FLOOD WATCH AND PREPARATION

 

     

    A Flood Watch remains in effect from Noon EDT today through Monday morning. Areas affected include Northern Westchester, Putnam and portions of Dutchess Counties.

    Steadier rainfall associated with a coastal storm will begin this afternoon and become heavy at times later this afternoon.  The heaviest rain will occur tonight with hourly rainfall rates approaching an inch per hour.  Please continue to monitor the storm at: www.weather.com

    Anticipating a Flood

    What are the weather factors you need to watch for to prepare for a flood?

    • Unusually heavy rain over several hours, or steady, substantial rain over a period of several days
    • Rains that occur in conjunction with a spring thaw
    • Hurricanes or tropical storms that impact your area
    • Rapidly rising water in rivers and streams in your area

    Protect Your Family and Home

    Make a plan to prepare and protect the people and things you value before a flood occurs:

    • Decide where you and your family will go in the event of a flood ”“ whether you’re at home, at work, at school, outdoors or in a car.
    • Assemble a family disaster and emergency supplies kit.
    • Take photographs of your valuables and store them in a fire- and waterproof safe. Also use the safe to store important documents such as birth certificates, ownership documentation for cars and boats, Social Security cards, insurance policies and wills.
    • Check your homeowner’s insurance to confirm your coverage in case your home is damaged or destroyed. Many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage related to flooding and high winds.
    • Locate and mark where utility switches and valves are in your home so they can be turned off in an emergency, if time allows.
    • Familiarize yourself with the emergency action plans at your school or workplace and identify the appropriate officials and emergency management agencies in your area, with contact information and phone numbers.
    • Make sure to charge your mobile phone, laptop and other mobile device batteries.

    Stay Alert for Floods

    To ensure you receive all of the latest weather updates during a flood, you’ll need more than one reliable source of weather information. We recommend the following:

    • Sign up for The Weather Channel Alerts for your mobile phone and/or email.
    • Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio, which broadcasts all of the latest weather updates as well as storm watches and warnings for your area.
    • Make sure you have fresh batteries for your radio(s) and flashlights, in case your home loses power.
    • Learn the difference between a flash flood watch and warning as well as a flood watch and warning.

    Facts about Floods

    • Roughly two-thirds of flood-related deaths occur in vehicles. Most occur when drivers make a single, fatal mistake trying to drive through floodwaters.
    • Just 6 inches of moving water is enough to knock a person down.
    • Two feet of moving water is enough to float a large SUV or even a bus.
    • When roads and bridges are flooded, they often become un-passable and often collapse when drivers attempt to cross them during a flood.

    Weather storms more easily by preparing ahead of time. Once the power is out, you may not be able to view the attached safety tips, so print a copy of this reference, Weathering Storm Emergencies, and have it handy when storms are on the horizon. In the meantime, review the safety tips below.

    Downed Power Lines
    NYSEG urges customers to avoid downed power lines. Even lines that appear dead can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations. Refrain from removing tree debris as downed power lines may be entangled in them.

    Flooded Basements
    NYSEG also reminds customers to stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact NYSEG to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service.Click here to learn more.

     Life-Sustaining Equipment

    Anyone who uses life-sustaining equipment that operates on electricity should contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1111. We may enroll you in one of our critical customer programs or provide you with specific advice on how to prepare for power interruptions. 

    Additional Tips

    • Keep flashlights, a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries handy.
    • Have at least one telephone that is not dependent on electricity. (Cordless phones won’t work during a power interruption.)
    • Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.
    • If you have a cell phone, make sure the battery is fully charged.
    • Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. You may have simply blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker.
    • Contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1131 to report a power interruption, and please have your account number handy. NYSEG’s  telephone systems let you report the problem, helps their crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provides you with power interruption updates. You can call as often as you like for updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Please be patient.
    • If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact NYSEG to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service. Never enter a flooded basement or home until electricity and natural gas service have been turned off.
    • Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.
    • Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, stereos) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean that you have to unplug it, turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the circuit in your home that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” so you’ll know when power has been restored.
    • Emergency generators can be dangerous. If you use one, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Never run an emergency generator indoors; operate generators only outdoors in well-ventilated areas. Click here to view our safety tips.
    • Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
    • Make sure your electric stove tops and/or ovens are off.  When the power is restored, the burners may begin heating up and could be a hazard.
    • Never use a grill or stove intended for use outdoors in your home.
    • Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Most food will last
      24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
    • State law requires that if the traffic lights or controls are out of service or malfunctioning when you approach an intersection, you must come to a stop as you would for a stop sign. You must then proceed according to the rules of right of way, unless you are directed to proceed by a traffic officer.

    After Your Power Is Restored

    • If your basement or home was flooded, have an electrician check your home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG to have services turned on.
    • Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading your circuits.
    • Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.

    My staff and I will continue to keep you informed about this upcoming storm.  In the meantime, please be prepared and please be safe!

     

    Greg Ball

    New York State Senator

    40th Senate District

    Office:  845279-3773

    www.ball.nysenate.gov

    Email:  gball@nysenate.gov