Bracing For Storms, Troops, Resources Deployed To North CountryPosted: Updated:
Governor Andrew Cuomo is deploying state resources to the north country ahead of severe storms which are forecast for the region this weekend.
A strong cold front was moving across the state Friday, triggering rain and thunderstorms that could produce strong winds and hail.
The National Weather Service has issued a lakeshore flood warning for Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties beginning Saturday at 8 a.m. and continuing through 11 a.m. Sunday.
At the governor's direction, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and senior officials from state agencies will be deployed to Regional Emergency Operations Centers.
One of those centers is being activated in Watertown.
Resources and personnel in the north county include:
- 25 National Guard Troops with Humvees
- 1 NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services truck with pumps, hoses and lengths of Aqua Dam
- 1 NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services high axle vehicles
- Additional Office of Emergency Management personnel
"With Lake Ontario levels still significantly higher than normal, this weekend's severe weather could have major impacts on shoreline regions and other communities across the state," said Governor Cuomo in a news release. "I am directing state agencies to pre-deploy key assets and resources to provide any assistance to localities that could be impacted by this weekend's weather. I urge residents to prepare their homes and businesses now for flooding that is expected tomorrow into Sunday."
Lakeshore flooding and erosion is expected for the entire Lake Ontario lakeshore due to substantial wave action, and heavy downpours could also lead to flooding in low lying and poor drainage areas, the governor said.
Strong to severe storms are expected to continue into early Saturday.
Cuomo said while Lake Ontario has decreased six inches from its highest levels, it is still 29 inches higher than the same time last year and 18 inches above average for this time of year according to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
Additionally, New York State Parks continues to actively monitor the weather situation and has directed the Park Police and park personnel to take appropriate action to prepare for possible flooding at State Park facilities including clearing culverts and drainage areas and preparing equipment that may be necessary to respond to flood-related issues.
All State Police assets, including 4x4s, high axle vehicles and boats are ready for deployment as needed. Troopers have been instructed to remain on high alert and to closely monitor flood prone areas for rising waters while on patrol.
The New York State Department of Transportation 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.