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Governor declares state of emergency

Penn Yan, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in Yates County Wednesday following flood damage after storms.

Severe thunderstorms dumped about 5 inches of rain late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

One of the hardest hit areas is the village of Penn Yan, on the northern end of Keuka Lake 45 miles southeast of Rochester

Officials said several roads in Penn Yan, Milo and Benton were closed because of flooding. Buildings were damaged in Penn Yan and Branchport.

"Communities in Yates County as well as other areas of Western and Central New York were hit hard by severe thunderstorms and rain showers last night, leaving flooded roads, houses, and damage throughout the region. Given the extensive damage in Penn Yan and surrounding communities, I am declaring a State of Emergency for Yates County to help local governments receive the resources they need as soon as possible," Governor Cuomo said. "The State is in close contact with local officials, and has deployed emergency response and recovery teams to affected communities to assist where needed. With the forecast calling for additional thunderstorms and more potential flash flooding, the State will be monitoring the situation closely to see how we can assist local communities, and I urge New Yorkers to stay safe, heed the advice of their local emergency first responders and look out for their friends and neighbors."

Cuomo urged people in these areas to follow all safety recommendations from local officials and reminds New Yorkers to take the following actions:

* Monitor the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Weather Radio or your local radio and TV station broadcasts for information.

* If local officials advise evacuation, do so promptly.

* Bring outside possessions inside the house or tie them down securely. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other movable objects.

* If there is time, move essential items and furniture to upper floors in the house. Disconnect electrical appliances that cannot be moved. DO NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water.

* If you are told to shut off water, gas, or electrical services before leaving, do so.

* Secure your home: lock all doors and windows.

When traveling:
* Make sure you have enough fuel for your car.

* Follow recommended routes. DO NOT sightsee.

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

* Watch 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 two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.

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

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Washington Times