New York Region Is Under High Wind Warning as Forecasters Warn of Flooding

A major coastal storm will bring excessive rain and damaging winds to New York City and the surrounding area from late Tuesday until midday Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. The strongest winds were expected from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m., with gusts of up to 70 m.p.h. were along the coast. A citywide flood watch was in effect until noon Wednesday, and widespread power outages were expected

  • Rain began moving into the New York City in the early afternoon.

  • As winds increased, residents were urged to secure outdoor items or move them indoors.

  • Downed trees and limbs were expected to obstruct roads in and around the city as the storm continued.

The storm will not bring snow to New York City, where temperatures are expected to remain above freezing. And most areas that received snow a few days ago will see it melt as this warmer, more potent storm moves through.

The type of weather pattern at play here has historically produced flooding and flash flooding concerns in the region, forecasters with the Weather Prediction Center wrote Tuesday morning. Rain falling on the lingering snow from last weekend’s winter storm would exacerbate the risk of flood concerns in those same areas. Any areas downstream within river basins are also at risk of flooding.

Local authorities were getting ready. In New York, the State Department of Transportation banned empty trucks and trailers from certain routes because of wind. New York City was sending teams to clear out clogged drains, and officials urged residents to do the same. Power companies were staging crews to respond to power outages after the storm hits.

“The risk is significant,” Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York said in a statement, warning people to prepare for flooding.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said a state of emergency would be in effect from 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“This storm will exacerbate the effects of the inclement conditions we experienced in December and this past weekend,” he said.

Governor Hochul suggested that people who live in flood-prone areas — “and much of our state is in flood zones,” she added — have a go bag prepared with items in case they need to be evacuated.

Rain had moved into the New York region by afternoon and was continuing to spread across the entire metro area by the early evening amid what the National Weather Service labeled a “high-impact event.” Temperatures remained relatively warm, and the winds grew ever gustier as darkness began to fall.

A high wind warning was in effect for all of New York City, as well as Long Island and coastal Connecticut, with the citywide warning in place from 6 p.m. Tuesday until noon Wednesday. (Such warnings are issued for potential winds of 40 m.p.h. or faster that last at least one hour, or if the wind will gust to at least 58 m.p.h.)

Coastal areas were expected to feel gusts of up to 70 m.p.h., and forecasters warned people to avoid being outside. These damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines, potentially causing widespread power outages and blocking traffic.

Excessive rain was likely to create scattered areas of flash flooding, especially Tuesday evening. Widespread, moderate-to-major river flooding is also a threat overnight and into Wednesday morning. Coastal flooding for much of Long Island and the southeast Connecticut coast is also likely with the Wednesday morning high tide.

The storm system is expected to move northeast of the New York region on Wednesday, with a few showers during the day and then dry conditions later on. The gusty winds will continue Wednesday but slowly subside toward the end of the week when the next storm system arrives.

That storm, beginning Friday and lasting into Saturday, is expected to be similar, with wet and extremely windy conditions. After it passes, the colder weather will return, with a chance of a more winterlike storm early next week, though it’s too early to know many details about that storm.

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