‘Diverse weather threat’: NYS Homeland Security Commissioner outlines state’s severe weather preparations

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — There’s a tornado warning for Erie, Genesee, and Wyoming counties on Wednesday. There is also a tornado warning because of severe storms that could bring flooding, damaging winds, downpours, and lightning.

The New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is prepared for severe weather on Wednesday.

“We’re talking to all of our counties, all of our local officials, making sure that they have what they need to be prepared, providing any resources if they need anything,” said Jackie Bray, Commissioner of the NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

Bray said 4,000 members of road crews are ready in case they need to do debris removal or if there are road issues or washouts. There are also over 5,000 linemen and linewomen from utilities who are prepared to restore power if there is wind damage to power lines.

“It’s a pretty diverse weather threat across the state but in this area, in the Finger Lakes and the Monroe County area, we’re really looking at that tornado risk and that thunderstorm risk,” Bray said.

When it comes to resources, Bray said they are talking about people and equipment.

“Literally the people that we’re going to need to clear the road, open the roads, the people we’re going to need to get the electricity back on,” she said.

Equipment includes light and heavy equipment, swift water rescue caches or boats, chainsaws, light towers, and generators. These are all things that are available in state stockpiles and can be moved into place if needed.

“We’ve been talking to the counties since last night. The risk has been increasing almost every 4-6 hours,” Bray said.

The state is bracing for wind, rain, and possible tornadoes primarily south and east of Rochester, mostly into the Finger Lakes.

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