Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today ordered state agencies to prepare for a winter storm that is forecasted to bring heavy rain, wet snow, and strong winds to parts of New York State this weekend, particularly from the lower Hudson Valley to the Capital Region. The Governor's Director of State Operations, Howard Glaser, held an emergency conference call this afternoon with heads of state agencies to coordinate storm planning efforts.
"With potentially severe weather approaching parts of New York, I urge everyone in areas likely to be hit by this early-season storm to be prepared," Governor Cuomo said. "Measures taken now, such as ensuring emergency supplies are on hand, listening to local weather alerts, and having an emergency plan, can save lives. I also encourage motorists to stay off the road during inclement weather."
At the Governor's direction, the State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and other state agencies have been working to coordinate the state's response to the approaching storm. State OEM will activate the State Emergency Operations Center at noon on Saturday and open its regional office in Dutchess County. State OEM is also working with the American Red Cross to identify shelter locations that could be available in areas affected by the recent flooding, particularly in Greene and Schoharie Counties. The State Health Department is notifying health facilities to ensure they are prepared for potentially severe weather.
Governor Cuomo has ordered state agencies and authorities to prepare for the possibility of power outages resulting from wet snow causing trees limbs to drop on power lines, and be ready for prompt power restoration. The State Public Service Commission is working with power companies on preparation efforts, including mobilizing crews, hiring contractors, and beginning mutual aid calls. The Governor has also directed the State Department of Transportation and State Police to prepare for the storm's potential impact on the state's highways and transportation systems. Motorists should plan ahead and take extra caution while traveling in areas affected by the storm.
The National Weather Service has forecasted this storm to produce heavy wet snow beginning Saturday in parts of the Hudson Valley, Catskills, Mohawk Valley and the Capital Region. Accumulation from six to twelve inches of snow is possible with amounts increasing in higher elevations. Winds are expected to be strong. The storm is currently forecasted to begin Saturday morning with rain in New York City, Long Island and in the lower Hudson Valley and to change over to snow later in the day across regions north of New York City.
New Yorkers with questions concerning road closures and the potential storm impact on transit or commuter rail should call 511 or visit www.511ny.org. 511 has information on New York State roads, the State Thruway, the MTA including the Metro-North railroad, Long Island railroad, New York City Transit, MTA bridges and tunnels, and New York and Long Island buses.