Governor Cuomo Cautions New Yorkers to Prepare for Potential Flash Flooding Saturday Night into Sunday

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Governor Cuomo Cautions New Yorkers to Prepare...

Threat of Thunderstorms, Heavy Rainfall Expected; Could Cause Urban and Small-Stream Flooding and Isolated Flash Flooding

One to Two Inches of Rainfall Expected; Wind Gusts in Excess of 60 MPH Possible

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today cautioned New Yorkers to prepare for severe weather starting late Saturday evening and lasting into Sunday. Heavy rainfall has the potential to cause flash flooding, especially in cases of urban street flooding, clogged storm drains, washed out culverts and washed out dirt road roads. Gale conditions are likely on ocean waters in the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic coastal waters as easterly winds strengthen throughout the day on Saturday, which will result in rough conditions and waves in the eight to twelve-foot range. A gale watch is in effect Saturday evening through Sunday morning.

"With a warm front moving in this evening, storms may appear quickly and with little notice and I urge New Yorkers to keep a close eye on local weather reports to keep themselves and their families safe,Governor Cuomo said. "All residents, especially those near the coast or in areas at risk of flash flooding, should limit unnecessary travel during heavy rain and have an emergency plan in place ahead of the storm."

Rain will affect most of the state Saturday evening into Sunday, with a severe thunderstorm and flash flood threat from the Albany area south to the New York City and Long Island Regions, with rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches expected. If heavy rain occurs during the times of high tide Sunday morning, it could result in localized flash flooding. Water levels may touch minor flood thresholds in a few spots along the south shore bays of western Long Island and along western Long Island Sound during the times of high tide early Sunday morning. Residents in the affected areas should stay tuned to local media outlets for the latest weather forecast. For a complete listing of weather watches and warnings, visit the National Weather Service website.

At the Governor's direction, New York State has recently improved the NY-Alert emergency notification system. The new NY-Alert system provides a more convenient way for New Yorkers to sign up for customized alerts on critical topics such as weather, traffic, missing persons and more. The new system is now hosted on a cloud-based platform to meet growing demand and serve New Yorkers better. To stay on top of the latest information, New Yorkers should visit the newly designed website to sign up for the alerts they would like to receive.

Prepare for flooding and severe weather now

  • 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 water-proofing
  • 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 traveling late Saturday and Sunday, please drive with care and keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
  • Follow recommended routes. DO NOT sightsee.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately. 

For more safety tips for all types of weather events, visit the DHSES website at

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