NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ISSUES TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR MONDAY PM RUSH
Flash Flood Watch in effect for NYC through 1 a.m. Tuesday
Moderate to heavy rainfall will affect the evening commute
November 26, 2018 – The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a travel advisory for the Monday evening rush. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flash Flood Watch for New York City in effect through 1 a.m. Tuesday, November 27. A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Urban flooding is also a possibility during the heaviest period of rainfall. According to the latest NWS forecast, moderate to heavy rain will move into the region early Monday afternoon before tapering off Monday night. The heaviest period of rainfall is forecast between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. NWS predicts a total of an inch to an inch and a half of rain, with higher amounts possible with heavy downpours. New Yorkers should prepare for slippery road conditions, and should exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking. High winds are also in the forecast, with gusts as high as 40 mph Monday and Tuesday.
“We are expecting moderate to heavy rainfall that can cause slippery conditions during this evening’s rush,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “Take it slowly during the evening commute home and allow for extra travel time.”
The City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan has been activated to ensure a quick, effective, and coordinated response to any flash flood events. Flash flooding can occur with little or no warning due to the large number of paved surfaces across the city. These surfaces do not allow rainwater to be absorbed into the ground and can result in storm drains often being overwhelmed, causing localized flooding. NYC Emergency Management works closely with NYPD, FDNY, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to mitigate the impact of flash floods. New Yorkers are encouraged to report clogged catch basins and areas of standing water to 3-1-1.
The National Weather Service has also issued a Coastal Flood Advisory in effect through 1 p.m. Monday for vulnerable areas near the waterfront and shorelines along Staten Island and Manhattan. A Coastal Flood Advisory indicates that onshore winds and tides will combine to generate flooding of low areas along the shore. Some roads and low-lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns, and homes or businesses near the waterfront will experience shallow flooding.
A Coastal Flood Warning is also in effect from noon through 3 p.m. Monday, and midnight through 4 a.m. Tuesday for vulnerable areas near the waterfront and shorelines along northern Queens and The Bronx. A Coastal Flood Warning means that flooding is expected or occurring. Widespread flooding of low-lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns, and homes or businesses with basements near the waterfront and shoreline is possible. Vehicles parked in vulnerable areas near the waterfront will likely become flooded. Flooding will also extend inland from the waterfront along tidal rivers and bays. Coastal residents in the warned areas should be alert for rising water and take appropriate action to protect life and property.
NYC residents living in coastal areas expected to experience minor or moderate coastal flooding should take the following preparedness steps:
- Prepare a Go Bag – a collection of things you would want if you have to leave in a hurry – for every member of your household, including pets.
- Learn the safest route from your home or workplace to safe, high ground in case you have to evacuate. This should be part of your household emergency plan.
- If you live in a flood-prone area, keep materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber on hand to help protect your home.
- Stay informed. Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels, including Notify NYC. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency communications program. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
- When outside, avoid walking and driving through flooded areas. As few as six inches of moving water can knock a person over. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. One or two feet of water can carry away a vehicle.
- Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
- If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. Be mindful that tree limbs, leaves, or water can cover downed wires from view. Always stay away from downed power lines because they could be live.
- Report downed wires immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you are in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.
- Avoid driving, walking, or biking through flooded areas. As few as six inches of moving water can knock a person over. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. One or two feet of water can carry away a vehicle.
- Drive slowly.
- Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.
- If you are driving and begin to skid, ease your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. Straighten the wheel when the car moves in the desired direction. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump the brakes on an ABS equipped vehicle.
- Try to keep your vehicle’s gas tank as full as possible.
- Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls.
- Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
The Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued a weather advisory to remind property owners, contractors, and crane operators to take precautionary measures and secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment during high winds, with forecast wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour Monday and Tuesday. The department will perform random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the city. If sites are not secured, the department will take immediate enforcement action – issuing violations and Stop Work Orders, where necessary.To safeguard construction sites, builders, contractors, and developers should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:
- Tie down and secure material and loose debris at construction sites.
- Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather.
- Store loose tools, oil cans, and extra fuses in a toolbox.
- Secure netting, scaffolding, and sidewalk sheds.
- Suspend crane operations and secure crane equipment when wind speeds reach 30 mph or greater.
- Suspend hoist operations and secure exterior hoists when wind speeds reach 35 mph or greater, unless manufacturer specifications state otherwise.
- Brace and secure construction fences.
- Call 911 if there is an emergency on a construction site.
Buildings Bulletin 2015-029 outlines the requirements for vertical netting, debris netting and material-fall protection devices at buildings and construction sites. To view this bulletin, click here.
To secure a building, property owners should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:
- Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools, and toys.
- Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.
- Close up and secure patio umbrellas.
- Secure retractable awnings.
- Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.
- Pay attention to local weather forecasts and bulletins issued by the National Weather Service on local radio stations.
- Beware of falling braches if you are near trees.