The latest information concerning Tropical Storm Irene, as of 2 PM EDT, has the center of the storm located roughly about 20 miles south of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The storm continues to track to the north-northeast at about 26 MPH, which should put the center of circulation into Eastern Canada by early evening.
Current radar trends are showing the southern edge of the precipitation shield, that drenched the Capital Region with excessive rainfall, was about to move to the north of Albany. Rainfall should begin to slacken off in coverage and intensity, from south to north, through the remainder of the afternoon hours. Winds will remain quite gusty though. Northerly to northeasterly winds of 20 to 40 MPH with higher gusts to near 60 MPH will persist into the evening hours as the storm pulls away.
Be very mindful that although rainfall is beginning to lessen, the threat of flooding remains very high! Additional flooding will likely occur as runoff from the heavy rains drains into river basins and small streams creating faster flows, and residual higher water levels. Just because the rain may be ending, does not mean that flash flooding cannot occur.
Flash floods are the deadliest of all floods, and can occur with little or no advance warning. In the event of rising water, move to higher ground at once! Motorists should not drive into areas where water covers the road! Those camping should avoid small streams, creeks, and low lying flood prone areas as these areas can become havens for fast moving flash flood waters in a matter of seconds!
Several flood warnings for both general flooding and flash flooding are in effect for the region. For a detailed list of these warnings, refer to the National Weather Service at Albany, NY’s website at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/aly/.
Please be aware of the following events that are ongoing as result of damage incurred from the rains and winds generated by Irene…
- Residents along the River front in Troy are advised to evacuate to higher ground due to flooding.
- New York State Thruway remains closed due to flooding between exits 24 and 12.
- Several flood warnings are in effect for the Schoharie Creek and the Gilboa Dam. The dam is still in tact as of this writing, but water is overflowing the top of the dam.
- States of emergency have been declared in Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer, and Saratoga Counties due to flooding and downed trees and power lines.
- Several reports of trees down, and power outages across the entire Capital Region. According to the wgy.com website, approximately 370 thousand people are without power across New York.
- Travel is strongly discouraged this afternoon and overnight tonight so as to allow emergency management and local law enforcement officials time to assess and clean up debris from the day’s events.
Please remain cautious through the evening hours and overnight tonight. Remember that flooding is most difficult to detect at night due to cover of darkness. Stay tuned for the latest information and statements from local authorities, and heed the advice of local law enforcement and emergency management officials during this time.