Ice Jam Flooding Preparations Made in New York State

The National Weather Service issued flood watches and advisories for ice jam flooding for many portions of New York State. Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino, Sr. said the division is working closely with local and state partners on ice jam and flooding issues throughout the state.

The governor of New York, Andrew M. Cuomo, on Jan. 23 activated 130 National Guard personnel and equipment to be ready to deploy to support local communities with ice jam flooding as warm temperatures and rain affected rivers and streams across the state. The potential exists for jammed ice to move and cause renewed flooding at known ice jam locations, he said, so the flooding potential continues through mid-week, especially in western New York, the North Country, the Mohawk Valley Region, the Capital Region, and in the Southern Tier. He said residents of areas prone to ice jam flooding should take precautions in advance.

"As ice jams and high water levels threaten our communities, the state is working with our local partners to help mitigate flooding across the state," Cuomo said. "I urge residents in areas prone to flooding to stay informed and take precautions to protect themselves, their families, and their homes."

The National Weather Service has issued flood watches and advisories for ice jam flooding for many portions of New York State. Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino, Sr. said the division is working closely with local and state partners on ice jam and flooding issues throughout the state. "We will continue to provide any resources and expertise needed as we monitor and respond to any issues as they arise throughout the duration of this event," he added.

The division was prepared to respond to requests for assistance with assets from its stockpiles, while the State Department of Transportation was monitoring all waterways that potentially threatened the state highway system, with staffers on alert and flood watches in effect at critical points with a history of flooding.

State authorities issued flood preparation safety tips:

  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Develop and practice an escape plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
  • Make an itemized list, as well as potentially photo and video documentation, of all valuables. Keep the list in a safe place.
  • Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine, and first aid supplies and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.
  • Plan what to do with your pets.
  • Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries, and emergency cooking equipment available.
  • Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
  • Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing.
  • Check on your insurance coverage. Homeowners' insurance policies generally do not cover flood damages. Only flood insurance can protect your home against flood damages. You can purchase flood insurance whether or not you live in a mapped flood zone.

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