Heavy rains and gusty winds could limit visibility and create difficult travel conditions through Friday

July 8, 2021 — New York City Emergency Management is issuing a travel advisory for Friday. According to the National Weather Service, there is the potential for heavy rainfall and gusty winds that may reduce visibility and create hazardous travel due to Tropical Storm Elsa. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for NYC from midnight to 12 p.m. Friday, July 9. The heaviest rain is expected to begin around 2 a.m. and continue through mid-morning Friday, with a total of 2 to 3 inches expected. Gusty winds are also in the forecast with sustained winds 20 to 30 mph and gusts up to 50 mph along the immediate coastline. A few strong to severe thunderstorms are possible this afternoon prior to Elsa’s arrival and again tomorrow afternoon after Elsa has passed. The National Weather Service has also issued a high rip current statement for Brooklyn and southern Queens through this evening. A high-risk level means life-threatening rip currents are likely for all people entering the surf zone. Anyone visiting beaches should stay out of the surf.

“New York City Emergency Management is in contact with the National Weather Service to prepare for the potential impacts from the heavy rain due to Tropical Storm Elsa,” NYC Emergency Management Commissioner John Scrivani said. “The tropical storm has the potential to cause flooding, high winds, and damaged property as it moves over the City. New Yorkers must take time to prepare and take the appropriate precautions if they must move about the city during the storm.”

The New York City Emergency Management Department is prepared for the effects of Tropical Storm Elsa, and will monitor the storm and rapidly respond to any potential impacts throughout the city. The City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan is activated to help mitigate potential flash flooding and ensure a quick, effective, and coordinated response to any flash flood events that do occur. NYC Emergency Management works closely with NYPD, FDNY, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to mitigate the impact of flash floods. New Yorkers are encouraged to report clogged catch basins and areas of standing water to 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115).

NYC Emergency Management has taken the following steps to prepare for the storm:

  • NYC Emergency Management is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the storm’s track to determine any potential impact to New York City.
  • NYC Emergency Management has activated the City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan.
  • NYC Emergency Management has placed the City’s Downed Tree Taskforce on alert. This multi-agency task force is responsible for coordinating the response to a large downed tree event.
  • NYC Emergency Management is hosting daily interagency conference calls with City and State agencies and public and private partners to coordinate the City’s preparation for the storm.
  • NYC Emergency Management is undertaking extensive outreach to elected officials and community partners.
  • NYC Emergency Management is issuing Advance Warning System (AWS) messages to service providers to encourage their clients to prepare for the incoming weather. The AWS message is disseminated to more than 1,400 local nonprofits and organizations that work with people with disabilities and access and functional needs. 

     Safety Tips

  • If you live in a flood-prone area, keep materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber on hand to help protect your home.
  • If you have a disability or access or functional need, make sure your plan addresses how your needs may affect your ability to evacuate, shelter in place, or communicate with emergency workers. Arrange help from family, friends, or service providers if you will need assistance.
  • When outside, avoid walking and driving through flooded areas. As few as six inches of moving water can knock a person over. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. One or two feet of water can carry away a vehicle.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. Be mindful that tree limbs, leaves, or water can cover downed wires from view. Always stay away from downed power lines because they could be live.
  • Report downed wires immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you are in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel. 

Power Outages

  • To prepare for a possible power outage, charge cell phone batteries, gather supplies, and turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.
  • Make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios or televisions are working. Keep extra batteries.
  • If you lose power and have a disability, access and functional needs or use Life Sustaining Equipment (LSE) and need immediate assistance, dial 911.
  • Do not use generators indoors.
  • Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors, especially older adults and people with disabilities, access and functional needs, or health conditions. Help them to prepare if needed.

Prepare For Strong Winds

Strong winds can bring down trees and power lines and can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. To protect against the hazard of strong winds, New Yorkers should:

  • Check the area immediately surrounding your home for unsecured objects or potentially dangerous conditions. Tree limbs, garbage cans, yard debris, or other materials that can be moved by the wind are potential projectiles aimed at your home or parked vehicle.
  • Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys.
  • Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tank.
  • Close up and secure patio furniture.
  • Secure retractable awnings.
  • Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.

Stay Informed

Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels including Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about traffic and transit disruptions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

July 08, 2021