State Police. State Parks operations crews created protective sand barriers at Jones Beach and Gilgo Beach to prevent flood damage.

New York State Police

The New York State Police has instructed all Troopers to remain vigilant and closely monitor conditions for any problems. Additional personnel will be deployed to affected areas as needed. Members of the State Police swift water rescue team will be deployed and staged for immediate response.  All four-wheel drive vehicles and all specialty vehicles, including boats and utility vehicles, are in-service.

New York Power Authority

The New York Power Authority is working with investor owned utilities, municipal and co-operative partners to support mutual assistance power restoration requests. There have not been any operational impacts to NYPA’s generation and transmission assets, however, staff are continuing to monitor updates from the National Weather Service and are coordinating with internal and external stakeholders.

The Canal Corporation has issued a notice to mariners advising that Erie Canal Lock E-16 in St. Johnsville through Lock E-18 in Jacksonburg closed early this afternoon to secure the locations for potential flash flooding impacts. Conditions will be reevaluated in the morning and updated notifications will be shared as needed.

Safety Tips

If traveling during heavy rain, please drive with care and keep these safety tips in mind: 

  • DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
  • DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
  • Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads. 
  • Follow recommended routes. DO NOT ignore emergency detours to view flooded areas.
  • As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
  • Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
  • Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
  • If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.

Prepare for flooding and 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.
  • 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 automobile fueled. 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.
  • Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
  • Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing.

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 in NYS visit the New York 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 DHSES website at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/index.cfm.


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