Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo held a briefing on the extreme winter storm and the state's ongoing efforts to combat the effects of the storm. The Governor also announced the deployment of additional resources to the Southern Tier to support the region.
A rush transcript is available below:
Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be with Mayor David again and County Executive Garnar and all the emergency responders who’ve done a fantastic job. We have Brigadier General Center with us who is in charge of the National Guard through this operation. Men and women of the National Guard who have been out and working so hard and local responders, county responders, kudos to all of them. This storm forecast was a little different than the reality. The forecast was a) for the entire state, but b) that the heaviest part of the state was going to be Long Island and New York City, so we deployed resources all across the state, but also to Long Island and New York City. Mother Nature can be an unpredictable lady at times, and it turns out that the bulk of the storm was not Long Island and New York City, but it was actually further west and more Central New York, Western New York, so we are now re-deploying assets from Long Island and New York City, which are basically in good shape to other parts upstate that need more help.
Broome County, Southern Tier was one of the most severely hit by this storm, so we’re in the process of bringing in more National Guard and more state assets through the Southern Tier specifically. Here in Binghamton and Broome will be 100 additional large plows on the way, there are 100 additional National Guard on their way, so that will then free up the city and the county and backfill them and actually add to their capacity, which will allow the travel ban in the county to be lifted to just a weather advisory with the additional resources coming in. I want to stress what the Mayor said. In a storm like this it’s not the amount of snow that is problematic, it’s the rate with which the snow falls. When the rate of snowfall is too high, the plows become virtually useless. You get over three inches and it’s very, very hard for the plows to operate and to keep up with the snowfall. And that’s what happened here. It’s not just the amount of snow overall, it was the rate of snowfall that was problematic.
But I think that the city and the county have done an extraordinary job working through this storm. People have been working for days now, and their stamina has been unbelievable. And I think with these additional resources, you’ll see significant cleanup over the next hours and days.
Last point, I want to thank the Mayor and the County Executive for their cooperation. You know at times like this, you understand why government matters. A lot of times people say ah politics, government, it’s just a pain in the neck and a waste of time. Maybe some days. Not when you really need it to work, and especially not in an emergency situation.
In Binghamton, we’ve seen floods, we’ve seen Hurricane Irene, we’ve seen Storm Sandy, and now we’ve seen this snowfall. It’s very, very important that you have competent government and you have government that can work together. And that’s what you saw here in this storm with the City, the County, and the State working together as one, so I want to thank the Mayor and the County Executive for that and their teams. And everybody who’s out there actually doing the work, the people who are driving the plows, the people who are actually doing the shoveling. And the National Guard who have been fantastic. Remember the National Guard, they’re leaving their homes to come help other people with the situation and in their neighbored. But many of the members of the National Guard, they’re families, are in the exact same circumstance, and they’re leaving their family to come and help others. That’s the heart of public service, so I want to thank them very much.