Mayor declares State of Emergency in NYC in response to Henri

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Sunday, August 22, 2021

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a State of Emergency in NYC in response to Henri.

A state of emergency ensures resources which are assigned for State use only are provided to local governments to help protect citizens and infrastructure. It also suspends regulations which would impede a rapid and effective response during an emergency or disaster.

"We have done that because we are preparing for tough impacts and we need to be ready, we need to be able to access everything, every tool that we might need in this situation, the state, obviously has done the same for a number of areas around the state.," de Blasio said

The surge of moisture that came in ahead of Tropical Storm Henri Saturday led to record-breaking rainfall for the area that set off dangerous flooding in some spots.

According to the National Weather Service, New York City recorded its wettest day since 2014 as 4.45 inches of rain fell in Central Park.

New Flash Flood Warnings were issued for Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan on Sunday afternoon after Henri made landfall.

RELATED | Tropical Storm Henri: Rainfall totals in New York City Tri-State area

Meteorologist has the latest rainfall totals from around the Tri-State.

Five Boro Bike Tour postponed

The Mayor's Office determined that it will postpone the TD Five Boro Bike Tour due to severe weather from Tropical Storm Henri. The decision was made with an abundance of caution for the 20,000 riders and Bike New York staff and volunteers.

Working with city officials, Bike New York has secured a new Tour date of Sunday, August 29.

Those who are planning on coming to Packet Pickup Saturday are welcome to pick up their rider bibs and plates.

NYC Emergency Management issues warning

According to the National Weather Service, there is the potential for very heavy rainfall and damaging winds that may flood roadways and reduce visibility to create hazardous travel conditions through the weekend. Storm impacts are forecast to begin late Saturday, before intensifying throughout Sunday into the afternoon.

Residual impacts including showers with breezy winds will still be possible into Monday.

The combination of strong winds, dangerous storm surge and the tide may cause normally dry areas to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline within the next 48 hours.

New Yorkers should plan for difficult travel conditions and are advised to exercise caution and consider taking public transportation if they must travel. Those who can stay home during the storm are advised to stay indoors. Heavy rains may lead to potential flooding in low-lying areas throughout the city. If you are traveling, avoid flooded areas, turn on headlights, drive slowly, and exercise caution. Consider avoiding or delaying travel until flooding and heavy rain stop. Due to the hazardous travel conditions, people should allow extra travel time.

Beaches closed

The National Weather Service predicts a dangerous rip current threat with possible ocean swells of between 2 - 4 ft., which will affect all Atlantic Ocean beaches.

"We are serious about protecting all parkgoers. Out of caution for the dangerous conditions that are predicted, we have decided to close all City beaches to swimming," said NYC Parks Acting Commissioner Margaret Nelson. "While surfing will still be allowed, lifeguards will not be on duty, and we strongly urge all New Yorkers not to risk their lives by ignoring this directive."

Parks lifeguards and enforcement staff will be posted along the coastline to enforce the swimming ban.

Closure signage will be posted at entryways of all beaches. New Yorkers are advised to adhere to all signage and instructions for their own safety, and to call 311 for updates on beach closures.

In addition to the beach closure, NYC Parks recommends New Yorkers exercise caution as the expected high winds can impact street and park trees.

How mass transit is preparing for Tropical Storm Henri

The MTA is taking precautions to protect its transportation network and deliver safe service during Henri.

The projected path of Hurricane Henri shows the most significant potential impacts will be to the New Haven Line on Metro-North. This area is particularly vulnerable to high winds due to trees and overhead power wires.

New York City Transit says a detailed plan is in place for subways and buses should dangerous conditions arise.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels is also preparing for any extreme weather that may come our way, including high winds, which pose particular concern on bridges.

Tips from NYC EM for power outages

-To prepare for a possible power outage, charge cell phone batteries, gather supplies, and turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.

-Make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios or televisions are working. Keep extra batteries.

-If you lose power and have a disability, access and functional needs or use life-sustaining equipment (LSE) and need immediate assistance, dial 911.

-Do not use generators indoors.

-Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors, especially older adults and people with disabilities, access and functional needs, or health conditions. Help them to prepare if needed.

Tips from NYC EM for strong winds

Strong winds can bring down trees and power lines and can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. To protect against the hazard of strong winds, New Yorkers should:

-Check the area immediately surrounding your home for unsecured objects or potentially dangerous conditions. Tree limbs, garbage cans, yard debris, or other materials that can be moved by the wind are potential projectiles aimed at your home or parked vehicle.

-Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys.

-Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.

-Close up and secure patio furniture.

-Secure retractable awnings.

-Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.


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