ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Governor Kathy Hochul issued an alert on Thursday urging New Yorkers to prepare for strong thunderstorms, including severe weather in the forecast for the North Country.

According to the Governor’s Office, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has placed much of the State at an Enhanced Risk for severe thunderstorms. This means that there is a high chance these storms will include damaging winds, hail up to and possibly exceeding one inch and heavy rain.

Rainfall amounts of up to an inch are also possible in the North Country, Central New York, Finger Lakes and Mohawk Valley regions. These areas may also face power outages and downed trees.

“Scattered storms are expected and tornadoes are possible throughout the State today and we will continue to keep a close eye on the forecast for the rest of the day,” Governor Hochul said in a press release. “I strongly urge anyone in the path of these storms to follow your local weather forecast for impacts throughout the afternoon and evening.”

In the event of flash flooding, residents are urged to never drive on flooded roads. If water begins to rise rapidly, abandon the vehicle immediately.

For lightning, follow the 30-30 rule, meaning that if the time between when you see a flash of lightning and hear thunder is 30 seconds or less, the lightning is close enough to hit you.

Predicted strong and severe storms are expected to move across New York State beginning Thursday afternoon and continuing through Thursday evening.

Below are additional tips on how to prepare for severe weather:

Preparedness

  • Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby cities
  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground
  • Develop and practice a ‘family escape’ plan and identify a meeting place
  • Make an itemized list of all valuables
  • Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water
  • Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.
  • Have a plan for pets
  • Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries, and emergency cooking equipment available.
  • Keep your vehicle fueled or charged