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Storms pummel area, governor reacts

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More than 1.5 inches of rain has fallen on the Bronx by dinnertime Sunday, and those rains — along with gusty winds — has forced the governor to take action.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo activated the state's emergeny operations center, and directed all state agencies to take precautionary measures and mobilize personnel in response to the storm. 

"As this storm rolls through New York this afternoon and through the night, state agencies are fully prepared to deploy resources as needed to regions impacted by heavy rain and flood conditions across the state," Cuomo said, in a release. "I urge everyone to take caution, avoid driving, and remain indoors if possible."

The storms, according to Cuomo's office, will move east and spread across the state. Rain could get as high as an inch per hour, with up to 4 inches total expected throughout the state and the possibility of up to 6 inches in some parts of New York.

As the system moves out Monday, strong and damaging westerly winds could impact a good portion of New York, with gusts reaching 50 to 70 mph. High wind, flood and flash warnings are in effect through Monday for most of the state.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is keeping a close eye on its infrastructure during the storm, with three debris trains pre-staged at yards and available through Monday at 6 p.m. The MTA also will have extra emergency dispatch vehicles deployed through Monday afternoon to allow for quicker response to adverse conditions.

Bus service could be disrupted if there is flooding. However, extra coverage is being provided through Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Railroad.

Tracks are being inspected along the Metro-North and LIRR, mostly to ensure there are not slippery rails. This can be caused by crushed leaf residue caused by high winds and rain. Diesel trains are being prepped just in case there is an electrical power failure.

Cuomo's office warned that bridges and tunnels could be closed if sustained winds exceed 60 mph. Pedestrians could be restricted from bridges if winds reach 40 mph. 

For those who need to travel during the storm, motorists should call 511 or visit 511NY.org to check road conditions and transit information.

Some flooding has been reported in the Kingsbridge area, primarily along Broadway. The governor's office offers these tips for flooding:

• Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.

• Make sure you have enough fuel for your car.

• Follow recommended routes. Do not sight-see.

• As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.

• Watch out for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.

• Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges and low areas.

• Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.

• Do not underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car. Water moving at 2 mph can sweep cars off a road or bridge.

• If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly aroud you, abandon the vehicle immediately.

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