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*TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST* This product covers Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut ***TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST*** NEW INFORMATION --------------- * CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Orange and Putnam - The Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Nassau, Northern Queens, Northwestern Suffolk, Richmond (Staten Island), Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, and Western Union * CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Nassau, Northern Queens, Northwestern Suffolk, Richmond (Staten Island), Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, and Western Union - A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Northern Fairfield, Northern Middlesex, Northern New Haven, Northern New London, Northern Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Western Passaic * STORM INFORMATION: - About 830 miles south-southwest of New York City NY or about 900 miles south-southwest of Montauk Point NY - 29.7N 79.9W - Storm Intensity 70 mph - Movement North or 355 degrees at 9 mph SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------ Tropical Storm Isaias, located off the north Florida coast, will continue to move to the north this morning, turning north-northeast this afternoon along the southeast coast. Isaias will continue moving northeast tonight over Eastern North Carolina. Isaias will slowly weaken as it accelerates northeast on Tuesday, likely moving over our area Tuesday afternoon and evening. There is still some timing and intensity uncertainty with this storm. However, confidence continues to increase with respect to the magnitude of local hazards and impacts. The main threats with this system involve heavy rainfall, strong winds, minor to moderate coastal flooding, along with high surf and dangerous rip currents. Locally heavy rain is expected with a widespread 2 to 4 inches, with localized amounts up to 6 inches possible. The heaviest rain is most likely to occur across New York City, Northeast New Jersey and the Lower Hudson Valley early Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening, and eastern sections Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. The strongest winds are likely to occur across Long Island, coastal Connecticut, and the New York City Metro. Dangerous marine conditions are likely across all of the coastal waters Tuesday and Tuesday night. High surf and dangerous rip currents are expected along the ocean beaches Monday through Wednesday. The effects from Tropical Storm Isaias are expected to diminish quickly from southwest to northeast across the area Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ----------------- * FLOODING RAIN: Protect against life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible extensive impacts across northeastern New Jersey, New York City, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Potential impacts include: - Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and streams may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become dangerous rivers. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. - In hilly terrain, destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys, and increase susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides. - Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out. * WIND: Protect against dangerous wind having possible significant impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles. - Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over. - Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable. - Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines. * SURGE: Protect against locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts across shoreline communities. Potential impacts in this area include: - There is potential for widespread minor to locally moderate coastal flooding across the Lower New York Harbor and South Shore Back Bays, with localized minor flooding impacts elsewhere. - Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along immediate shorelines and in low lying spots. - Sections of near shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where surge water covers the road. - Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly in usually vulnerable locations. Strong and frequent rip currents. - Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings. * TORNADOES: Protect against a tornado event having possible limited impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.

PBA Of New York State Calls On Gov. Cuomo To Reject Ill-advised Security Plan For State Beaches And Parks

LongIsland.com

Qualified, Trained Officers Essential to Ensure Safe, Summer Season.

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Long Island, New York - May 24th, 2013 -  The PBA of New York State, the organization representing the park police officers responsible for protecting the public, keeping order and effectuating rescues at popular Long Island beaches and urban parks, today called on the Cuomo Administration to scrap a plan to supplement its depleted police force by hiring inexperienced, unprepared college students to perform law enforcement duties such as managing and patrolling massive crowds.

The PBA of New York State has repeatedly raised concerns of an ill-advised staffing initiative advanced by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) to top Cuomo Administration officials.

The OPRHP plan is to expand its existing Park Forest Ranger (PFR) Program to address their dangerously low staffing levels.  The PFR position at OPRHP has traditionally been filled by permanent employees tasked with support services, such as trail maintenance. While identified as “Forest Rangers” their training and experience are far less than that of a police officer.  Only a handful of employees have ever been placed in this title and their duties are restricted due to the type and duration of their training.

“The PFRs’ traditional functions have been described as prevention and control of forest fires and conservation of fish and wildlife, not law enforcement.  It is essential, for the safety of park patrons and employees, that appropriately trained police officers are prepared to ensure that a day at the beach does not result in a melee, injury or tragedy,” said PBA of New York State President Manuel Vilar.  “When tens of thousands of people spend the day in the sun, judgments can be impaired, and disagreements have the potential to quickly escalate into volatile confrontations.  This plan does nothing to boost public safety and will lead to the endangerment of the PFRs, our officers and the families visiting park facilities.”

The Jones Beach Airshow, among Long Island’s most popular seasonal events, is scheduled to begin on Saturday, and expected to attract nearly 400,000 patrons this Memorial Day weekend.

During the 2012 summer season, State Park Police staffing levels were critically low, down by close to 100 officers or a third of their 2008 staff, when several disturbing incidents showcased the dangers of some of New York’s most popular seasonal venues.  It is not unusual for weekend attendance at a location such as Jones Beach, with a beach front of nearly six miles, to top 100,000 people. 

The Long Island Region, the state’s largest, with 27 park facilities, maintains a typical force of 6 officers per shift.   The year-round compliment of all patrol officers assigned on Long Island is approximately 50.

Under the new staffing plan, officers will have the added responsibility of ensuring the safety the PFRs in dangerous situations.  The PBA of New York State is pleased that OPRHP recently held its first academy class since 2008, but cautions that a class of 36 new park police officers, including 13 new officers being assigned to Long Island, is not sufficient.  

“Preparing a police officer to ensure the safety of the public in an environment as densely occupied as Long Island beaches or a New York City-based park requires months of intense training and a detailed curriculum including crowd control, appropriate use of force, search and rescue techniques, gang-intervention and drug-recognition,” Vilar said.  “Unfortunately, while purporting to increase the protection of the public, the simple truth is that the Cuomo administration’s proposed approach decreases public safety and increases state liability.”

The PBA of New York State’s leadership has been seeking a solution to the staffing shortages in an effort to minimize public safety vulnerabilities.  However, command staff and senior OPRHP officials have advanced a poorly designed staffing plan.  More specifically, it is relying on a limited number of unarmed, inadequately trained, seasonal employees, to supplement security levels during the peak summer season.  Training for these seasonal park employees is scheduled to begin May 28, and deployment delayed until July 1. Veterans of the Park Police will not only be responsible for field training the new academy graduates at the same time they are field training the seasonal PFRs, this will occur during the busiest season of a year that is predicted to see a record 60 million visitors statewide.

In 2012 Vilar asked: “…what steps are the Cuomo Administration taking to protect the State Parks Police and the millions of park patrons who look forward to safely enjoying Long Island’s parks again when summer returns?”

Earlier this year, in testimony offered to members of the state legislature, Parks and Trails New York - a leading advocacy group focused on parks, tails and greenways - referenced the significant impact a series of operational cuts have had on the park system and its cumulative toll on specific public benefits such as hours, programs and police.

Daniel DeFedericis, Executive Director of the PBA of New York State, calls on the Administration to supplement the Park Police with appropriately trained law enforcement officials from other forces this year while building the force continuing new academies for the next few years.

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For More Information, Please Contact:
Dan DeFedericis   
518-433-5472