Press Release



City's Flash Flood Emergency Plan has been activated; New Yorkers urged to take precautions during heavy periods of rain

September 29, 2015 — The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a travel advisory for Wednesday, September 30, 2015. According to the National Weather Service, a weak frontal system is approaching the New York City area and is expected to bring moderate to heavy rain tonight through Wednesday night. The heaviest period of rain is expected overnight Tuesday through the early morning rush. Periodic rain will continue through Wednesday evening and will taper off Wednesday night. A total of 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected with this event. Urban flooding is expected in low-lying and poor drainage areas. Flash flooding cannot be ruled out during the periods of heaviest rain. The City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan has been activated to ensure a quick, effective, and coordinated response to any flash flood events. The plan is activated when it is forecasted to rain one inch per hour for the duration of an hour or longer.

Flash flooding can occur with little or no warning due to the large number of paved surfaces across the city. These surfaces do not allow rainwater to be absorbed into the ground and can result in storm drains often being overwhelmed, causing localized flooding. NYC Emergency Management works closely with NYPD, FDNY, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to mitigate the impact of flash floods.

NYC Emergency Management deploys Citywide Interagency Coordinators to locations with significant flooding to facilitate coordination and information collection. The Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation and the Department of Sanitation target recurring flood locations for catch basin cleaning and maintenance prior to major weather events. During the event, Department of Transportation patrols highways to identify and clear catch basin grates when possible.

Tips for Motorists & Pedestrians:

  • If you must drive a vehicle, monitor weather and traffic reports for the latest road conditions.
  • Drive slowly. Vehicles, including those with 4-wheel drive, take longer to stop in wet conditions than on dry pavement.
  • Do not walk or drive through flooded streets, the actual depth of the water may not be apparent. Turn around, don’t drown!
  • Flood water can be contaminated. Avoid contact with sewer water, as it poses a serious health risk.
  • Exercise caution and avoid walking on slippery surfaces.
  • Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
  • Report any downed power lines and avoid standing in flood water, as it can carry electrical current.

Nancy Silvestri/Omar Bourne (718) 422-4888

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