January 25, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies to Prepare Emergency Response Assets as Storm System Set to Impact New York with Snow and Mixed Precipitation

TOP Governor Cuomo Directs State Agencies to...

Some Areas in the North Country Could See Up to 8 Inches of Snow While Other Parts of the State Could Receive Up to 4 Inches of Snow Or a Mix of Sleet and Freezing Rain Through Wednesday Morning

Tuesday and Wednesday Commutes Throughout Most of State Could be Adversely Affected by Weather Conditions

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets in advance of a storm system forecast for Tuesday that is expected to produce up to 8 inches of snow in some areas of the North Country and up to 4 inches of snow or a mixture of sleet and freezing for several areas throughout the rest of the state. With the storm predicted to impact Tuesday and Wednesday commutes. New Yorkers should pay close attention to local weather forecasts and, if they need to travel, plan extra time to reach their destination safely.

"It appears that Mother Nature has another round of winter weather in store for most of the state, which is unsurprising, but the concern here is that this system has the potential to make commuting difficult on Tuesday and Wednesday," Governor Cuomo said. "State agencies are preparing emergency response assets and will assist any locality in need. On the individual level, I am urging all New Yorkers to be smart and know the weather before you head out on the roadways."

The storm system is expected to begin impacting the state starting Tuesday morning and lasting through Wednesday morning. Parts of the Adirondacks should see up to 8 inches of snow, the Catskills could see anywhere from 4 to 6 inches of snow, and most other areas, including New York City and Long Island, could see 2 to 4 inches of snow or a mixture of sleet and freezing rain. Temperatures across the state will range from mid 20s to low 30s during the daytime hours. During the overnight hours, some road surfaces may be slippery due to falling temperatures and depending on the type of precipitation.  Drivers should use extra caution when traveling during inclement weather.

For a complete listing of weather watches and warnings in your area, visit your area's National Weather Service website.

Agency Preparations

Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with 3,642 supervisors and operators. Statewide assets are as follows:

  • 1,622 large plow trucks
  • 177 medium duty trucks with plows
  • 313 large loaders
  • 11 pickups with trucks
  • 38 snowblowers
  • 52 tow plows
  • 31 tracked excavators
  • 42 wheeled excavators
  • 15 tree crew bucket trucks
  • 5 traffic signal trucks
  • 79 chippers, 10" (min) capacity

 

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 692 operators and supervisors ready to respond with 242 large snow plows, 100 medium snow plows, 10 tow plows and 61 loaders across the state with more than 122,000 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 encourages 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

 

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.  Response equipment is being fueled, tested and prepared for storm response use. Park visitors should check parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.

 

Department of Public Service

New York's utilities have approximately 5,500 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response and restoration efforts across New York State.  Department of Public Service staff will track the utilities' work throughout the storm event and will ensure the utilities shift the appropriate staffing to the regions anticipated to experience the greatest impact.

 

State Police

State Police are prepared to deploy additional Troopers as needed to affected areas.  All State Police specialized vehicles, including four-wheel drive vehicles and Utility Task Vehicles, are staged and ready for immediate response.  All Troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.

 

Safety Tips

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.
  • If you must travel, make sure your car is stocked with survival gear like 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.
  • If you have a cell phone or other communications device such as a 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.

 

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 m.p.h., 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 safety tips, visit the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/winter/.

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