March 2, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Issues Travel Advisory for All Areas North of NYC due to Winter Storm

TOP Governor Cuomo Issues Travel Advisory for All...

Strong Winds, Heavy Snowfall and Limited Visibility Creating Hazardous Driving Conditions Statewide

 

Hundreds of Flights Cancelled Out of NYC Regional Airports

Ban on Tractor Trailers, Buses and Motorcycles on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge 

Department of Public Service Call Center Hours Extended Though March 3 - 1-800-342-3377

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued a Travel Advisory for all areas north of New York City requesting limited travel due to dangerous conditions on roadways from the winter storm impacting most of upstate New York. Currently a combination of strong winds and heavy snow have caused scattered power outages and the visibility on roads is extremely limited. 

Several winter storm warnings remain in effect statewide. Heavy, wet snow fell overnight and snow will continue into the evening hours tonight. Strong gusty winds will continue with sustained winds of 20 mph to 30 mph and gusts 40 mph to 50 mph possible. Snow will turn dryer and lighter and combined with strong winds, will cause dangerous conditions making driving extremely hazardous from blowing and drifting snow. Effective immediately, due to high winds, there is a ban on tractor trailers, buses and motorcycles on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

"With the threat of high winds and dangerous driving conditions through this evening, I have issued a travel advisory so plows, utility crews and first responders are able to do their jobs and keep New Yorkers safe," said Governor Cuomo.  "We continue to work to keep roads clear and if you do not have to travel today, I encourage you to stay off the roads."

The Department of Public Service has extended Call Center Helpline hours today beginning at 7:30 A.M until 7:30 P.M., and will continue from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Saturday, March 3, as needed, to assist consumers in their storm restoration efforts.  The Department of Public Service Call Center Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-342-3377.

All regional airports in New York City, LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark Liberty remain open as of this morning, with heavy delays and numerous cancellations. Out of LaGuardia, 550 flights out have been cancelled, out of JFK 290 flights have been cancelled and out of Newark 322 flights have been cancelled. All airports are subject to closings due to extreme weather. Travelers are urged to contact their carrier to determine flight status before arriving at the airport. 

New York's utilities have a total of 3,800 in-house workers and contractors standing ready to assist in storm restoration efforts. This total includes resources obtained through mutual assistance. Con Edison has 425 line and tree workers on hand, plus 15 additional contractors; Central Hudson has 300 line and tree workers on hand, plus 50 additional contractors; PSEG Long Island has 705 line and tree workers, including 300 FEMA contractors, along with 50 additional contractors; National Grid has 1,200 line and tree workers on hand, NYSEG and RG&E have 785 line and tree workers on hand, plus 50 additional contractors and O&R has 210 line and tree workers on hand.

Currently there are over 158,000 customers without power as winds and heavy, wet snow have downed limbs and power lines. Governor Cuomo urges residents to stay away from any lines that are down as they may be live, and offers the following safety tips:

Prepare for Power Outages

  • At home or at work, keep a battery-operated radio and flashlight on hand, as well as a supply of batteries. Keep an emergency supply of water, medications, and non-perishable foods handy. If you use medication that requires refrigeration, most can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem - check with your physician or pharmacist.
  • Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power. Charge cell phones and any battery-powered devices.
  • If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, consider filling plastic containers with water, leaving an inch of space inside each one - this will help keep food cold if the power goes out.
  • At home or at work, keep a battery-operated radio and flashlight on hand, as well as a supply of batteries. Keep an emergency supply of water, medications, and non-perishable foods handy. If you use medication that requires refrigeration, most can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem - check with your physician or pharmacist.
  • Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power. Charge cell phones and any battery-powered devices.
  • If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, consider filling plastic containers with water, leaving an inch of space inside each one - this will help keep food cold if the power goes out.

If You Lose Power

  • Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities, visit the New York State Department of Public Service Check to see if your neighbors have power. Check on people with access or functional needs.
  • Use only flashlights for emergency lighting - candles pose the risk of fire.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed - most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat - they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
  • In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors. Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.

Drive Safely

The leading cause of injuries and deaths during winter storms occur from automobile accidents.  If you must travel today, give yourself plenty of extra time, drive slow, and maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.  

Snowplows travel at about 35 miles per hour — which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit — in order to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. The safest place for motorists is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted.

Governor Cuomo offered the following safety tips for traveling:

Before driving:

  • Make sure your car is stocked with emergency items 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.
  • 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

As you drive:

  • Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.
  • Keep your vehicle clear of ice and snow - good vision is key to good driving.
  • Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars.
  • Remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children.
Translations
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Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office