Albany, NY (January 11, 2011)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today outlined state readiness for the impending snowstorm forecasted for large portions of New York.
The Governor directed the New York State Office of Emergency Management to activate the state’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and open the State Emergency Operations Center to ensure resources and equipment from relevant state agencies are positioned to clear roadways and respond to storm-related issues.
“With weather forecasts calling for a significant snow event across large portions of the state we have taken steps to mobilize and coordinate our response with the appropriate state agencies in order to ensure a safe and timely clean-up,” Governor Cuomo said. “I urge all drivers to use caution on our roadways and to be courteous and careful when in proximity to snow plows and salt trucks.”
The Governor’s Office has been coordinating response efforts with relevant agencies and authorities including: Department of Transportation, New York State Police, Thruway Authority, Public Service Commission, Long Island Power Authority, New York Power Authority, State Office of Emergency Management, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, and local highway departments.
Steps taken to ensure readiness include:View Storm Updates
• Activation of 196 DOT trucks on Long Island
• Activation of 224 DOT trucks in the Hudson Valley
• Activation of 176 DOT trucks in the Capital Region
• Thruway Authority has 89 trucks deployed between New York City and the Capital Region
• Application of road de-icer underway
• LIPA has 300 lineman, 16 first responders, and 100 additional contractors on stand-by for storm response
• All 3000 LIPA critical care customers have been contacted to warn of potential outages
• State Police have diverted additional 4-wheel drive vehicles to anticipated impact areas and increased patrols
Utility customers needing information from their service provider can contact the Public Service Commission at 1-800-342-3377. Staffing of the hotline has been increased to handle additional storm-related volume.
The New York State Department of Transportation urges caution when driving near snowplows, which travel at about 35 miles per hour in order to properly disperse salt other preparations to maintain the roads. Snowplow drivers have limited visibility, so motorists and pedestrians should never assume a snowplow driver can see them. The size and weight of snowplows make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Blowing snow from plows can severely reduce visibility. The safest place for motorists is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted. Motorists should not attempt to pass plows or follow too closely.
New Yorkers should prepare cars in advance for winter storms by securing emergency supplies including sand, shovel, flares, booster cables, rope, ice scraper, portable radio, flashlight, and extra warm clothes that can be left in the truck of the vehicle. If driving during a winter storm is a must, then motorists are urged to adjust their speed for road conditions, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and to schedule extra time travel. It should be noted that bridge surfaces freeze more quickly than road surfaces, and therefore are more slippery than road surfaces.
On occasion when winter storms cause power outages at intersections, lighting signals may fail to operate. Pursuant to Vehicle and Traffic Law, motorists are advised that at intersections where the traffic control signal is not working at all they should proceed as they would at a stop sign, unless otherwise directed by a police officer on site.
Motorists who need to check conditions can access winter weather travel updates at https://www.nysdot.gov/wta. Real-time travel reports can also be accessed by phone by dialing 511 or online at www.511ny.org.