Press Release

For Immediate Release


Flash Flood Watch in effect for New York City from 2 a.m. through 2 p.m. Saturday

April 19, 2019 — The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a travel advisory for Saturday, April 20. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for New York City in effect from 2 a.m. through 2 p.m. Saturday. A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.

According to the latest National Weather Service forecast, heavy rain will move into the area late Friday evening, and will continue through Saturday afternoon. The heaviest period of rain is forecast between 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturday. The rain will taper off early Saturday afternoon, though a lingering shower is possible. A slight chance of thunderstorms cannot be ruled out overnight. A total of one inch of rainfall is in the forecast, with locally higher amounts possible. Gusty winds are also expected through Friday evening, with sustained winds 20 mph to 25 mph, and gusts up to 35 mph.

The National Weather Service has also issued a Coastal Flood Statement for Friday evening’s high tide cycle for vulnerable areas near the waterfront and shorelines along Brooklyn and southern Queens.  A Coastal Flood Statement indicates that brief minor flooding is possible in the above areas.

New Yorkers should prepare for slippery road conditions, exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking, and consider taking public transportation whenever possible.

NYC Emergency Management works closely with National Weather Service to monitor the weather. The department has activated the City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan to ensure a quick, effective, and coordinated preparation and response to any flash flood events. Flash flooding can occur with little or no warning due to the large number of paved surfaces across the city. These surfaces do not allow rainwater to absorb into the ground, consequently overwhelming storm drains, causing localized flooding.

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. These actions include pre-inspecting and clearing catch basins in vulnerable locations throughout the city. New Yorkers are encouraged to report clogged catch basins and areas of standing water to 3-1-1.

The Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued a weather advisory to remind property owners, contractors, and crane operators to take precautionary measures and secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment during high winds and gusts Friday afternoon through Saturday. The department will perform random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the city. If sites are not secured, the department will take immediate enforcement action — issuing violations and Stop Work Orders, where necessary. For more safety information, visit here.

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.
  • Prepare a Go Bag — a collection of things you would want if you have to leave in a hurry — for every member of your household, including pets.
  • Avoid driving, walking, or biking 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 vehicle while you are in it, stay inside, call 911 immediately, and wait for emergency personnel.
  • 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.
  • If your power goes out, disconnect or turn off appliances that would otherwise turn on automatically when service is restored.  If several appliances start up at once, the electric circuits may overload.
  • Make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios or televisions are working. Keep extra batteries.
  • If you lose power & have a disability, access and functional needs or use Life Sustaining Equipment (LSE) & need immediate assistance, dial 911.
  • Do not use generators indoors.

For more information, visit New Yorkers are also encouraged to download the free Notify NYC mobile application, which is available from iTunes or Google Play. Notify NYC is the City’s free emergency notification system that allows New Yorkers to also receive phone calls, text messages, and/or email alerts about weather conditions and other emergencies. To learn more about the Notify NYC program or to sign up, visit or call 311. You can also follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT:    Omar Bourne (718) 422-4888

:     Twitter:      @NotifyNYC (emergency notifications); @nycemergencymgt (emergency preparedness info) Facebook:    /NYCemergencymanagement