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Weather System Poses Multiple Threats Upstate into Saturday

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets as a weather system is forecast to impact upstate locations starting Friday with high winds in Western New York and the Finger Lakes regions, lakeshore flooding along Lake Erie and potential flooding in the North Country through Saturday. High winds up to 60 mph at times are expected to impact Western New York and the Finger Lakes Region starting Friday, potentially causing downed trees and power lines that could lead to widespread power outages, as well as dangerous travel conditions. Potentially significant lakeshore flooding along Lake Erie is possible due to a rapid rise in water levels through Friday afternoon.  In the North Country, a combination of rainfall, warm temperatures and snowmelt in higher elevations could cause flooding in some locations Friday into late Saturday. 


"This incoming weather system has the potential to cause power outages and dangerous travel conditions across Upstate New York due to high winds and potential flooding," Governor Cuomo said. "I have directed state agencies to monitor conditions and be ready to support local partners with any resources they may need, and we will remain in contact with utility companies to ensure any power outages caused by high winds are addressed quickly. New Yorkers should take all necessary precautions now to ensure they, their families and their property are protected from any possible damage or power outages."


A deepening surface low is forecast to approach from the lower Great Lakes late Thursday night into Friday morning. Widespread showers will arrive ahead of the system Thursday night, but should end quickly Friday with rainfall totaling less than an inch.  The strongest winds are expected to occur in Western New York and the Finger Lakes from early Friday morning through the afternoon. Isolated thunderstorms are possible in the southern Adirondacks before daybreak Friday morning and continuing through the afternoon with locally gusty winds up to 45 mph as the low passes through the area. In the North Country, locally rainfall is forecasted throughout the day Friday with rainfall totaling more than inch in some locations.  Warm temperatures are expected to increase the rate of snowmelt across higher elevations and, combined with rainfall, could cause rises on area rivers.


Weather warnings and watches have been issued for high wind in Western and Finger Lakes regions, flooding in the North Country, and lakeshore flooding along Lake Erie. For a complete listing of weather advisories in your area, visit the National Weather Service website.


Agency Preparations


Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services 

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Emergency Operations Center remains activated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will closely monitor weather conditions, coordinate state response operations, and remain in contact with localities throughout the duration of the event. State stockpiles are prepared to deploy assets to localities to support any storm-related needs, including pumps, chainsaws, sandbags, generators, cots, blankets and bottled water.   


Department of Transportation 

The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with more than 3,630 supervisors and operators available statewide.  Wind response tools (generators, chainsaws, light plants, hand tools, chippers, etc.) are being readied and loaded into response trucks for immediate dispatch. Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:



For up-to-date travel information, call 511, visit or download the free 511NY mobile app.


Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 681 operators and supervisors prepared to respond to any weather-related issues across the state with 255 large plow/dump trucks, 108 medium plow/dump trucks, and 62 large loaders, as well as, small to medium sized excavators, portable VMS boards, portable light towers, smaller generators, smaller pumps and equipment hauling trailers. Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of weather conditions on the Thruway. 


The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway. 


Department of Environmental Conservation 

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets are positioned to assist with any emergency response. 


Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation 

New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Park visitors should check or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings, and closings.  


New York State Police 

State Police are prepared to deploy additional Troopers as needed to affected areas. All State Police specialized vehicles, including four-wheel drive vehicles, snowmobiles and Utility Task Vehicles, are staged and ready for immediate response. All Troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested. 


Department of Public Service 

New York's utilities have approximately 6,100 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response and restoration efforts across New York State. Department of Public Service staff will track the utilities' work throughout the storm event and will ensure utilities shift the appropriate staffing to the regions anticipated to be impacted the most. 


New York Power Authority / Canal Corporation 

The New York Power Authority and the Canal Corporation staff has performed preparations for the forecasted weather to ensure all facilities, assets and equipment are secured and ready. The Power Authority is prepared to support power restoration activities if needed.  


Port Authority

The Port Authority is monitoring weather conditions. Speed restrictions may be in effect at the bridges, as well as along roadways to and from the crossings.  Passengers through the Port Authority's facilities encouraged to reach out to carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays and cancelations. For the latest information about Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up for PA alerts or download one of the PA mobile apps.


Safety Tips


Prepare for severe weather: