Albany, NY - July 3, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers to be prepared and take necessary precautions with serious rainstorms on the forecast, as well as the potential for severe weather influenced by Hurricane Arthur. As families and individuals begin to travel for the July 4th holiday weekend, the Governor encouraged New Yorkers to pay close attention to weather forecasts and be prepared to take action if Hurricane Arthur’s track brings it close to the State. Governor Cuomo today is holding emergency briefing calls with State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and other agency officials to monitor the situation, and ensure the State is prepared to take any necessary steps.
“While weather forecasts do not currently indicate that Hurricane Arthur will pose a significant threat to New York State, it is always better to be safe than sorry,” Governor Cuomo said. “The July 4th holiday is an opportunity to celebrate freedom, friends, and family, and I hope Mother Nature does not interfere with anyone’s plans. However, as a precaution, I do urge all those in the southern portions of the State, especially those who live, work or are visiting near coastal areas, to keep close track of Hurricane Arthur over the next days. The State Emergency Management offices will continue to keep close track of this storm and do whatever is necessary to get the word out to New Yorkers to keep them safe, and ensure we are ready if Arthur should take a different course.”
Today, Tropical Storm Arthur was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. As of 9 a.m. this morning, Arthur was located 340 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, NC, and moving north at 10 mph with sustained winds of 75 mph. A turn toward the northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected today, followed by a further increase in forward speed tonight and tomorrow. Current NOAA weather guidance shows the storm passing well east of Long Island by Friday evening, and should be clear of the State by 2 a.m. Saturday morning. However, the combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will likely cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters, and scattered power outages cannot be ruled out if winds increase as the storm passes.
Governor Cuomo offered the following safety tips:
- Check your emergency kits and review your family emergency plan now – remember those with special needs, children, the elderly, and pets.
- Follow the instructions and advice of local government officials. If you are advised to evacuate, do so promptly. If you are advised to go to a certain location, go there – don’t go anywhere else. Leave as soon as officials instruct that you do to avoid being marooned on flooded highways. Make certain you have enough fuel for your car.
In case of high winds or flooding:
- Secure or bring inside all lawn furniture and other outside objects that could become a projectile in high winds, and reinforce all garage doors so that they are able to withstand high winds.
- Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood, so you or your evacuation routes are not cut off. If you are instructed to evacuate, move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.
- Avoid driving into water of unknown depth. Moving water can quickly sweep your vehicle away.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
In case of a power outage:
- Turn off major appliances to prevent damage from a possible surge when the power comes back on - keep one light turned on so you know when power returns.
- Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage.
- Check to see if your neighbors have power.
- Use only flashlights for emergency lighting – candles pose the risk of fire.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat – they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
For more information, sign up for free alerts at www.nyalert.gov where you will receive current weather, transportation and other emergency-related notifications. Visit www.nyprepare.gov for more safety tips and information that will help you prepare for the storm.