© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bracing for Hurricane punch in NYS & WNY

Photo from National Weather Service Website

As Hurricane Sandy heads steers toward New York, forecasters in the Buffalo Niagara region are continue to track the massive storm as it approaches the coastal regions.  The storm is expected to have an impact on the Great Lakes.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a high wind warning for all of Western New York from 5 p.m. Monday through 2 p.m. Tuesday.  Winds are expected to range from 30 to 45 miles per hour with gust of 55 to 65 miles an hour.  The highest winds are expected along the Lake shore line and higher terrain areas.

The National Weather Service says the forceful winds and very wet grounds could cause some tree to topple, bringing down power lines and blocking roadways.  Forecaster say trees in this region are anchored against the prevailing west wind, so strong winds from the north will produce more wind damage than normal for these wind speeds.   

A flood watch is also posted for all of Western New York from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.

Heavy rain will continue to push through the region from remnants of Hurricane Sandy.

A gale warning is also posted from 6 p.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Tuesday for the upper Niagara River and Buffalo Harbor and lower Niagara River.   In some areas of the lakes waves could range from 16 to 22 feet.

The brunt of the hurricane is expected downstate along the coast line in New York and New Jersey.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already closed the city school system for Monday.  That followed the Governor’s closing of the transit system in New York City as the massive storm approaches.

The following news released was issued by the Governor's office on storm preparations: 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the New York Army and Air National Guard to mobilize in response to Hurricane Sandy, and as a result, the Guard will deploy up to 1,175 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen. Troops are reporting to duty at their assignments starting today.

“Last year, the New York Army and Air National Guard played a significant role in our State’s immediate response to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee,” Governor Cuomo said. “They will provide vital assistance to various regions of the State, and it is essential that they are positioned to be ready to serve wherever they are called. These troops, along with critical equipment, vehicles and aircraft, are ready to answer at a moment’s notice.”

The Soldiers will be available to aid local authorities in responding to storm damage in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Southern Tier. The New York National Guard has stocks of equipment set aside specifically for storms and is also prepared to deploy aircraft and satellite communications systems as needed. The following vehicles, aircraft and equipment are also available:

· The New York National Guard has more than 900 high axle trucks and Humvees which can negotiate flooded areas, as well as long-distance transportation assets and engineering equipment which can be used as necessary.
· The New York Army National Guard has 11 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, two UH-72 Lakota light utility helicopters equipped with night vision equipment, and one CH-47 heavy lift helicopter available to respond.
· The New York Air National Guard has C-130 cargo aircraft ready to fly if required.

Today, 200 New York Army National Guard Soldiers will go on duty in New York City, operating from the Lexington Avenue Armory in Manhattan and the Jamaica Armory in Queens. In addition, the headquarters for Joint Task Force Sandy, which includes assets from both the Army and Air Force and other services, will stand up at Camp Smith Training Site north of Peekskill.

Troops are also being deployed starting today to Long Island to respond to the storm. The New York Army National Guard will mobilize 50 Soldiers from Latham and 15 Soldiers from Auburn, who are assigned to the 102nd Military Police Battalion in Auburn, to the Farmingdale Armed Forces Reserve Center to act as a response force in Suffolk County. Also today, the New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing will have 50 Airmen on duty at the Gabreski Air National Guard Base to handle missions on eastern Long Island and provide National Guard liaison officers to work with emergency management officials in Suffolk and Nassau counties. By 6 p.m. on Monday, a total of 250 Soldiers will be assigned to the Center in Farmingdale and 150 Airmen assigned at the Gabreski Air National Guard Base.

Another 200 Soldiers, mainly from the New York Army National Guard's 204th Engineer Battalion will go on duty Monday at armories in Binghamton, Walton, and Horseheads to respond to incidents in the Southern Tier. The 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse will provide 50 Airmen who will also be in place Monday evening.

Statewide, another 150 Soldiers and Airmen, who will not be armed, will be mobilized to provide command and control and logistical support to the troops assisting state and local agencies.

If necessary, more troops can be called upon to respond to the storm. The New York Army and Air National Guard have a combined strength of 16,000 members. About 2,300 Army and Air National Guardsmen are currently deployed overseas. In addition, the State can also call on members of the New York Naval Militia. The 2,200-member force operates a fleet of patrol boats and can provide troops who are also members of the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve. The 750-member New York Guard, the state's volunteer defense force, can provide volunteers to augment the New York National Guard when needed.

In August and September 2011, more than 4,400 members of the New York Army and Air National Guard responded when Tropical Storms Irene and Lee caused devastating flooding in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and Southern Tier.

The following information was issued by New York State Electric & Gas:

>> Stay far away from downed power lines – even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly.

>> Stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If a basement or home is in danger of flooding, customers should contact their utilities to turn off electricity and/or natural gas service.

>> Emergency generators can be dangerous. Carefully read, understand and follow manufacturer’s instructions when operating an emergency generator. Never run emergency generators indoors; operate them only outdoors in well-ventilated areas, away from windows and doors, and never in a garage.

>> For electricity emergencies and to report power interruptions:

NYSEG - 1.800.572.1131

RG&E - 1.800.743.1701

>> For natural gas emergencies and to report suspected natural gas odors:

NYSEG - 1.800.572.1121

RG&E - 1.800.743.1702

In Buffalo, the Mayor's office also issued important reminders to city residents in the event of major storm damage:

The city of Buffalo and the Department of Public Works are reminding residents to be prepared as Hurricane Sandy could affect our area over the next few days.

Right now forecasters are predicting heavy rains, high winds and possible power outages.

You are reminded:

To make sure flash lights are working.  If you have a street receiver(sewer)in front of your house or business, if you can safely keep it clear of leaves with a rake or shovel, that will help reduce possible street flooding issues.

For houses in flood prone areas near a creek or stream, move everything off basement floors as a precaution, also make sure your sump pump is in good working order.  

Also any down power line should be treated as "live" and you should let the proper authorities handle the situation.

Tune in to WBFO for storm information.