February 12, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Reminds New Yorkers to Prepare for Dangerous Travel and Local Power Outages as Winter Storm Tracks Further South

Governor Hochul Reminds New Yorkers to Prepare for Dangerous Travel and Local Power Outages as Winter Storm Tracks Further South

Mid-Hudson Region Including Catskills Could See Up to 18 Inches of Snow Starting Tonight and Continuing Through Tuesday Night

Parts of New York City and Long Island Could See Up to Eight Inches of Snow and Wind Gusts Up to 40 MPH Especially Along Coastline

Snowfall Rates Up to Two Inches Per Hour and High Wind Gusts Expected to Lead to Dangerous or Impossible Driving Conditions Through Tuesday

Storm Could Cause Local Power Outages, Road Closures and Other Weather-Related Disruptions and Impacts

Empty and Tandem Tractor Trailer Ban to be Implemented on I-84 from Connecticut State Line to Pennsylvania State Line Beginning at 12 a.m.

New Yorkers Can Subscribe for Emergency Alerts Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today continued to urge New Yorkers to prepare for a winter storm system poised to dump more than a foot of snow in the Mid-Hudson Region and cause dangerous travel conditions throughout downstate during the Tuesday morning commute. Starting overnight tonight and continuing through Tuesday evening, a widespread 8-12 inches of snow is forecasted for the Mid-Hudson region, including the Catskills, with local snow amounts up to 18 inches. New York City and portions of Long Island are forecast to receive up to eight inches of snow. Snowfall rates could reach up to two inches per hour at times and wind gusts could reach 25-40 mph through the duration of the storm, mainly off the south shores of Long Island. The combination of wind and snowfall rates will lead to reduced visibility for those in all impacted areas, especially during the Tuesday morning commute. Beginning at 12 a.m., a ban on empty and tandem tractor trailers will be implemented on I-84 from Connecticut state line to the Pennsylvania state line. Dangerous or impossible driving conditions are expected at times and New Yorkers should expect and prepare for other impacts such as localized power outages, road closures, and other potential disruptions to travel throughout the duration of this storm.

“Even though we’re coming out of a few days of record high temperatures, this storm is a stark reminder that winter is still alive and well,” Governor Hochul said. “This storm will bring plenty of hazards with it from heavy snow piling up fast to wind, which will bring low visibility and some power outages. Please heed warnings from your local media outlets, as my team will continue to monitor the storm until it’s long gone.”

Beginning Monday, rain is expected to begin falling over the New York City, Long Island, and Mid-Hudson regions, then rapidly change to snowfall as temperatures decrease to the upper-20s. Snow will begin during the overnight hours into Tuesday morning and through the day Tuesday. Snowfall rates could reach up to two inches per hour at times, continuing through early Tuesday afternoon and into the evening hours as snow tapers off. Snow will be wet and heavy for most parts of New York City and Long Island, but less heavy and wet for those in the Mid-Hudson region.

Several Winter Storm Warnings and Watches have already been issued in advance of the storm. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts by subscribing to NY Alert at alert.ny.gov, a free service providing critical emergency information to your cell phone or computer. For a complete listing of weather alerts and forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website at alerts.weather.gov.

Agency Activities

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division‘s Office of Emergency Management is in contact with local counterparts and is prepared to facilitate requests for assistance. State stockpiles are staffed and ready to deploy emergency response assets and supplies as needed.

New York State Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation is monitoring weather conditions and prepared to respond with 3,760 supervisors and operators available statewide. All field staff are available to fully engage and respond. All residencies in impacted locations will remain staffed for 24/7 operations with operators, supervisors, and mechanics throughout the duration of the event and priority cleanup operations.

Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 1,546 large plow trucks
  • 339 large loaders
  • 150 medium duty plows
  • 51 tow plows
  • 36 snow blowers
  • 20 graders

To further support regional operations in the Mid-Hudson Region and on Long Island, the Department will be deploying an additional 15 plow trucks and 27 staff members as follows:

  • Mid-Hudson
    • Receiving 5 operators, 4 equipment operators, and 5 plow trucks from the Mohawk Valley
  • Long Island (DOT Region 10)
    • Receiving 5 operators, 1 supervisor, and 5 plow trucks Central NY
    • Receiving 2 equipment operator instructors Western NY
    • Receiving 4 equipment operator instructors North Country
    • Receiving 5 operators, 1 supervisor, and 5 plow trucks Southern Tier

The need for additional resources will be re-evaluated as conditions warrant throughout the event.

Tow services will be provided in the following locations: I-81 (Broome), I-88 (Broome), NY 17 (Broome), I-86 (Broome), I-84 (Putnam), I-84 (Orange), and I-684 (Putnam). The need for additional tows will be evaluated as the event develops.

For real-time travel information, motorists should call 511 or visit www.511ny.org, New York State's official traffic and travel information source.
Thruway Authority

Thruway Authority maintenance facilities will be staffed around the clock and ready to respond with 696 plow operators and supervisors statewide. The Thruway Authority is deploying staff and equipment from its Buffalo and Syracuse Maintenance Divisions to support snow and ice operations in the Mid-Hudson Valley region. Deployed resources include large plow trucks and plow operators. Additional resources are on standby and ready to shift as needed.

  • 363 large and medium duty plow trucks
  • 11 tow plows
  • 65 loaders
  • More than 124,000 tons of salt on hand

Beginning at 12 a.m., a ban on all tandem trailers and empty trucks and trailers will go into effect on the New York State Thruway on the following highways until further notice:

  • I-87 between exit 24 (Albany - Montreal - I-90 East - I-87 North) and the New York City Line - Major Deegan Expressway (I-87)
  • Berkshire Connector from the Thruway (I-87) mainline to the Massachusetts State Line (I-90)
  • New England Thruway (I-95) from the Bruckner Expressway (I-95) to the Connecticut State Line
  • Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287) from the Thruway (I-87) to the New England Thruway (I-95)

Variable Message Signs 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 information, live traffic cameras, and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails and follow @ThruwayTraffic on X for the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway.

Department of Public Service

Utility companies regulated by the Department of Public Service have approximately 6,400 workers available statewide to engage in response, repair and restoration efforts for the latest forecasted winter weather event. This includes: 390 external contract workers secured by NYSEG for their eastern Southern Tier and Mid-Hudson service territories; 270 external contract workers secured by Con Edison for their Bronx/Westchester operating division; and 207 external contract workers secured by Orange & Rockland.

The utilities, forecasted to be impacted by the winter weather event, have activated their emergency response plans (ERPs), including their Incident Command Structures to track response, damage assessment, repair and restoration efforts throughout the event.

The potentially impacted utilities are also communicating with local municipal officials throughout their service territories to inform them of their preparedness efforts and provide updated liaison contact information.

DPS staff will track utilities' work throughout the event and ensure utility companies shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact. If your service is interrupted, visit the DPS Utility Service Interruptions website for tips.

New York State Police
State Police is monitoring weather conditions and will deploy additional Troopers to impacted areas as needed. All State Police four-wheel drive and specialized vehicles, including snowmobiles, airboats, and utility terrain vehicles are staged, and necessary equipment is ready for immediate response as needed. All emergency power and communications equipment have been tested and are functioning appropriately.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Emergency Management staff, Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and weather forecasts. DEC is coordinating resource deployment with agency partners and moving all available assets to targeted areas in preparation for potential impacts due to heavy snow.

In addition, DEC reminds outdoor enthusiasts and backcountry users to be mindful of conditions when hiking and to use caution when venturing onto ice. Always check ice thickness before traveling across it. A minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is the general rule for safety. Winter hiking and skiing safety and preparedness are extremely important no matter your physical ability or destination. Properly preparing for winter conditions is essential for a more enjoyable and safer experience. During and immediately following periods of heavy snowfall, avoid open, exposed areas like bare summits and use extreme caution when traveling on or near open slopes.

DEC reminds those responsible for the removal and disposal of snow to follow best management practices to help prevent flooding and reduce the potential for pollutants like salt, sand, oils, trash, and other debris in snow from affecting water quality. Disposal of snow in local creeks and streams can create ice dams which may cause flooding in nearby areas. Public and private snow removal operators should be aware of these safety issues during and after winter storms. Additional information is available online here.

New York State 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 visit parks.ny.gov, check the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Officials are monitoring conditions and will strategically pre-position personnel and equipment to be able to respond to weather conditions as necessary.

New York City Transit will be watching the storm closely and activating storm desks as appropriate to have personnel in place. Workers will pre-salt and sand surfaces. Equipment and personnel will be in place to rapidly respond to snow and ice conditions, and to keep signals, switches and the third rail clear. Crews will also be on standby to remove any downed trees that fall across the tracks and other weather-related conditions.

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad crews will have equipment on hand to be able to respond quickly as conditions warrant, including chainsaws for clearing downed trees, pumps in the event of flooded areas, identifying locations and availability of supplies for replacing damaged utility poles and crossing gates. Diesel locomotives will also be pre-positioned to minimize any potential service impacts.

For latest updates on service across the MTA transportation network, visit the MTA website and various apps including MyMTA and Train Time as well as social media channels.

Port Authority
The Port Authority monitors weather conditions across all its facilities. In the event of severe weather conditions, the agency issues regular travel alerts and updates as needed. For the latest information about Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up for PA alerts or download one of the PA mobile apps, including RidePATH, which provides real-time updates and alerts for PATH service.

Safety Tips

Winter Weather

  • Service snow removal equipment. Use rock salt to melt ice on walkways, and sand to generate traction.
  • Winterize your home and have heating sources inspected annually.
  • If you use heating oil, maintain an adequate supply.
  • Have safe, emergency heating equipment available and use according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install and check smoke alarms.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing.

Traveling in Winter Weather
Some of the most important tips for safe driving include:

  • Do not drive unless necessary.
  • 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 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. Never attempt to pass a snowplow while it’s operating.

Power Outages

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Plan to have an alternative cooking source, such as a camp stove or outdoor grill. Follow appropriate safety rules for its use outside the residence.
  • Consider buying a generator and follow the rules for using it outside the residence. Before installing a generator, be sure to properly disconnect from your utility electrical service. If possible, have your generator installed by a qualified electrician.
  • Have extra blankets, coats, hats, and gloves on hand to keep warm.
  • If you have a computer, back up files and operating systems regularly. Turn off all computers, monitors, and other devices when they are not being used.
  • If you have an electric garage door opener, locate the manual release level, and learn how to operate.
  • If you have a telephone instrument or system that requires electricity to work, plan for alternate communication such as a standard tele-phone handset, cellular telephone or radio.

What to Do If the Power Goes Out

  • Turn off or disconnect major appliances and other equipment, e.g., computers, in case of a momentary power surge that can damage these devices. Keep one light turned on so you know when power returns. Consider using surge protectors wherever you use electronic equipment.
  • Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. Check with your utility to determine area repair schedules.
  • Check to see if neighbors and those with access or functional needs have power.
  • 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 (4) 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.
  • 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.
  • Close off rooms you do not need.

To Report an Electric Outage, Call:

  • Central Hudson: 800-527-2714
  • Con Edison: 800-752-6633
  • National Grid: 800-867-5222
  • NYSEG: 800-572-1131
  • O&R: 877-434-4100
  • PSEG-LI: 800-490-0075
  • RG&E: 800-743-1701

Heating Safety

  • Use only safe sources of alternative heat such as a fireplace, small well-vented wood or coal stove or portable space heaters.
  • When using alternative heat sources such as a fireplace, woodstove, etc. always make sure you have proper ventilation. Always follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Keep curtains, towels, and potholders away from hot surfaces.
  • Have a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors and make sure they work.
  • If you use kerosene heaters to supplement your regular heating fuel, or as an emergency source of heat, follow these safety tips:
  • Follow the manufacturers' instructions.
  • Use only the correct fuel for your unit.
  • Refuel outdoors only and only when the unit is cool.
  • Keep the heater at least three feet away from furniture and other flammable objects.
  • When using the heater, use fire safeguards and ventilate properly.

For more winter safety tips, visit dhses.ny.gov/safety. For all non-emergency service needs in New York State before, during or after a storm, call 211 or visit 211nys.org.

About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, follow @NYSDHSES on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter) or visit dhses.ny.gov.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640


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