Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday/Friday weather event # 3

Good afternoon

According to the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, the only stream in Ulster County now forecast to rise above "action" stage is the Lower Esopus. Even the Lower Esopus is now only supposed to rise slightly above "action" into the "minor" flood stage. These forecasts are a far departure from those issued yesterday. The Flood Watch continues through 8 AM Saturday morning.

The County EOC is operational with limited staffing. If assistance is needed, please call.


Thursday/Friday weather event #2

Good morning

The overnight model guidance produced by the Storm Prediction Center and the River Forecast Center have down played the extend of flooding. We are still under a flood watch, and following is a look at the specific streams of interest in Ulster County:
  • Lower Esopus - now forecast to remain in "action" stage, and not reach "minor" flood stage (a decrease of several feet from yesterday)
  • Rondout - now forecast to only reach "minor" flood stage (a slight decrease from yesterday)
  • Upper Esopus - still forecast to remain in "action" stage, and not reach "minor" flood stage
  • Wallkill River - forecast to peak just short of "moderate" flood stage (another slight decrease)
New model runs of the stream levels will be available by early afternoon. .
The Storm Prediction Center has decreased expected rainfall totals to the 2" range and put the heavier amounts off the coast.
Rainfall should be heaviest this afternoon into the evening, tapering off Friday morning.

Having said all of this, there is some heavy rain coming in the next 36 hours. Highway and emergency service organizations please report road closures and reopening. The EOC will be opening with Emergency Management staff, other agencies will be called in as conditions warrant. If you need assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us via phone 331-7000, or e-mail at

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thursday/Friday weather event #1

Good afternoon

Once again Ulster County is in the path of a significant rain event.
  • Over the course of the past week alone many areas of Ulster County have received in excess of 6" of rain. We are starting with very wet ground conditions.
  • We are in the 3-4" range for rainfall. Rain will being tomorrow morning.
  • Heaviest rain will be Thursday into Thursday night. Rainfall rates may approach 1" per hour.
  • All reservoirs are either full or already spilling. Note that this does not add to flooding, downstream residents simply don't receive the benefit of a void in the reservoirs that helps to mitigate downstream impacts.
  • The following are current forecasts for main stem streams:
Lower Esopus - projected to approach "moderate" flood stage
Rondout - projected for "minor" to "moderate" flood stage
Upper Esopus - projections are only showing "action" stage no flooding - I don't believe this
Wallkill - projected to go to "moderate" flood stage

  • We are already in a "flood watch" and there is a "moderate" risk of flash flooding - expect both of these to be upgraded.
  • Only minor winds are expected, gusts should not exceed 30 MPH
Please check our web site for storm and flood tips:

Ulster County will be opening our EOC at a time TBD tomorrow. I will send out an update around 8 AM tomorrow. If you need assistance, please don't hesitate to call.


Wawarsing acquisition project press release


Wawarsing, NY - The acquisition of homes damaged by the leaking New York City aqueduct continues in the Town of Wawarsing. Ulster County has stepped in to administer a Flood Buy-Out Program in Wawarsing to assist residents out of harm’s way when no others would administer the Program. To date, Ulster County has assisted 20 homeowners and appraisals, title searches and environmental reviews are in progress on 16 additional homes. The County will continue to administer this Program until it has exhausted all funding provided by both New York State through the Greater Catskills Flood Remediation Program and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Residents in the Wawarsing area will soon see additional work as the County complies with asbestos survey requirements on demolished houses. Ulster County Director of Emergency Management & Emergency Communications Art Snyder wants to assure residents that all appropriate precautions are being taken during this process. Although asbestos is harmful in a friable state, pre-demolition work performed on the homes eliminates this hazard. He stated, “In addition to the Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments done on each property, State and Federal regulations require asbestos surveys to be completed on homes slated for demolition. Ulster County puts the health and safety of our residents first and will perform the additional testing to conclusively eliminate any and all hazards.”

All waste removed from the demolition sites is being taken to a certified recycling facility owned by the County’s contractor. Any waste containing asbestos, or potentially containing asbestos, will be taken to an approved, lined landfill. Once the demolition is complete, properties are leveled and seeded, allowing for a return to their natural state. Amanda LaValle, Coordinator for the Ulster County Department of the Environment, indicated that once a site is remediated and the debris removed, there are no on-going health concerns associated with the property.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea # 2

Good afternoon

This is an update to yesterday's information:

Most areas of Ulster County received about 1/2" of rain during the overnight period (associated with the first storm system).

The effects of TS Andrea have been light to this point. Some areas of the County didn't see rain from this storm until late morning.

We are still forecast to receive an additional 2-4" of rain in the next 12-18 hours (higher amounts in southern Ulster).

At this point most streams have only seen minimal within-bank rises. This trend will continue and accelerate overnight as heavier rain moves into the area. The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service does not forecast any of the main Ulster County streams and rivers to reach flood stage. However, there is a flood watch in effect until 8PM Saturday night and prolonged periods of heavy rain in certain areas can lead to rapid rises. Greatest chances for flooding will be during the overnight period into Saturday. Flooding is our primary concern with this storm and this should be monitored closely.

Highest wind gusts are still only expected to be less than 30 MPH.

Please don't hesitate to call with any problems or questions.