The state wants those living in places near streams and rivers to take precautions against flooding as this week the forecast calls for unseasonable warm temperatures and rain. Parts of the Mohawk River are being monitored.
The combination of warm temperatures, rainfall and snowmelt could lead to ice jam movement and minor flooding this afternoon into Thursday, noted Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. As temperatures increase, the threat for ice jam movement and possible ice jam flooding remains near clogging points by bridges, river bends, locks and other potential obstruction areas.
In Rome, temperatures could reach close to 60 today and the mid-60s Wednesday.
Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo said the city is not expecting flooding in Rome, but the situation is being monitored. “Our levels are not near that high,” she said this morning. But, she noted, “We’re monitoring the levels for the Mohawk River.” However, “We don’t anticipate any real problems.”
The city has some experience with flooding, usually when excessive summer rain has the Water and Sewer branch of the Department of Public Works on alert, Izzo said.
The areas that tend to flood earliest and most often in Rome are along Rome-New London Road in west Rome near the Erie Canal Village, the area around Staley Elementary School where the Mohawk flows past East Bloomfield Street and East Dominick Street near the bridge over the river in the 200 block.
The large ice jam along the Mohawk River is being closely monitored for movement. Also of concern to the state is Fish Creek in Oneida County. There are flood watches in effect for the North Country and parts of the Central New York regions. Communities near ice jams that are in place are urged to closely monitor future forecasts and heed instructions from emergency management officials and local law enforcement, the state noted.
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is prepared to respond to requests for assistance with assets from its stockpiles, including generators, light towers, pumps, sandbags, ready-to-eat meals, water, cots, blankets and pillows, flashlights and traffic barriers. Additionally, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control has identified potential swift water rescue launch sites in strategic areas along the Mohawk and Hudson rivers.
The Thruway Authority is prepared to respond to any flooding issues statewide with excavators, plow/dump trucks, large loaders and a number of portable video message boards, portable light towers, smaller generators, smaller pumps and equipment hauling trailers, as well as signage and other traffic control devices available for any detours or closures.
Canal Corp. staff have been coordinating closely with state and local emergency response entities to prepare canal assets for potential ice jam flooding. It has preemptively lowered Delta and Hinckley Reservoir water levels to provide additional storage capacity in anticipation of the forecasted runoff.
The state listed a number of flood preparation safety tips:
- 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 — including photo and video documentation — 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.
- Check on your insurance coverage. Homeowners’ insurance policies generally do not cover flood damages. Only flood insurance can protect your home against flood damages.
- For a list of complete list of weather terms and preparation ideas before during and after a flood, visit the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/flood/floodprepare.cfm.