Under direction from Governor Andrew Cuomo, the State of New York began preparing its fleet Thursday for heavy rain, expected to continue through Friday. The combination of snowmelt and rain is expected to cause flooding throughout the state, and Gov. Cuomo directed many state agencies to prepare staff, assets, and stockpiles to support response efforts that may arise during flood watches and warnings across the state.
The state’s nine regional stockpiles were prepared with a sandbagging machine, generators, pumps, and hoses and over 768,000 fillable sandbags were distributed across the state. Swift water rescue teams, boats, and high-axle vehicles were prepared for deployment as well.
All State Police assets, including 4x4s, high-axle vehicles, and boats, are ready for deployment. Four airboats and four Zodiac boats have been paired regionally with swift water-trained rescue diving teams throughout the state. Troopers have been instructed to remain on high alert and to closely monitor flood prone areas for rising waters while on patrol.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is closely monitoring the weather and has plans and personnel in place for potential flooding. DEC has emergency vehicles and equipment, including 4x4 vehicles, Utility Task Vehicles, boats, and other flood-related equipment prepped and ready to be deployed as needed across the state as needed.
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYDOT) is actively preparing for high water by readying equipment and staff who will conduct flood watches, monitor bridges as water rises, and respond as needed. DOT crews have been actively working to clear culverts and drainage basins to help ensure they flow freely. The NYDOT has 3,845 operators and supervisors statewide and is ready to respond with 1,463 large dump trucks, 322 loaders, 73 excavators, 21 graders, 12 bucket trucks, 17 vacuum trucks with sewer jets, five trailer mounted sewer jets, 12 water tankers, 13 water pumps, and four bulldozers.