July 9, 2023
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the City’s Office of Emergency Management today advised New Yorkers that the weather forecast calls for excessive rainfall from Sunday afternoon into Monday and the National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for New York City. The City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan has been activated and DEP and partner agencies have fanned out across the five boroughs to check on critical catch basins in flood prone locations. New Yorkers should prepare now for the possibility of flooding. The Rainfall Ready NYC Action Plan includes a map that shows which blocks in the city are most prone to flooding and New Yorkers that live in those areas should take precautionary steps to protect themselves and their property.
“Climate change is bringing more intense and dangerous weather to the area and over the last several years we have repeatedly seen how excessive rainfall can cause flooding and how dangerous that can be,” said DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “By being aware of weather forecasts and taking some simple preparatory steps like checking the catch basin on the corner, deploying flood barriers and elevating items in basements, New Yorkers can protect themselves and their property during extreme weather.”
“As we face the potential for excessive rainfall and localized flooding across New York, our focus remains firmly on proactive measures,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “The City's Flash Flood Emergency Plan is in effect, and we urge New Yorkers to protect their property and themselves. With the uncertainty of climate change, readiness isn't just an option, it's a necessity. So please, stay updated, prepare, and remember - in times of rapid weather changes, our actions can make the difference.”
As part of the City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan, DEP and several partner agencies have already pre-inspected hundreds of flood prone areas to ensure catch basins are free of litter and debris and are ready for the coming rainfall. New Yorkers are urged to check the catch basin on their corner to ensure it is also free of litter and debris. By simply removing anything that is blocking the catch basin residents can help prevent flooding on their block. A blocked catch basin can also be reported to 311 in which case a work crew will be dispatched to conduct an inspection and clear any debris. Water is being released from waterbodies located within Parks so they will be able to absorb the expected rainfall, and DEP is also lowering water levels across the Bluebelt system.
DEP has been giving away free inflatable flood barriers and sandbags and New Yorkers are encouraged to deploy them for this storm. Steps should also be taken to protect property, including elevating items in basements. Any New Yorkers that live in basement apartments should be following weather conditions closely and must be ready to evacuate quickly if the situation calls for it. Landlords and superintendents should be alerting tenants living in basements about the weather conditions and have them prepared to evacuate.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to nearly 10 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP also protects the health and safety of New Yorkers by enforcing the Air and Noise Codes and asbestos rules. DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $31.3 billion in investments over the next 10 years. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.