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United States : Governor Cuomo Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Potential Ice Jam Flooding.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers who live in areas along streams and rivers to take precautions against potential ice jam flooding in the wake of much warmer temperatures and rain expected this week. Unseasonably warm weather is forecast this week statewide, and will be accompanied by period of rain this afternoon into tonight, with some additional showers upstate Tuesday into Wednesday. The combination of warm temperatures, some rainfall and snowmelt could lead to ice jam movement and minor flooding Tuesday afternoon into Thursday. As temperatures increase, the threat for ice jam movement and possible ice jam flooding remains near clogging points by bridges, river bends, locks, and other potential obstruction areas along these rivers and streams.

The large ice jam along the Mohawk River is being closely monitored for movement. Other areas of concern across the state are the Black River in the North Country region near Watertown, Fish Creek in Oneida County and the Mohawk River in the Mohawk Valley Region, and the east branch of the Ausable River near Ausable Forks in the North Country. Currently there are flood watches in effect for the North Country and parts of the Central New York regions. Communities near ice jams that are currently in place are urged to closely monitor future forecasts and heed instructions from emergency management officials and local law enforcement.

"Since mid-December, we have been vigilantly monitoring 50 ice jams across New York, and given this week's weather forecast, I have directed state agencies to prepare for conditions that could increase the flooding risk statewide," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge anyone living along the Mohawk River, or in areas that have experienced previous flooding, to pay close attention to weather reports and stay safe."

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino, Sr. said, "We have been actively monitoring ice jams for many weeks across New York and continue to work closely with our state and local partners to make sure communities have the resources they need to prepare for and respond to any flooding along rivers and streams."

New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "With temperatures expected to rise in the coming days, we are monitoring this potential ice jam situation very closely. At Governor Cuomo's direction, the Department of Transportation is preparing and will respond as needed to help our fellow New Yorkers, in cooperation with our state and local partners."

New York State Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "The Thruway Authority is ready to respond to any potential flooding along the Thruway system. We're actively monitoring the conditions and are prepared with resources and staff to respond as needed with other state agencies."

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "New Yorkers work together when rapid changes in weather have the potential to cause flooding. Directed by Governor Cuomo, DEC's expert staff are monitoring rivers, streams and creeks across the state for potential ice jam flooding and stand ready to help our neighbors along these waterways by repairing flood protection structures and expediting permits. With our state agency partners, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to help our neighbors."

"The Canal Corporation is coordinating with the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and other local emergency management offices and we have taken all necessary precautions to secure Canal assets for potential ice jam flooding along the Mohawk," said Brian Stratton, Canal Corporation director. "As with all times of the year, safety is our main priority, so we caution all New Yorkers to increase awareness and take precautions."

Superintendent George P. Beach II said, "State Police continue to monitor potential ice jam locations, and stand ready to assist our state partners and local communities if flooding conditions develop."

State Agency Preparations

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

New York State has been in close contact with local and state officials in Schenectady and Albany Counties for several weeks preparing for potential flooding due to the size and scope of the ice jam on the Mohawk River. Since the end of January, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has been in constant contact with the National Weather Service and continues to hold multiple conference calls per week with Albany and Schenectady counties, the City of Schenectady, State Canal Corporation, State Department of Transportation, and State Department of Environmental Conservation, to discuss weather conditions, ice jam surveillance, county and local emergency response preparations, state actions, and requests for state assistance.

To date, the Division has provided more than 50,000 sandbags, 2 sandbag fillers, ten pumps with associated hoses and strainers, and 2 UHF Repeaters for emergency communications to Albany County and Schenectady County.

Sand Bag Operations

Albany County

Port of Albany in Albany

Schenectady County

Schenectady County Highway Department in Schenectady

City of Schenectady - Foster Avenue in Schenectady

Additionally, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is prepared to respond to requests for assistance with assets from its stockpiles, including 732 generators, 255 light towers, 1,258 pumps, 9 sandbaggers, more than 990,000 sandbags, more than more than 63,000 ready-to-eat meals, almost 70,000 bottles and 348,000 cans of water, over 9,000 cots, approximately 13,000 blankets and pillows, over 4,000 flashlights, 960 traffic barriers, 594 traffic barrels, and over 7,600 feet of aqua dam. Additionally, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control has identified potential swift water rescue launch sites in strategic areas along the Mohawk and Hudson rivers.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Feb 21, 2018
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