December 16, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies to Pre-Deploy Resources in Advance of Tuesday Morning Storm

TOP Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies to Pre...

Accumulations Of Up To 6 Inches Forecast For Parts of The State 

 

Emergency Response Assets and Road Crews Are On Standby and Preparing

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed state agencies to prepare for a potentially hazardous Tuesday morning commute across much of Upstate New York as a storm will move in from the south and bring snow accumulations of up to six inches in some areas. 

 

"New Yorkers are no strangers to winter weather, but this storm has the potential to create difficult driving conditions, especially during the Tuesday morning commute," Governor Cuomo said. "I am advising New Yorkers to slow down, use extra caution while traveling and move over when you see a plow or state vehicle clearing the roads."

 

The National Weather Service is currently forecasting that the storm system will begin dropping snow in the early morning hours Tuesday along with a wintry mix across portions of the southeastern part of state, with the Southern Tier, Capital Region and Mid-Hudson Regions expected to be the hardest hit.

 

Jamestown is expected to get up to six inches of snow, Binghamton, Syracuse and Utica could see up to three inches, while Albany is expected to receive two to four inches on Tuesday. Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester could see additional but minor localized accumulations on Wednesday. New York City and surrounding areas will get rain, with precipitation amounts expected between a quarter and a half-inch.

 

Several counties are under a Winter Weather Advisory. For more information, visit the National Weather Service website.

 

Agency Preparations

 

Department of Transportation

The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with 3,578 supervisors and operators on hand.  Statewide resources are as follows:

 

  • 1597 large plow trucks
  • 183 medium duty plows
  • 52 tow plows
  • 329 large loaders
  • 39 snowblowers

 

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 686 operators and supervisors ready to deploy 238 Large Snow Plows, 105 Medium Snow Plows, 11 Tow Plows and 62 Loaders across the state with more than 115,000 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 is also encouraging motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway here

 

Division of State Police

The New York State Police has instructed Troopers to closely monitor conditions in the affected areas. All four-wheel drive vehicles are in-service and all specialty vehicles, including snowmobiles and utility vehicles, are staged and ready for deployment.

 

Department of Environmental Conservation

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

 

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Park visitors should check parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.

 

Safety Tips

The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow; good vision is key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert and remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.

 

It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.

 

Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted.

 

Some of the most important tips for safe driving include:

 

  • When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.
  • Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads.
  • Wet leaves on roadways can cause slippery conditions, making it important to drive at slower speeds when approaching patches of them.
  • Make sure your car is stocked with 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.
  • While driving, keep vehicles clear of ice and snow.
  • Plan stops and keep distance between cars.  Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.
  • It's important to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways.  Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.   
  • Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly.  Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions.  Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely.  The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted.

 

For more winter weather safety information, please visit the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info

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