New York state Gov. Kathy Hochul has issued a state of emergency for Long Island as the pouring rain has caused flooding in several areas, with Uniondale residents receiving a notification warning them of flash floods in their area as of 3 p.m.
“With a chance of heavy rain tonight and tomorrow across New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley, we’re keeping a close eye on potential flash flooding,” Hochul said in a news release. “I’m directing state agencies to prepare response assets and be ready to assist our partners at the local level if they need support. I encourage anyone expected to receive heavy rainfall over the next 48 hours to stay vigilant, keep a close eye on the forecast, and heed any emergency orders from officials if necessary.”
A flood watch is issued for the entire county into late Friday night. The New York National Weather Service, NWS, has forecasted 3-5 inches of rain with localized amounts greater than 5-7 inches. Rainfall rates may reach an inch to two inches per hour. With the ground already saturated from last weekend’s rain event, there is an increased threat of flash flooding across the area.
“We are now in a significant precipitation event here in Nassau County and throughout the metropolitan region,” said Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman this morning at a news conference. “There has been precipitation amounting to over three inches so far, that's a significant amount of rain — There is estimated to be anywhere between another inch and another three inches. If it's another inch of rain, it shouldn't be a big problem, but if it's three inches of rain, it is gonna cause additional flooding.”
The NWS NY’s twitter page noted to never drive through flooded roads and to “Turn Around Don’t Drown.” They also mentioned that 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry away an adult and 12 inches of fast-moving water can carry away a small car. To stay safe during this extreme rain event, the state recommends listening to alerts and setting up a way to get weather warnings on your phone.
“We want people to be patient, it may take you a little longer to get home today. Our streets are starting to pond and there is some flooding, especially in the low lying areas — “we want to caution people not to drive through a large pond of water in the roadway,” said County Executive Blakeman. “Use common sense, if you don't have to go out then don't go out. If you're driving and you see water ponding, make sure you do not drive your car through it because it can get stuck,”
Although the conditions outside are harsh, Blakeman assured residents that they have the situation under control, the necessary resources available from the state, and that there will not be an additional state of emergency issued at the county level. “I am not declaring a state of emergency at this time, it is not necessary — the governor's actions are enough.”
But residents, like Malik Leid, who live in a basement apartment are left figuring out how to navigate the storm and prevent damage to their home. “My apartment floods often when it rains, but the way it’s coming down right now is crazy,” said Leid. He explained that he has been clearing out the water in his apartment nearly every five minutes due to the massive amounts pouring in.
Both Hempstead and Uniondale have been highlighted for flash flood warnings. Other neighborhoods with such warnings include Freeport, Valley Stream, Long Beach, Glen Cove, Lynbrook, Woodmere, Rockaway and Oyster Bay.
For immediate assistance in an emergency situation, call 911. To contact the Nassau Non-Emergency Hotline, call 1-888-684-4274.