September 29, 2023
New Yorkers Should Continue to Use Caution
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams tonight updated New Yorkers on the city’s ongoing response to recent significant rainfall and associated flooding. New York City Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) remains in an active response posture, leading interagency coordination efforts to the historic citywide flooding that began early Friday morning. NYCEM is working in close collaboration with key city agencies — including the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks), the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), and other city agencies, as well as the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and external partners, including New York State, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Con Edison, and the American Red Cross in Greater New York — to address the range of impacts that this storm created. Their efforts have been crucial in the city’s comprehensive response strategy, extending its reach and effectiveness across affected communities to all five boroughs.
“I want to thank all New Yorkers who followed our guidance and stayed safe today, and I especially want to thank our first responders and city workers who stepped up to aid their fellow New Yorkers in need and keep our city going,” said Mayor Adams. “Though the forecast is looking better, all New Yorkers should stay vigilant, and stay safe and informed by signing up for Notify NYC to continue to get up-to-date information directly from the city.”
“While this storm has brought significant challenges, our preparations were comprehensive and began well before the situation escalated,” said NYCEM Commissioner Zachary Iscol. “We have been in a state of coordinated action, working tirelessly around the clock with all involved agencies and partners. Our focus remains on providing immediate and effective support to New Yorkers, and then shifting to recovery and building operations.”
New York City experienced widespread flash flooding starting from the early hours of Friday into early Friday afternoon, and periods of rainfall are forecast to continue into the evening. Since late yesterday afternoon through 3:00 PM today, Central Park recorded about 5.8 inches of rain, and John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia International Airport (LGA) saw roughly 8.5 and 4.9 inches, respectively. Although not yet officially confirmed, the National Weather Service has preliminarily reported that JFK had its wettest day on record since August 14, 2011. All three locations may end up with top-10 all-time daily records, depending on how much additional rainfall occurs this evening.
This marks the second highest daily rainfall ever recorded at JFK, and the highest daily amount in a September, previously set by Hurricane Donna in 1960, per the National Weather Service. Both Central Park and LGA measurements are top-10 amounts, and the rainfall is not yet over. Mayor Adams declared a State of Emergency earlier today due to the weather.
- New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the city’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about traffic and transit disruptions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit the Notify NYC website, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
- New Yorkers are encouraged to report damage to their property and file service requests by calling 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) or by accessing the 311 Severe Weather page.
- New Yorkers can now report damage to their home or business as part of the city’s Report Damage Portal. This is the first step in letting the city know where damage is.
- New Yorkers should expect continued delays and suspensions in MTA train service. Consider alternate routes and allow for additional travel time. If you must travel, New Yorkers are advised to exercise caution.
- If your car has been relocated, call 311.
AGENCY AND PARTNER OPERATIONS:
- NYCEM activated the city’s Emergency Operations Center in response to the flash flooding event and continues to coordinate the interagency response on scene. City agencies continue to operate throughout the five boroughs, especially neighborhoods most impacted by flooding.
- The agency continues to hold interagency calls with local, state, and federal agency partners, elected officials, as well as nonprofit and private-sector partners.
- NYCEM activated the Strengthening Communities network of nonprofit partners to serve as an additional layer of support in disseminating vital information and resources to the public.
- As of 7:30 PM, NYCEM sent approximately 61 Notify NYC messages to relevant groups of New Yorkers since the coastal flooding statement on Thursday, and 64 posts on social media after the first Notify NYC message about the flash flood watch on Thursday.
- DOT is closely monitoring roadway flooding and coordinating with NYPD.
- Crews are assisting with tow trucks on highways to remove disabled vehicles, as well as clearing catch basins on highways, fallen tree branches, and any other debris.
- Staten Island Ferry service continues to operate and ran on a modified, 20-minute schedule through the afternoon rush hour.
- DOT continues to closely monitor roadway flooding conditions at its Traffic Management Center.
- New Yorkers are advised to stay off the roads and avoid traveling as much as possible so responders can clear areas affected by flooding.
- FDNY has handled hundreds of water-related calls, relating to:
- People trapped in cars, basements, and elevators.
- Manhole covers pushed up because of water below, as well as manhole fires.
- Gas incidents and collapses, including retaining walls, garages, and roof and facades of homes and buildings.
- More than 5,000 flood barriers have been provided to homeowners in the areas of the city that are most vulnerable to flooding.
- Prior to the storm, DEP and partner agencies fanned out across the five boroughs to inspect catch basins at intersections that have a history of flooding.
- On Friday, more than 50 DEP crews were out in the field responding to highway and roadway flooding, missing manhole covers, and sewer backups.
- With additional rain in the forecast for this evening, DEP has crews in place that are ready to respond as needed. Once the storm has passed, crews will be ready to pump out any roadways that have residual flooding.
- NYPD remained in close communication with local and state partners throughout the dangerous weather conditions.
- NYPD towed nearly 200 stranded vehicles, removing obstructions that could delay emergency vehicle operations and other traffic.
- NYPD responded to more than 20 911 calls for assistance from New Yorkers, including for individuals stranded in vehicles and in homes that experienced flooding.
- NYCHA has activated its Emergency Operations Center.
- NYCHA is abating flooding conditions where they exist at developments within the portfolio.
- Staff are on-site at affected developments to ensure residents’ safety, and to assess and address damage caused by the storm.
- NYCHA has increased skilled trades and development personnel across the portfolio in anticipation of any additional impacts.
- Residents are encouraged to call the Customer Contact Center 718-707-7771 for any issues or concerns.
- DOB has activated additional teams of inspectors to respond to buildings-related issues during this severe weather event. These teams will also be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the city for flooding issues.
- If sites are not secured, DOB 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.
- Secure netting, scaffolding, and sidewalk sheds.
- Clear roofs, overhangs, and gutters of standing water.
- Brace and secure construction fences.
- Call 911 if there is an emergency on a construction site.
- To secure a building, property owners should take all precautionary measures, including but not limited to the following:
- Bring loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools, and toys inside.
- Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.
- Secure and clear roofs, awnings, umbrellas, and overhangs of standing water.
- Check to ensure all gutters, roof drains, and down spouts are cleared of debris to allow for proper drainage.
- NYC Parks staff continue to address storm impacts, including keeping storm drains clear.
- Some public restrooms and playgrounds may be closed due to periodic flooding.
- NYC Parks has received and is inspecting 63 reports of possible tree damage.
- Street Cleaning Regulations are suspended for the remainder of the day, and for tomorrow for the holiday of Sukkot.
- Sanitation collection is proceeding, and residents with Saturday collection may place material at the curb this evening as normal.
- DSNY will add additional off-day services where necessary to collect storm debris and material that comes out of flooded homes.
- Customers experiencing outages should report their outage at Con Edison’s website or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).
- Con Edison crews are responding and restoring power to any customers affected by outages.
- New Yorkers should continue to stay clear of downed wires and flooded structures.
AMERICAN RED CROSS IN GREATER NEW YORK
- The American Red Cross in Greater New York has received calls via their emergency communications center reporting flooding and has reached out to callers to assess the scope.
- The Red Cross has mobilized disaster assessment teams that are ready to go out and assess damage.
- The Red Cross has placed shelter teams on standby to activate as needed and has positioned flood clean-up kits to be deployed.