State of emergency exists in St. Lawrence and other nearby counties, Gov. Cuomo declares
Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 9:00 am

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in St. Lawrence County and other counties affected by flooding due to heavy rainfall combined with melting snow runoff.

Recent high temperatures in the North Country have accelerated the spring snowmelt runoff, and rain has exacerbated the effect of rising water from rivers and streams, inundating farm fields and covering roads in several spots in the county, mainy in ther Brasher and South Edwards areas.

The announcement of the declaration says the state provided 10,000 sandbags for the South Edwards Dam in St. Lawrence County.

The declaration also covers Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, Herkimer and Essex counties.

The governor also activated the State Emergency Operations Center “to provide support and deliver assets to communities experiencing flooding in the Mohawk Valley and the North Country,” the announcement said.

"While the floods are now receding in some areas, I urge New Yorkers in impacted counties to stay safe, heed the advice of their local emergency first responders and look out for their friends and neighbors,” he said.

Under a state of emergency, resources that are normally restricted to state use are mobilized to assist local governments, and laws and regulations that would otherwise impede their rapid response are suspended.

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer said, “Accelerated snow melt and significant snow pack coupled with the recent warm weather and heavy wind and rains resulted in moderate to significant flooding in the Upper Hudson and Mohawk River Basins of New York State. We are asking people to stay alert, listen to emergency instructions and cooperate with local officials if needed.”

The New York State Emergency Operations Center is staffed by representatives from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Department of Health, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Public Service Commission, State Police, Thruway Authority, Department of Transportation, Office of Developmental and Disability Services and by representatives for the American Red Cross and the National Weather Service.

As long as flood conditions exist, the announcement urged caution. It said when traveling:

• Make sure you have enough fuel for your car.

• Follow any recommended routes; do not sightsee.

• As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.

• 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.

• 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. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.

• If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.