Skip to main content

Gov. Cuomo urges caution as heavy rain and flash flooding risk continues

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is cautioning New Yorkers to remain alert as locally heavy rainfall continues Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon across the state.
August 3, 2018 04:06 pm Updated: August 3, 2018 04:07 pm

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is cautioning New Yorkers to remain alert as locally heavy rainfall continues Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon across the state.

Thunderstorms could also develop, producing localized heavy downpours resulting in one or more inches of rain in a relatively short time, with the potential to cause flooding and flash flooding in areas where there is poor drainage and in low lying areas. If traveling, use caution, especially if roads are flooded.  Never drive through flooded roads.

"As storms continue today and into tomorrow afternoon, the risk for localized flooding will increase,"  Cuomo said. "I urge all New Yorkers to closely monitor local forecasts and have an emergency plan in place ahead of the storms in the event of power outages or water damage."

Multiple rounds of rain showers and thunderstorms, some containing gusty winds, are expected into Saturday and flash flooding is possible, especially for small streams, creeks, and headwater points. Locations that have already had a lot of rain during the past week will be more vulnerable, with the highest risk for flooding and flash flooding in the Southern Tier, Central New York, Capital Region, and Mohawk Valley. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for most of these areas until Saturday afternoon. For a detailed list of weather watches and warnings visit the National Weather Service website.

At the Governor's direction, the state has recently improved the NY-Alert emergency alerting system. NY-Alert warns citizens of critical information and emergencies and provides timely information to protect lives. Warnings and emergency information can be directed to a phone call, email, text message or fax. Visit for more information.



If traveling during heavy rain, please drive with care and keep these safety tips in mind:

  • DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
  • DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
  • Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
  • Follow recommended routes. DO NOT ignore emergency detours to view flooded areas.
  • As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
  • Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
  • Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
  • If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately. 


Prepare for flooding and severe weather:

  • Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby cities. Severe weather warnings are issued on a county basis.
  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Develop and practice a 'family escape' plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
  • Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
  • Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers
  • Plan what to do with your pets.
  • Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries and emergency cooking equipment available.
  • Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
  • Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing


Have disaster supplies on hand, including:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Checkbook, cash, credit cards, ATM cards


For more safety tips for all types of weather events, visit the DHSES website at