August 19, 2021
GOVERNOR CUOMO DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN STEUBEN COUNTY AS STATE AGENCIES RESPOND TO TROPICAL STORM FRED
Widespread Flash Flooding in Steuben County Results in Multiple Water Rescues and Evacuations; County Remains Under Local State of Emergency
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today declared a state of emergency in Steuben County as state agencies continue to respond to Tropical Storm Fred. Widespread flash flooding occurred in the evening and overnight hours in parts of Steuben County on Wednesday, resulting in several water rescues and evacuations. A 17-person Swift Water Rescue crew including Department of Environmental Conservation, State Police and Office of Fire Prevention and Control personnel was deployed and responded to multiple flooded homes in six different municipalities. Steuben County is estimating more than 120 homes were damaged by floodwaters. All DOT maintenance personnel are currently on duty statewide and responding to incidents of flooding as necessary. Shelter supplies such as cots, pillows, blankets, food water and generators were staged at the Woodhull Fire Department to assist with evacuations. Steuben County remains under a local State of Emergency prohibiting travel in the Towns of West Union, Woodhull, Troupsburg, Tuscarora, Greenwood, Canisteo, Hornellsville, and Jasper.
“We’re declaring a state of emergency in Steuben County as State agencies and all available resources remain on the ground responding to the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred, and we continue to assist local partners helping communities recover in affected areas,” Governor Cuomo said. “While this system has begun moving out of the state, our work is not over and all New Yorkers should know that state resources remain available to any locality in need of support.”
During the overnight hours, Swiftwater rescue teams from the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control assisted eight people from homes in the Town of Addison overnight, where the southern portion of the village was evacuated due to high floodwaters along Tuscarora Creek. This morning, residents who were evacuated were allowed to return to their homes, though many local and state roads remain closed, including portions of State Routes 417, 36 and 248. The Office of Fire Prevention and Control also responded to a Norfolk Southern train derailment overnight, though no injuries were reported.
American Red Cross Shelters are open and receiving evacuees at the Canisteo Volunteer Fire Department and Corning High School, where the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provided resources for approximately 60 residents. Additional resources are being deployed to Steuben County to assist those who have been displaced by the overnight flooding. The State Department of Transportation is currently performing damage assessment along 10 state highways that were closed due to flooding and providing assessment teams to local highway departments, as needed.
For more information, visit the National Weather Service website here.
Flash Flooding Safety Tips
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, and water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
Follow recommended routes. DO NOT ignore emergency detours to view flooded areas.
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.
As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
For more flash flooding safety tips, please visit the DHSES website here.