February 10, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Heavy Snow and Potentially Dangerous Travel Conditions Early in the Week

Governor Hochul Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Heavy Snow and Potentially Dangerous Travel Conditions Early in the Week

Widespread 4-8 Inches of Snow Expected in Capital, Mid-Hudson, and Southern Tier Regions

Parts of Lower Mid-Hudson Could Receive Up to 12 Inches of Snow

New York City and Long Island to Receive 1-3 Inches of Snow or Wintry Mix

Travel Conditions May Be Hazardous, Especially During Tuesday Morning Commute

Localized Power Outages Are Possible

New Yorkers Can Subscribe for Emergency Alerts Here

Governor Hochul today urged New Yorkers to prepare for a storm system that could bring heavy snow, gusty winds and locally moderate coastal flood impacts beginning late Monday night and continuing through the Tuesday morning commute, which will likely cause potentially dangerous driving conditions. Parts of the Mid-Hudson Region could see up to 6-8 inches of snow, with parts of the lower Mid-Hudson expected to receive up to 12 inches of snow, and areas in the Capital and Southern Tier regions potentially receiving 4-6 inches of snow. The New York City and Long Island regions could see up to 1-3 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 40 mph, as well as localized coastal flooding conditions, especially during high tides Monday night and Tuesday. Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to pay attention to the weather forecast for their area and be aware of changing conditions and impacts as the forecast is updated over the weekend, including potentially hazardous travel and potential power outages.

“As New Yorkers are preparing to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday, we are tracking a developing storm that will impact a substantial area of New York into the early part of the week,” Governor Hochul said. “I have directed State agencies to mobilize in preparation for this storm and urge everyone to watch for weather and travel updates as it develops.”

For the Capital, Mid-Hudson, Southern Tier, New York City and Long Island regions, precipitation is forecast to start as rain for some and then turn to snow by late Monday night with the heaviest snowfall on early Tuesday morning. Snowfall rates could reach up to one inch per hour at times. Slippery, hazardous travel is likely for the Tuesday morning commute in impacted areas. Snow is forecast to continue through Tuesday evening and wind gusts up 40 mph along the coast will start early Tuesday morning and continue into the afternoon.

Winter Storm Watches have been issued for parts of the State in advance of the storm and more may be issued as the forecast develops. 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 Department of Transportation is monitoring weather conditions and prepared to respond with 3,760 supervisors and operators. 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:

  • 1,544 large plow trucks
  • 150 medium duty plows
  • 52 tow plows
  • 36 snow blowers
  • 339 large loaders
  • 20 graders

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
The Thruway Authority is monitoring the weather forecast and ready to respond with 696 operators and supervisors available. Statewide equipment numbers and resources are listed below:

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

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 5,500 workers available statewide to engage in repair and restoration efforts for the winter weather system this weekend. 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 remain on alert and continue to monitor the developing situation and weather forecasts. DEC is coordinating resource deployment with agency partners and all available assets to targeted areas in preparation for potential impacts due to heavy snow.

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
Planning:

  • 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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