As Tropical Storm Hermine heads up the East Coast after slamming Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was announcing plans to activate the state’s emergency response center.
Even though Hermine has been downgraded from a hurricane, forecasters are warning that its winds will churn up the ocean surf along the New Jersey shore, lower Westchester and Long Island, creating dangerous rip currents.
A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for Southern Westchester. A Tropical Storm Watch had been issued at 11 a.m. Friday for all of Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties. The watch does not include Hudson Valley counties farthest from the coast, including Dutchess.
Because the storm is expected to stall out just south of Long Island, it will hang around enough to cause localized flooding, forecasters are saying.
The region could be feeling Hermine’s affects as early as Sunday evening, Cuomo said.
The emergency response center will be activated at noon Sunday.
The National Guard has already been put on high alert and the state is readying high-axel vehicles and heavy equipment, as well as stockpiling resources such as sandbags, generators and pump, Cuomo said.
The governor said the state “will be taking all necessary precautions to support our local partners and keep our residents safe.”
No one really knows at this point how far west the storm will track, Cuomo warned, urging New Yorkers to stay prepared by checking local weather reports and “using NY Alert to follow the storm's progress throughout the weekend."
Friday morning, Hermine was over southwestern Georgia with sustained winds at 70 mph.
Agencies directed to report to the emergency center include: the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Emergency Management, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Thruway, State Police, Public Service Commission and the Division of Military and Naval Affairs.
The National Guard is prepared to deploy 100 soldiers and airmen and 45 multi-purpose vehicles, equipped with flotation devices, hand lights, tools, and blankets.
It also has front end loaders, dump trucks and smaller Bob Cats.
Bottled water, light towers, generators, ready-to-eat meals and 200,000 sandbags have been stockpiled.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.