FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES MUTUAL AID RESPONSE TO UPSTATE COMMUNITIES DEVASTATED BY FLOODING
New York City Emergency Responders from the NYPD, FDNY, DEP and DSNY Deployed to Assist in Response Efforts in Flood Ravaged Areas of Upstate New York
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the deployment of New York City emergency responders to areas of upstate New York ravaged by recent flooding. At the request of the New York State Office of Emergency Management, teams from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY ), New York City Police Department (NYPD ), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP ) and Department of Sanitation (DSNY ) have been called upon to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts in the areas hardest hit by flooding. Since Tuesday, DEP, which has offices in eight upstate counties, has sent teams to assist Hudson River watershed communities with rescue and emergency operations. Early this morning, at the request of the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, the FDNY deployed its Swift Boat Team, comprised of 28 Special Operations Command members to participate in response efforts in Broome County, which was hit particularly hard by flooding in the area where the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers join. And tonight, up to 30 members of the NYPD’s Special Operations Division will be deployed with a number of heavy duty police vehicles to Binghamton to provide additional recovery assistance and support to local upstate law enforcement. In addition, 50 members of the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) are mobilizing for deployment to Delaware County with heavy equipment including cut down and front end loading trucks, tow and gas trucks. The City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM ) has been coordinating requests from the State for aid from New York City.
“Although Mother Nature is unpredictable, New York City is very reliable when it comes to helping others,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We’ll do everything we can to be a good neighbor and help those most in need. Crews of DEP police officers and FDNY personnel are currently working to help alleviate flood conditions and as additional requests for help come in, New York City will continue to help our fellow New Yorkers upstate.”
More than 100 DEP police officers are working out of command centers in Delhi, Walton and Beerston to assist with rescue work and to coordinate with county emergency management personnel. These officers have conducted or assisted in hundreds of rescues and evacuations, including the rescue of more than 50 employees who were trapped in a building collapse at a local Breakstone Dairy. In addition to officers trained in swift water rescue, the DEP Police has also deployed 10 scuba divers and two pilots. DEP Police equipment used in the recovery effort includes one helicopter, two boats, one air boat, three all terrain vehicles, three vehicles with light towers, five rescue trucks and 17 four-wheel-drive vehicles.
The FDNY early this morning deployed its Swift Boat Unit to Binghamton to provide flood reduction services to the Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital. The hospital, which was evacuated earlier this week, has been completely out-of-service due to high water conditions. The Swift Boat Unit is composed of members of the FDNY’s Special Operations and EMS Commands. In addition, the FDNY has deployed four vehicles, including box trucks carrying rescue tools as well as two boats. The team is headed by Battalion Chief Fred LaFemina.
The NYPD tonight will deploy up to 30 members of its Special Operations Division. These Police Officers have been trained in hazardous materials handling, water rescues, construction accidents, vehicle accidents and first aid. The NYPD will also deploy a number of vehicles including both marked and unmarked police vehicles, 10 trucks (including a fuel truck) and other equipment including generators, portable light towers and pumps. NYPD water rescue equipment will also be sent in the effort including two, 15-foot boats, scuba equipment, HazMat and decontamination equipment, first aid supplies and other tools.
The Department of Sanitation is mobilizing a team of 50 workers including a Deputy Chief, two uniformed superintendents and four supervisors, 32 Sanitation Workers and several civilian support members. The team, headed to Delaware County, is scheduled to depart early Saturday morning from the DSNY’s Zerega Avenue staging area in the Bronx. The DSNY convoy will include 10 cut downs (dump trucks), five front-end loaders, two large tow trucks, two gas trucks, one street flusher, a bulldozer, back hoe, two passenger vans, a road rig, command center, light pack truck and a welding truck. Smaller equipment will be transported on seven low-boy trailers that will be driven up to the flooded areas. All DSNY personnel have volunteered for the humanitarian duty assignment. The DSNY team will be headed by Deputy Chief Nick Vero.
In addition to providing emergency response services, DEP also sent a 1000-gallon tanker truck with fresh drinking water to the Town of Walton to assist the town with its water supply needs. A second 1000-gallon truck is standing by to shuttle water from New York City to the town. DEP has also offered to send leak detection crews to Walton to help locate the source of the town’s broken water pipes. These crews have extensive experience locating leaks beneath New York City’s streets and are equipped with the latest pipe monitoring equipment. DEP road crews continue to help clear local roads throughout the Ashokan and Schoharie basins in Ulster, Schoharie and Delaware counties. Other DEP crews are working to keep city roads open near the Pepacton and Cannonsville reservoirs.
Stu Loeser/Virginia Lam (212) 788-2958
Jarrod Bernstein (Office of Emergency Management)
Francis X. Gribbon (Fire Department)
Paul Browne (Police Department)
Charles Sturcken (Dept. of Environmental Protection)
Vito A. Turso (Dept. of Sanitation)