Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday declared a state of emergency across all 62 counties in New York ahead of the extreme winter storm that's brought heavy snowfall and high winds. The governor also directed nonessential state employees impacted by the winter storm to stay home from work on Tuesday without having to charge accruals.
As the state continues to deal with the storm, New Yorkers should exercise caution, avoid unnecessary travel and pay close attention to winter storm advisories as the day progresses.
Snow is covering upstate New York, where 12 to 24 inches of snow is anticipated in the Western New York, Finger Lakes, and Central New York regions over a 48-hour period. Areas south of Lake Ontario from Buffalo to Rochester will see periods of snowfall of 2 to 3 inches per hour during parts of the day Tuesday.
•Winter storm warnings are in effect for the Western New York region, Finger Lakes region, Central New York region, Mohawk Valley region, Southern Tier, and northern Capital Region through Wednesday night.
Department of Transportation
The New York State Department of Transportation has 3,847 operators and supervisors statewide and is ready to respond with 1,600 large plow/dump trucks, 200 medium plow/dump trucks, 324 loaders, 42 truck/loader mounted snowblowers, 61 tow plows, 20 graders and 15 pickup trucks with plows. The DOT also has more than 443,000 tons of road salt on hand. Upstate regions will be providing an additional 176 operators and supervisors, 12 storm managers, 30 truck, and 12 loader/snowblowers to serve Long Island and the Mid-Hudson region for the duration of this storm.
Motorists are reminded to check 511NY by calling 511, or visiting www.511ny.org before traveling. The free service allows users to check road conditions and transit information. Mobile users can download the free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. The app features "Drive mode," which provides audible alerts along a chosen route while a user is driving, warning them about incidents and construction. Users can set a destination prior to departing and receive information on up to three routes.
The New York State
Thruway Authority's winter weather preparations include a 24-hour staff
rotation for maintenance personnel, snow removal equipment ready for
deployment, and ample salt and fuel supplies to keep the roadways clear and
The Thruway Authority has more than 592 supervisors and operators ready to deploy 201 large snowplows, 110 medium snowplows and 54 loaders across the state with more than 114,800 tons of road salt on hand. Variable message signs, highway advisory radio and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the thruway.
The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to sign up for TRANSalert emails, which provide the latest traffic conditions along the thruway. Motorists can sign up for TRANSalerts by following this link: www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml. Thruway travelers can also get real-time updates by following @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter or by visiting www.thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York state roadways.
The New York State Police will deploy additional patrols for the duration of the storm, and all resources will be available as needed, including 4X4 vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. High-axle vehicles will also be ready for deployment to affected areas as needed.
New York National Guard
The New York National Guard Joint Operations Center is active and monitoring the situation with approximately 2,000 members deployed to specific regions of the state or on standby and available as needed. The New York National Guard has 350 members with 45 vehicles deployed in New York City; 255 members with 38 vehicles deployed in the Hudson Valley; 135 members with 57 vehicles deployed on Long Island; 100 members with 35 vehicles deployed in Capital District; 50 members with 22 vehicles deployed in Central New York; and 255 members with 69 vehicles deployed in Western New York. Additional personnel will staff Joint Task Force Headquarters in New York City, Mid-Hudson and Buffalo regions.
Department of Public Service
The Department of Public Service is in contact with utility senior executives to ensure that the utilities are prepared for inclement weather, and it will be closely monitoring utility storm-preparation efforts to ensure that utilities stand ready to minimize outages and speed outage restorations. Electric and gas utilities, as well as telecommunication service providers, such as Verizon, are prepared to bring on additional manpower to minimize service disruptions, if they occur. Utilities are prepared to respond 24 hours a day to power disruptions and are mandated to implement their emergency response plans, when needed, which includes contacting customers on life-support equipment and other critical customers.
The department's call center helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-342-3377. Department staff will monitor and report on storm impacts and utility restoration activities throughout the event and will be present in the field, as needed.
How to Contact Your Utility:
National Grid (upstate electric): 1-800-867-5222, or go to www.nationalgridus.com.
National Grid (upstate gas): 1-800-642-4272, or go to www.nationalgridus.com.
NYSEG (electric): 1-800-572-1131, or go to www.nyseg.com.
NYSEG (gas): 1-800-572-1121, or go to www.nyseg.com.
•All residents should have the following items available:
•Flashlight and extra batteries.
•Battery-powered portable radio or NOAA Weather Radio to receive emergency information.
•Seven to 10 days' supply of food. High-energy food, such as dried fruit or candy, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best. Also stock an emergency supply of bottled water. The recommended amount is one gallon per person per day for 7 to 10 days.
•A one-week supply of essential medicines and baby items.
•First aid kit and supplies.
•Extra blankets and sleeping bags.
•Fire extinguisher and smoke detector - test regularly to ensure they are working properly.
Safety on the Road
When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.
•If you must travel, make sure your car is stocked with survival gear such as blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra-warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag.
•Keep your gas tank full to prevent gasoline freeze-up.
•If you have a cell phone or two-way radio available for your use, keep the battery charged and keep it with you whenever traveling. If you should become stranded, you will be able to call for help, advising rescuers of your location.
•Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents.
•Before getting behind the wheel or your car, clear it of ice and snow. Good vision is a key to good driving.
•Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert. Remember, snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Moreover, always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.
Trapped in a Car
With blizzard conditions expected, here are some tips to follow:
•Stay in your car and wait for help to find you.
•Run your engine for short periods of time to stay warm. Keep your down-wind window open and make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow.
•Turn on the dome light at night when you are running the engine to signal rescuers.
•Hang a brightly colored piece of cloth or piece of clothing from your car.
•Exercise from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.