NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City is preparing for a long night and lots of rain across the area as strong winds started to pick up.
Still reeling from the storms that tore through the area two weeks ago, the Office of Emergency Management is warning New Yorkers to brace themselves for another hit, 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reported.
“People should take extra care and report any dangling or damaged limbs to 3-1-1,” Commissioner Joseph Bruno said.
Esther Rofe, whose Flushing home was damaged by a huge fallen tree as a result of the latest tornado, was especially nervous.
“Mother Nature have mercy on us…it’s um. It’s been difficult,” Rofe told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Danny Dilorenzo is still cleaning up in his Middle Village backyard.
“It made quite a mess in 20 minutes. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that it’s not going to happen like that again,” Dilorenzo said.
The city is also warning all residents with balconies to tie down or bring in their patio furniture.
“The soil is waterlogged, the big trees are full of leaves, and you have sustained winds, and that can be a combination which will bring down otherwise healthy trees,” Parks Commissioner Adrien Benepe said, “I think that’s the thing we’re most worried about.”
“During the height of the storm, don’t go out and look at the storm. Stay indoors, stay safe,” Benepe said.
Construction sites have also been secured in case strong winds turn material or equipment into dangerous flying projectiles.
The city has cleaned up 14,000 tons of tree wood from the September 16th tornado that carved a swath across the city and now New York has activated its flash flood plan for this storm, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
OEM said they were preparing for the worst in all 5 boroughs.
“We don’t see that this would be an evacuation scenario. There will be flooding, localized flooding that should not be evacuation-necessary,” Bruno said. “We had sent out a notify to those particular areas that are in flood-prone zones, but we sent that out generally for people also, in the city, so that they understand the dangers of wind and rain of this level at a time when we’ve had a number of trees damaged.”
The Dept. of Environmental Protections has had dozens of crews since 4 a.m. Thursday inspecting and cleaning hundreds of catch basins across the city. They’re hoping the pre-storm clean-up will prevent the streets from flooding.
Benepe said the storm is that much more dangerous because the city is still in recovery mode.
“We’ve got the risk of sustained winds, we’ve got wet soil and we’ve got trees that are still in full leaf, ” Benepe said, “and that can be a dangerous combination.”
Benepe urged people to use caution during the storm.
“You see these people who go out and stand on the beach in a hurricane, going for a walk in park during a wind storm of 50 or 60 miles per hour — just doesn’t make sense,” Benepe said.