Persistent heavy rains from the aftermath of Tropical Storm Lee has left 25,000 customers in New York without power, according to information release from the governor's office.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued a statement on Thursday noting that 21,600 of those customers are in NYSEG's Binghamton Division where flooding has become a major problem.
There are five substations out at this time for safety reasons serving approximately 7,500 electric distribution customers in the Binghamton area, the release stated. That area got more than 10 inches of rain on Wednesday and many of the rivers and creeks there are expected to reach historic levels.
The flooding is reportedly nearing levels not seen since Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The Susquehanna River was at 29.07 feet (8.86 meters) at 6 a.m. EDT Thursday and is expected to rise to 39.6 feet (12.07 meters) by Friday morning.
On Thursday Cuomo directed state emergency resources to the Southern Tier and surrounding counties. He also requested emergency and major disaster declarations from the federal government, in response to the severe flash flooding and major flood conditions that have developed in portions of the Southern Tier, Southern Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Capital Region, Central New York and Southwestern Regions of the State, and many areas previously affected by Hurricane Irene.
With the recent heavy rains and severe flash flooding, we are on the verge of a crisis and federal assistance is urgently needed to help protect New Yorkers, Cuomo said. I have directed state resources to areas that are currently experiencing widespread flooding to assist with emergency procedures.
Within the last 24 hours, New York experienced another round of severe weather rivaling - and may even exceed - the devastation seen in previous flooding events, including the floods of 2006, according to Cuomo's release.
Communities in eastern and central New York, from the southern Adirondacks to the Pennsylvania border, that were struggling to clean up and rebuild after Irene, are facing another onslaught of devastation.
Since yesterday, Tropical Storm Lee has produced in excess of 10 inches of rain in some places. This amount of rainfall coupled with the rains dumped on New York State last week from Hurricane Irene, is causing major havoc in many places across the state on Thursday.
The following is a summary of state resources responding to the flooding:
-- Senior state mangers and members of Governor Cuomo's Cabinet have been deployed to Binghamton in a command team, including Adjutant General Patrick Murphy, Director of State Office of Emergency Management Andrew X. Feeney, Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald, President and CEO of Environmental Facilities Corporation Matthew Driscoll, and Superintendent of State Police Joseph D'Amico.
-- The State Office of Emergency Management has deployed staff to the following locations: the Town of Conklin, and the Counties of Greene, Broome, and Schoharie. OEM is also deploying sand bagging equipment to the area.
-- The New York National Guard has directed more than 350 troops and 44 vehicles towards flooded areas in the Southern Tier and troops are involved engaged in variety of assignments including water rescues and large scale evacuations of residents.
-- 130 Soldiers with 33 high-axle trucks and humvees from Western New York's 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry are currently on the ground in Binghamton.
-- Additional troops from the 204th Engineer Battalion and the 101st Signal Battalion, are heading to Binghamton to assist in evacuation operations and recovery at the direction of local emergency officials.
New York Army and Air National Guard helicopters are also responding to the flooding:
-- Two New York Air National Guard HH-60 Pavehawk Search and Rescue helicopters based at Gabreski Air National Guard Base at Westhampton Beach on Long Island, have been moved to Binghamton to conduct operations if necessary.
-- In Rochester two New York Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawks, equipped with hoists for medical evacuation, are on site to assist in operations.
-- A CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter and crew have been deployed to Binghamton from Rochester. Flight crews in Albany are prepared to send a UH-60 Blackhawk to Binghamton to assist in operations there.
-- The State radio communications vehicle has been deployed to the Broome County EOC to augment communications capabilities for state and local response agencies.
-- The Office of Fire Prevention and Control has assigned multiple fire protection specialists and 2 Swift Water Rescue Teams to Brome County. 12 Storm Emergency Fire Units (SEFUs) and NY Task Force 2 (Urban Search and Rescue Team) are mobilizing to operate in the area as well.
-- 10 shelters have been established and are being supported by 2 State/ARC shelter management teams.
-- NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has deployed multiple staff to the area and mobilized 3 swift water rescue boats and personnel in the Town of Conklin.
-- The Division of State Police (DSP) has approximately 600 personnel operating in the impacted area. DSP is deploying 4 aircraft and flight crews to the Broome County airport and have mobilized 2 airboats each with 3-person scuba teams.
-- The Office of Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation is deploying a swift water rescue boat with a crew of 4.
-- OEM is requisitioning an 18-person Incident Management Team; assistance to provide shelter to 300 animals; 8 tractor trailers of bottled water and 4 trailers of food.