Press Release

September 02, 2021

 

GOVERNOR HOCHUL DIRECTS STATE AGENCIES TO DEPLOY ADDITIONAL ASSETS DOWNSTATE TO ASSIST LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN WAKE OF HISTORIC STORM AND FLOODING EVENT 

Region in State of Emergency After Remnants of Hurricane Ida Pummel Hudson Valley, NYC Metro and Long Island Areas with More than Eight Inches of Rain, Flash Floods, Power Outages and Impacts to Transportation Systems

Numerous State Highways Remain Closed in New York City and Hudson Valley Regions; MTA Service Currently Suspended or Limited due to Heavy Rainfall and Flooding

State Fire, State Police and DEC Participated in Approximately 100 Rescues in Rockland and Westchester Counties

Read Executive Order Here

Governor Kathy Hochul visited areas impacted by the storm and directed additional State agency assets to the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island regions to help communities recover after the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed through the Downstate area Wednesday night and delivered historic rainfall totals, sparking flash floods, power outages and life-threatening conditions in several areas. Multiple roadways across New York City, Long Island and the lower Mid-Hudson were flooded and impassible at times, with people rescued from vehicles trapped in floodwaters. Public transit in New York City was brought to a standstill as trains and subways were affected by flooding in several locations overnight. Rainfall rates of up to three inches per hour, the highest ever recorded by the NYS Mesonet, were experienced across multiple locations, with rainfall totals ultimately exceeding eight inches in Central Park and more than six inches at LaGuardia Airport.

New York State swift water rescue crews worked through the night along with local first responders to rescue and evacuate New Yorkers in need. State Fire, State Police and the Department of Environmental Conservation alone participated in approximately 100 rescues in Rockland and Westchester counties. If a homeowner is flooded out of home, people in need of shelter will be supported by the Red Cross or community-based shelters.

"New York remains under a State of Emergency for Downstate counties affected by the remnants of Ida, and the State is committed to ensuring all the necessary resources to recover from the historic and devastating flooding experienced overnight are immediately accessible and available for those severely impacted," Governor Hochul said. "I have directed all State agencies engaged in emergency response efforts to work together with our Federal and local partners to take swift and appropriate action to help these communities recover."

Overnight, Governor Hochul declared a State of Emergency in New York State within the counties of Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester in response to torrential rainfall that resulted in flash flooding, power outages, travel disruptions, and damage in impacted areas and posed a threat to public health and safety. The Governor directed State agencies, including the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Transportation, Thruway Authority, and others to take immediate action to respond and recover from Ida.  The State of Emergency eliminates potential hurdles for local response activities and provides necessary tools to ensure New Yorkers can quickly and safely recover from disaster.

Agency Response Activities

Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation is responding to the storm with more than 3,150 supervisors and operators available statewide.  There are currently a number of state roads closed in the Hudson Valley and New York City, and DOT is working to clear and reopen these roads as soon as floodwaters recede.  The DOT's 24/7 Incident Command System is activated for response management throughout the event.

All available rain, flood, and wind response equipment is being deployed as needed. Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 1,326 large dump trucks
  • 51 loader-grapple attachments
  • 299 loaders
  • 18 vacuum trucks w/sewer jet
  • 33 tracked excavators
  • 43 wheeled excavators
  • 52 tractor trailers w/ lowboy trailer
  • 14 tree crew bucket trucks
  • 36 traffic signal trucks
  • 6 water pumps (4-6 inch)
  • 77 chippers 10" (min) capacity
  • 50 generators

 
Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority is responding to the storm with 655 operators and supervisors across the state. The Thruway has a number of road closures and lane restrictions across the lower Hudson Valley region as well as closures off the Thruway system. Motorists are strongly encouraged to avoid travel in this area.

Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 212 Large Dump Trucks
  • 102 Small Dump Trucks
  • 62 Loaders
  • 28 Trailers
  • 8 Vac Trucks
  • 9 Tracked Excavators
  • 9 Wheeled Excavators
  • 10 Brush Chippers
  • 100 Chainsaws
  • 24 Aerial Trucks
  • 22 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 live traffic cameras, real-time traffic information 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, follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter, and visit thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.

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 swiftwater rescue teams, sawyers, and unmanned aircraft systems (drones), are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Park visitors should check parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings, and closings.

Department of Public Service
New York's utilities have approximately 6,000 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts across the State. Department of Public Service staff continues to track the utilities' work throughout the storm restoration and will ensure utilities shift the appropriate staffing to the regions impacted the most.

New York State Police
State Police assisted with multiple road closures in the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island caused by heavy rains. Swiftwater rescue teams remain staged and ready for deployment.  Troopers continue to monitor conditions and additional personnel will be assigned to affected areas as needed.  All four-wheel drive vehicles and specialty vehicles, including Utility Terrain Vehicles, are in service.

New York Power Authority | New York State Canal Corporation

The New York Power Authority and New York State Canal Corporation are monitoring conditions from Tropical Depression Ida, including areas impacted by heavy rain and flash flooding. NYPA and Canals representatives are in close contact with state, county and local emergency personnel. NYPA is also participating in mutual assistance planning calls for storm response in other areas related to this storm and stands at the ready to send NYPA transmission and other personnel if needed.

Canal Corporation

In preparation for the arrival of Tropical Depression Ida, the Canal Corporation preemptively lifted the upper gates of its movable dams along the Erie Canal and Mohawk River between Lock E-8 in Rotterdam and Lock E-12 in Tribes Hill. Lifting the upper gates of the movable dams lowers water levels and is a necessary action to help mitigate the risk of potential flooding and damage to Canal assets. The Canal Corporation worked with marinas, vessel owners, dock owners, and others to notify them of the potential risk for damage from lowered water levels and expected weather. The Canal Corporation will update the public as needed through Notice to Mariners alerts. Members of the public may sign-up to receive these notices here.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Thousands of MTA employees are engaged in activities across the region to restore train service as quickly as possible in areas where it remains suspended. Crews are pumping water out of flooded subway tunnels, removing debris including downed trees and vegetation from subway and commuter rail tracks, operating non-passenger trains on Metro-North lines to inspect tracks and identify areas where tracks have been washed out, and attend to storm-related power outages. 

Metro-North Railroad service remains suspended. The New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road are operating with segments of service being restored as crews correct operating conditions.  New York City Buses are operating with near normal service levels but more than 20 detours in effect as of 8 a.m. due to roadway conditions.  Access-A-Ride is operating but reporting delays due to heavy traffic conditions.

Customers should check MTA.info, the MYmta app, or any of the Authority's Twitter accounts (@MetroNorth, @LIRR, @MTA, @NYCTSubway, @NYCTBus) for real time service changes.

Port Authority 

The Port Authority is continuing storm recovery efforts across all its facilities.  Airlines have reported minimal delays and cancelations for Thursday, but passengers are advised to contact their carriers regarding flight status before heading to either LaGuardia or John F. Kennedy Airport.  Airport roadways are now clear or mostly clear after flooding from last night has receded.  Speed restrictions and potential truck and motorcycle bans may be imposed at Port Authority crossings if conditions, such as high winds, warrant.  PATH service to the 33 Street and World Trade Center stations are running with some delays.

For the latest information on all Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up for PA alerts or download one of the PA mobile apps.

Department of Financial Services

The Department of Financial Services Mobile Command Center will be deployed to affected communities to provide insurance help to residents affected by the Hurricane Ida storm that caused power outages and flooding across the state and forced a state of emergency declaration in twelve counties. It will be deployed to Yonkers, Westchester County, on September 2.

Due to heavy damage impacting homes and properties, Department of Financial Services personnel will be staffing a mobile command unit help residents and business owners file insurance claims as needed. Residents who are not able to visit the Mobile Command Center can call the Department's Disaster Hotline at 800-339-1759, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. for help with insurance related issues.

Governor Hochul instructed the Department of Financial Services to issue a Circular Letter to all insurers reinforcing their obligations to provide the necessary resources to provide immediate, fair and helpful resolution of claims arising from the storm damage. DFS will expedite the issuance of Temporary Adjustor Permits as necessary to qualified out-of-state independent insurance adjustors pursuant to New York Insurance Law. Expediating permits will assist New Yorkers by increasing the number of adjustors available to process claims and help get their claims settlements paid and their property repaired faster. DFS encourages insurers to make any necessary applications on the DFS's website. The insurers will also be reminded to offer other help, such as information and contacts for FEMA assistance.

DFS expects insurers to:

  • Promptly process and investigate insurance claims made by claimants;
  • Allow claimants to provide as reasonable proof items such as: photographs or video recordings (without the need for a physical inspection); material samples, if applicable; inventories; and receipts for any repairs to or replacement of property; and
  • Allow claimants to make immediate repairs to damaged property if necessary to protect health or safety. 

 

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