March 2, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Issues Update on Statewide Winter Storm

TOP Governor Cuomo Issues Update on Statewide...

Strong Winds and Snow Expected to Continue Through this Evening

Tractor Trailers, Buses, and High Profile Vehicles Restricted from the Governor Mario M. Cuomo, Throgs Neck, Whitestone and Verrazano Bridges, as well as I-88 Between Binghamton and Thruway

Travel Advisories Remain in Place for All Regions North of New York City

Significant Flight Cancellations and Delays at JFK and LaGuardia

More than 323,000 New Yorkers without Power

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued an update on the winter storm currently impacting New York. Heavy and wet snow, combined with strong gusty winds have caused more than 323,000 power outages statewide. Additionally, roads continue to be slippery and visibility is poor from blowing and drifting snow, making driving very dangerous. Tractor trailers, buses, and high profile vehicles have been restricted from the Governor Mario M. Cuomo, Throgs Neck, Whitestone and Verrazano Bridges, as well as I-88 between Binghamton and the New York State Thruway. Travel advisories remain in place for all regions north of New York City.

 

"I urge anyone who does not have to drive to remain home and let the plows and first responders do their jobs quickly," Governor Cuomo said. "We are continuing to coordinate resources and personnel to respond as quickly and effectively as possible."

 

Currently, winter weather warnings, are active in many portions of the state and a Blizzard Warning is in place for Delaware, Otsego, and Sullivan Counties until 1:00 a.m. Saturday where winds are gusting as high as 50 mph which is causing whiteout conditions because of blowing snow. Snow is expected to continue through this evening and will dissipate from the western portions of the state to the east. Coastal storm warnings and high wind warnings are also in place in New York City and the Long Island Regions.

 

Travel Restrictions

At the Governor's direction, the Thruway Authority has issued a ban on all high profile vehicles on the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. This restriction includes all tractor trailers, buses, box trucks and other high profile vehicles. State Police will be stopping traffic on the New York State Thruway (I-87) southbound at exit 15; I-87 northbound at exit 8; I-287 northbound out of New Jersey into New York toward the bridge; and, I-287 westbound to I-87 southbound in Westchester County to divert high profile vehicles from traveling over the bridge. Passenger vehicles will be allowed to continue over the bridge after the traffic stop. A similar ban is in place on the Throgs Neck, Whitestone, and Verrazano Bridges, as well as I-88 between Binghamton and the New York State Thruway.

 

Motorists are reminded that State Law mandates that if an intersection is "blacked out" and the traffic signal is not operational, the intersection is automatically a "four way" stop. In the event of closed or blocked roadways due to flooding, downed power lines or debris, motorists are advised to exercise caution and obey all traffic signs or barricades in place, regardless of whether a roadway looks clear.

 

Flight Cancellations and Delays

LaGuardia and JFK airports remain open, with heavy delays and numerous cancellations. As of 4:00 p.m. out of LaGuardia, nearly 700 flights out have been cancelled and out of JFK 365 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.

 

Railroads

MTA crews are currently deployed throughout the region working to address weather-related issues and to provide a safe evening commute. Delays and potential service disruptions are anticipated on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro North due to high winds. Additional staff are on hand to clear fallen trees, repair crossing gates, and deal with other problems as they arise.

 

Metro-North will operate a reduced weekday schedule on all lines starting at 10 PM tonight (Friday, March 2) with some combined and cancelled trains due to the impact of the winter storm and high winds. Customers should anticipate possible delays throughout the PM rush/evening and plan their trip accordingly to reach their destination by midnight. Please exercise caution getting to/ from stations and on platforms and listen to station announcements. Metro-North expects to operate regular weekend service on Saturday, March 3.

 

New York City Transit has strategically positioned personnel and additional staff to respond to fallen trees and monitor flood-prone locations. The Department of Subways is responding to downed trees across above-ground portions of the system in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn. Staten Island Railway is also experiencing service disruptions due to downed trees.

 

For the most updated service information go to mta.info.

 

Power Outages

Currently, there are more than 323,000 customers without power as winds and heavy, wet snow have downed limbs and power lines. Below is a breakdown of outages by county:

 

Outages

Albany

6,204

Allegany

8,401

Bronx

5,787

Broome

4,592

Cattaraugus

12,094

Cayuga

191

Chautauqua

3,263

Chemung

1,658

Chenango

1,046

Columbia

9,312

Cortland

374

Delaware

5,756

Dutchess

27,899

Erie

3,523

Fulton

2,593

Greene

15,525

Herkimer

2,492

Kings

172

Livingston

2,020

Madison

2,591

Monroe

3,993

Montgomery

3,064

Nassau

24,350

Oneida

6,500

Onondaga

3,119

Ontario

449

Orange

4,486

Oswego

698

Otsego

787

Putnam

16,951

Queens

5,371

Rensselaer

1,787

Richmond

420

Rockland

14,982

Saratoga

387

Schenectady

127

Schoharie

1,075

Schuyler

2,336

Seneca

426

Steuben

7,620

Suffolk

8,293

Sullivan

24,047

Tioga

1,435

Tompkins

1,431

Ulster

28,733

Washington

374

Wayne

618

Westchester

42,274

Yates

2,055

 

 

New York's utilities have a total of 3,910 in-house workers and contractors working on 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 110 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 100 additional contractors and O&R has 210 line and tree workers on hand. 

 

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.

 

 

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Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office