NEW YORK - After a week of criticism following last week’s torrential rains and flooding, the Adams administration is not taking any chances ahead of this weekend's expected storms.
"This briefing is to let New Yorkers know that we are preparing for periods of potentially heavy rain," said Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright at an Emergency Management briefing Friday afternoon.
"Our agencies… are already on the ground clearing catch basins, particularly in areas we know flood regularly," said OEM Commissioner Zachary Iscol.
Even the mayor himself is raising awareness, commenting in a virtual briefing from his Latin America trip while in Ecuador Friday.
"We are expecting periods of potentially heavy rain late tonight into early tomorrow," he said.
The city’s Notify NYC Twitter account putting out word of the flash flood watch for New York City Saturday morning from 2 AM until 8 PM, and Wright said New Yorkers "should expect 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain or more city-wide, with potential for 3-4 inches in some areas."
Even though this weekend's forecast calls for less rain than last Friday, City Hall is undoubtedly doing more communicating.
The administration has been heavily criticized for what some say was the Mayor's lack of response. Intense rain had been forecast last Thursday. By Friday morning, subways were paralyzed and neighborhoods had flooded, but the first briefing from the mayor was Friday at noon.
Responding to criticism that same day, Adams told WINS radio that someone would have had to be "living under a rock" to not know a storm was coming.
Public advocate Jumaane Williams has been one such critic.
"The point that I am narrowly focused on is communication," he said on Good Day New York. "Whether its people just finding out the orange skies are going to be there when the sky is already orange, or once the rain is already here and then we do a press conference."
Adams was similarly criticized for his lack of communication prior to the wildfire smoke in June.
OEM Commissioner Zachary Iscol responded, telling God Day New York: "We do a lot to notify the public."
"We can always do more," he added.