Prepare for heavy rain and flooding


New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM) today issued a travel advisory for Sunday, December 17 and Monday, December 18, 2023.

The National Weather Service (NWS) is monitoring a major coastal storm to hit the area with a mix of light to heavy rain, strong to damaging winds and minor to moderate coastal flooding in the area Sunday through Monday. The NWS has issued a High Wind Watch for Brooklyn and Queens for sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts up to 60 mph. The NWS also issued a Wind Advisory for Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx for the same period for winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Both the watch and the alert are in effect from midnight to 12:00 a.m. Monday through 12:00 a.m.

“With significant rainfall and strong winds expected this Sunday through Monday, we want to remind New Yorkers to be alert, keep checking the forecast and be prepared,” said Mayor Adams. “If you have loose items outside, now is a good time to secure them before the wind starts. People in low-lying and poorly drained areas should take special precautions. And today is a great day to clean your catch basins to make sure the rain ends up in the drains and not in our basements and streets. As always, the best way to stay safe is to stay informed – so sign up for Notify NYC get the latest up-to-date information straight from the city.”

“As the holiday season continues, New Yorkers commuting or traveling this week should be aware of and prepared for potential travel delays and other impacts due to the forecasted severe weather from Sunday night into Monday morning,” the commissioner said NYCEM Zach Iscol. “We are coordinating closely with city authorities and public services to mitigate any disruption and respond quickly to any incidents. For New Yorkers near the coast, please be especially vigilant about potential coastal flooding. Please allow for longer travel times and consider using public transport. I encourage everyone to sign up for Notify NYC for real-time updates as we work to keep our city safe and informed during these festive but potentially challenging weather conditions.”

Light rain is expected to start on Sunday morning, becoming more likely in the early afternoon. Periods of light to heavy rainfall will continue Sunday night into Monday morning, leading to the potential for widespread minor flooding. Thunderstorms with heavier downpours and localized flash flooding cannot be ruled out. Heavy rain may cause prolonged traffic disruption, particularly during the Monday morning commute, and minor flooding of basements, first floor buildings and underground infrastructure. Heavy rain may coincide with high tide overnight and worsen coastal flooding conditions. Rainfall totals of 2 to 3 inches will be possible with locally higher amounts. Major rain floods are not expected.

It will be windy during the day tomorrow, but will pick up quickly in the hours before midnight and continue to increase overnight. The period of strongest winds is expected from early Monday morning until about mid-morning, with gusts of up to 60 miles per hour in Brooklyn and Queens, especially along the coast. Elsewhere, wind gusts of up to 50 mph are expected in the western and inner city. The strongest gusts may occur with thunderstorms and heavier downpours. Scattered fallen tree limbs and isolated instances of uprooted trees may cause power outages. Improperly secured items, including holiday decorations, can become damaged or fly away.

Coastal flooding is likely during high tide late tomorrow night into Monday, with higher water levels expected during the second high tide. Widespread minor flooding with one to two feet of inundation is likely late tomorrow night in New York Harbor and Jamaica Bay. The threat of widespread moderate coastal flooding with 2 to 2.5 feet of flooding increases for Monday afternoon’s high tide, with the highest water levels expected in southern Queens. Locally large floods cannot be ruled out. Flooding can result in road closures, flooded properties and flood-damaged vehicles. Peak low tide times on Monday will be between 12pm and 1am and again between 12pm and 1pm. In addition, large breaking waves along Atlantic-facing beaches can cause erosion and flooding.

New York City In response to the weather forecast, emergency management activated the city’s flash flood emergency plan and coordinated calls with the National Weather Service, partner agencies and infrastructure companies. New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) crews have been inspecting flood-prone areas to ensure catch basins and sewer infrastructure are functional, with additional workers scheduled for Sunday and Monday.

DEP is also prepared to manage stormwater with cleaned and inspected Bluebelts and monitor highway flooding. Tea New York City The Ministry of Transport stands ready to monitor road conditions at its Traffic Management Center and coordinate with sister agencies on flood conditions, while assisting in the cleaning of catch basins to prevent road flooding.

In addition, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) has 111 water rescue units equipped for various water rescues and 143 ladder companies with chainsaws for potential wind and tree events. FDNY Special Operations Command is ready with high-axle high water vehicles and other units equipped with chainsaws.

The New York City Department of Sanitation will be inspecting and manning hundreds of catch basins throughout the city, with equipment ready to assist in tree-related incidents, especially if the Downed Tree Taskforce is activated. Tea New York City The Department of Parks and Recreation is on standby to monitor the condition of the trees, ready to activate the Downed Tree Task Force if necessary. This effort across many city departments reflects a unified and proactive approach to ensuring safety and minimizing the impact of adverse weather conditions.

To access timely and accurate updates, New Yorkers should register with the city’s Emergency Alert System Inform NYC and follow NYC Emergency Management on social media.

Safety tips

  • Expect longer travel time. New Yorkers are encouraged to use public transportation.
  • If you must drive, drive slowly. Use main streets or highways whenever possible.
  • If you live in a basement apartment in a flood-prone area, prepare to move to higher ground.
  • Do not drive on flooded streets or enter flooded subway stations.
  • Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors, especially older adults and those with disabilities, access and functional needs, or medical conditions. Help them prepare if necessary.
  • Stay informed. Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through a variety of channels, including Notify NYC. Sign up for emergency notifications at gov/NotifyNYC or call 311. You can also follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

More safety tips can be found at NYC.gov/SevereWeather. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the city’s free emergency notification system, to stay informed of the latest weather updates and other emergencies. Notify NYC is available in 14 languages, including American Sign Language.

To learn more about the Notify NYC program or to sign up, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311 or download the free Notify NYC app for Android or Apple devices. You can now text 692-692 using the code NOTIFYNYC, NOTIFYNYCESP (Spanish) and NOTIFYFRE (French) to instantly sign up to receive top priority verified alerts in all five boroughs.

You can also follow @NotifyNYC or @nycemergencymgt on Twitter.

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