NEW YORK — Tropical storm watch has been issued in parts of the tri-state hours after Hermine touched down in Florida. Officials are urging residents to take the necessary precautions for when the storm arrives during the Labor Day weekend.
The National Weather Service issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Long Island, New York City, from Sandy Hook, New Jersey through Connecticut. Hermine weakened from a Category 1 hurricane to tropical storm status within hours on Friday. It's expected to move up the Eastern Seaboard with the potential to bring drenching rain and deadly flooding before stalling offshore near the tri-state area.
New York officials have already closed beaches Sunday and potentially may extend it to Labor Day. People can still visit the beach, but are urged not to step foot in the water.
Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference Friday warning residents to brace for the storm that may have a "real impact" on NYC through Wednesday. "Extremely dangerous" rip tides that have not been seen in a decade are possible.
Here's how residents can prepare for the tropical storm:
Con Edison is asking customers to stay away from downed power lines and report any incidents immediately. Be prepared for potential power outages and have flashlights and battery-operated radios handy. Don't forget an extra supply of batteries.
Customers can report downed wires, outages and check service restoration status on their website, http://www.conEd.com, or call 1-800-75-6633. You can also sign up for text alerts and download its app.
NYC Emergency Management:
Office of Emergency Management is asking residents to prepare for possibly flooding. Residents who live in flood-susceptible areas should check their insurance and keep materials — such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber — handy to help protect their home. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that New York State Emergency Operations center will be activated on Sunday at noon. There will be stockpiles of supplies available for deployment in Brentwood and JFK airport.
Check if there's any loose objects, such as garbage cans and lawn furniture, outside that needs to be anchored down or brought inside.
Charge your cellphones and other necessary appliances in case of a power outage.
Because power outages may also disrupt water and sewer services, OEM suggests turning your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting to keep food cooler for a longer period of time. Residents in high-rise buildings could lose water if the power goes out. OEM recommends filling the bathtub and other large containers with water.
If the power goes out, to avoid a fire hazard, you should never use candles or kerosene lamps as light sources. Instead keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries. In the event you have to evacuate your home, unplug appliances to avoid a power surge.
And, in case there is an emergency where residents must leave their homes, prepare a "Go Bag" and learn about the safest route to get to safety.
OEM outlines a "Go Bag" containing items that you'd take with you if you had to leave in a hurry.
- Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, birth certificates, deeds, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)
- Extra set of car and house keys
- Copies of credit/ATM cards
- Cash (in small bills)
- Bottled water and nonperishable food, such as energy or granola bars
- Flashlight (Note: Traditional flashlight bulbs have limited lifespans. Light Emitting Diode (LED) flashlights, however, are more durable and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs.)
- Battery-operated AM/FM radio
- Extra batteries/chargers
- A list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages. If you store extra medication in your Go Bag, be sure to refill it before it expires.
- First-aid kit
- Notepad and pen
- Contact and meeting place information for your household, and a small regional map
- Lightweight rain gear and Mylar blanket
The Red Cross:
Volunteers will be on alert and mobilizing resources. Along with making a kit, residents should have an emergency plan every household member should know about if something should occur. There should be a clear evacuation plan with a specified meeting place and route to follow. For more emergency planning, visit the Red Cross site.