New York City

NYC: Prepare for Tropical Storm Hermine over Labor Day Weekend

Storm surge predicted, NYC beaches closed Sunday

September 2, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This map shows the predicted 5-day track of Tropical Storm Hermine. Courtesy of the National Weather Service
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As Tropical Storm Hermine heads north, New York City’s Emergency Management Department warns residents to get ready for possible flooding, high winds and rip currents.

On Friday, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the metro area and a Storm Surge Watch for coastal areas.

The NWS warned residents to prepare for up to two to four feet of inundation having possibly extensive impacts, including “large sections of near-shore escape routes and secondary roads washed out or severely flooded.” They also warned of severe beach erosion with dune loss, and “major damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks and piers, with many small craft broken away from moorings.”

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“The city has more than 30 agencies working together to prepare for the possible effects of Tropical Storm Hermine,” said Mayor de Blasio at a Friday morning news conference. “I urge New Yorkers to take the necessary steps to prepare themselves and their families for whatever this storm may bring. If you live in flood-prone areas, secure your properties. Prepare your Go Bags, charge your cell phone batteries, and don’t forget to check in on relatives, friends, and neighbors.”

He added, “So, I want everyone to understand from Saturday – second-half of Saturday all through Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday expect–  in coastal areas – flooding, heavy rain, strong winds.”

By Friday at noon, Hermine had reached southern Georgia and was forecast to move northeast, nearing the North Carolina coast early Saturday morning.

By early Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, the storm should be offshore of Virginia and will slowly track north toward Long Island before stalling and remaining offshore, perhaps through Wednesday morning.

“I don’t want anyone to take this one lightly,” de Blasio said.

He said he was especially concerned about coastal flooding. The storm is projected to stall and remain off shore as a very strong storm through Wednesday morning.

While there is uncertainty in the exact track, intensity and speed of the storm, NWS says it could cause strong, dangerous rip currents, high surf, coastal flooding, heavy rain and strong winds in the city.

Beaches will be closed for swimming on Sunday, Sept. 4, and bridge restrictions may be put into effect.

Because of the strong rip currents, stay out of the water, de Blasio said. “If you want to go look that’s one thing. Do not go in the water. It will be very dangerous. It will be unusually dangerous.”

The city’s Situation Room in Downtown Brooklyn has been activated, the mayor said.

High-risk neighborhoods named

Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito said on Friday that the Buildings Department has put a no-work order in place starting Saturday at 3 p.m.

“So, the cranes are secured in a position that will withstand winds of over 70 miles an hour,” he said.

Esposito named the city’s high-risk neighborhoods.

“Coastal areas that are at risk in Brooklyn – it’s Coney Island, Garrison Beach – no surprise there,” he told reporters. “Out in Queens, the Rockaways, parts of Raw Channel, Howard beach – again, these areas experience floods under normal conditions, so we would think under these conditions you might get a little extra. Staten Island – Midland Beach, Oakland Beach, the areas around Father Capodanno Boulevard. And it’s even possible that the Bronx, Throgs Neck and Edgewater could be experiencing some of these floods.”

The city’s Situation Room in Downtown Brooklyn has been activated, and NYC Emergency Management has coordinated daily interagency conference calls to facilitate preparations with city and state agencies and private partners.

The City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan has also been activated; the city’s Downed Tree Task Force has been placed on standby.

The city is urging people to bring loose, lightweight and dangerous objects (such as gas grills) inside before the storm hits. The city also warns people to be cautious when walking, as winds at high speeds can cause flying debris, turn unsecured objects into projectiles and cause power outages.

Residents are also advised to learn the safest route from their home or workplace to safe, high ground in case of evacuation.

Forecasters say the Jersey Shore may be hit with the highest storm surges and strong rip currents.


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