Winter Storm Expected to Sweep New York Will Have Greatest Impact in Capital Region, Mid-Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island Regions Late Monday and Intensify Tuesday
State Agencies Preparing High-Axle Vehicles and Heavy Equipment for Immediate Response
State Emergency Operations Center to be Activated In Advance of the Storm
Blizzard and Winter Storm Watches Issued Throughout the State
State Stockpile Resources – Including Sandbags, Generators and Pumps – Prepared For Deployment as Needed
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced actions being taken to prepare and respond to a strong Nor’easter expected to impact parts of the state early next week. At the Governor’s direction, the New York State Emergency Operations Center will be activated beginning on Monday evening. The Governor has also directed state agencies to be on heightened alert in advance of the storm and prepared to deploy personnel and state stockpile resources – including sandbags, generators and pumps – as needed.
“We are closely monitoring this storm as it develops and I am directing all state agencies to be on alert and ready to respond as the weather develops,” said Governor Cuomo. “The state will be proactively deploying resources to potentially impacted regions to stay ahead of the storm and keep New Yorkers safe. I encourage all New Yorkers in affected regions to plan ahead, and avoid any unnecessary travel as the storm progresses.”
The Nor’easter, which is expected to begin late Monday night and intensify on Tuesday morning, is predicted to bring over a foot of snow to the Capital Region, Mid-Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island regions. The latest forecasts anticipate blizzard like conditions for the Tuesday morning commute and commuters are urged to drive with caution. Residents in these regions should expect possible closures, delays and cancellations, and regularly monitor for updated information to plan ahead.
- Blizzard Watch for the lower Mid-Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island regions from late Monday night through Tuesday night.
- Winter Storm Watch for the upper Mid-Hudson Valley from late Monday night through Tuesday night.
- Winter Storm Watch for the Northern region from Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning.
- Winter Storm Watch for all of the Capital District, Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, and Western New York regions from Monday night through Wednesday.
Representatives from the following state offices and agencies have been direct to report to the Emergency Operations Center on Monday for storm preparation and response:
- Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
- Department of Transportation
- New York State Thruway
- State Police
- Office of Emergency Management
- Public Service Commission
- Division of Military and Naval Affairs
- Department of Environmental Conservation
- Office of Fire Prevention and Control
State Agency Preparations for Nor’easter
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
In addition to activating the Emergency Operations Center, the Division of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Management is communicating with the National Weather Service and is coordinating with local emergency managers across the state. DHSES will pre-position two six-person tracked UTVs and one eight-person tracked vehicle with staff to Brentwood Stockpile on Long Island, with two high-axle vehicles. Also one high-axle vehicle, with two six-person tracked UTVs will be pre-positioned in Mid-Hudson Region with personnel. Additional six-person tracked UTVs are on standby for movement to other portions of the state as necessary.
Department of Transportation
The New York State Department of Transportation has 3,847 operators and supervisors statewide and is ready to respond with the following assets:
- 1,600 large plow/dump trucks and 200 medium plow/dump trucks
- 324 loaders and 42 truck/loader mounted snow blowers
- 61 tow plows, 20 graders and 15 pickup trucks with plows
The Department of Transportation also has more than 443,000 tons of road salt on hand. An additional 182 operators and supervisors and 30 trucks are ready to be deployed from other parts of the state to Long Island and the Mid-Hudson regions in preparation for this storm. DOT continues to monitor the storm and is prepared to commit additional resources to the hardest-hit regions of the state as needed.
Motorists are reminded to check 511NY by calling 511 or by accessing www.511ny.org before traveling. The free service allows users to check road conditions and transit information. Mobile users can download the updated, free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. The app now features Drive mode, which provides audible alerts along a chosen route while a user is driving, warning them about incidents and construction. Users can set a destination prior to departing and receive information on up to three routes.
The Thruway Authority’s winter weather preparations include a 24-hour staff rotation for maintenance personnel, snow removal equipment ready for deployment, and ample salt and fuel supplies to keep the roadways clear and safe. The New York State Thruway Authority has more than 592 supervisors and operators ready to deploy 201 Large Snow Plows, 110 Medium Snow Plows and 54 Loaders across the state with more than 114,800 tons of road salt on hand. Variable Message Signs, Highway Advisory Radio and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway.
The New York State Thruway Authority encourages motorists to sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway. Motorists can sign up for TRANSalerts by following this link: http://www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml. Thruway travelers can also get real-time updates by following @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter or by visiting http://www.thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.
The State Police will be deploying additional patrols for the duration of the storm and making all resources available as needed, including 4X4 vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. High-axle vehicles will also be ready for deployment to affected areas as needed.
New York National Guard
The New York National Guard Joint Operations Center is operational and monitoring the situation and stands ready to provide specialized military assets to include personnel and high axle cargo trucks as needed.
The MTA follows well-established plans to keep the region’s transit services up and running during harsh winter weather conditions. MTA personnel will continue to monitor the U.S. National Weather Service and have direct access to a customized weather prediction service that provides regularly updated weather forecasts.
- Based on storm severity, MTA may modify or suspend revenue rail services to protect equipment and reduce weather-related rail accidents.
- MTA bus operations will take actions to reduce the likelihood of stranded buses and passengers and weather-related accidents based on specified triggers.
- During inclement weather conditions, MTA Paratransit will take certain actions to prevent stranded passengers and vehicles, and reduce the likelihood of weather-related accidents.
- Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad base decisions to activate contingency operations on actual and forecast conditions including snow accumulations, icing, and winds.
- Prior to snow events, extra managerial staff are deployed to B&T facilities and the Command Center activates its weather desk to monitor weather conditions on a continual basis.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is making extensive preparations involving personnel and equipment at all of its facilities in expectation of the strong winter storm currently forecast to begin Monday night through Tuesday. The agency’s Office of Emergency Management is in contact with other local, state and federal officials and agencies and will develop regional preparations for the upcoming storm in consultation with them.
The following equipment and supplies are available at the Port Authority’s major transportation facilities in the event of a major storm:
- Hundreds of pieces of snow equipment at the airports, including melters able to liquefy up to 500 tons of snow an hour and plows that can clear snow at 40 mph, and dozens of pieces of snow equipment at PA bridges and tunnels;
- Thousands of tons of salt and sand for airport roads, parking lots, bridges and tunnels;
- Hundreds of thousands of gallons of liquid chemicals at the airports to prevent snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways; thousands of tons of solid de-icers that break up snow and ice already on the ground;
- Plow-equipped trains and snow-melting materials to clear the agency’s PATH station tracks and facilities.
For up-to-the-minute updates on Port Authority crossings, airports and the PATH system, travelers are encouraged to sign up for Port Authority alerts at http://www.paalerts.com/. Travelers may also call 511 or visit 511NY.org or 511NJ.org for further information on highway conditions.
Department of Public Service
The Department of Public Service is in contact with utility senior executives to ensure that the utilities are prepared for inclement weather, and it will be closely monitoring utility storm-preparation efforts to ensure that utilities stand ready to minimize outages and speed outage restorations. Electric and gas utilities, as well as telecommunication service providers, such as Verizon, are prepared to bring on additional manpower to minimize service disruptions, if they occur. Utilities are prepared to respond 24 hours a day to power disruptions and are mandated to implement their emergency response plans, when needed, which includes contacting customers on life-support equipment and other critical customers.
In light of the potential significant inclement weather expected, the Department will expand its Call Center Helpline hours, if needed, beginning Tuesday, March 14 from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM, to assist consumers in storm response and restoration efforts, and Wednesday, March 15, if needed. The Department’s Call Center Helpline can be reached by calling (800) 342-3377. Department staff will monitor and report on storm impacts and utility restoration activities throughout the event and will be present in the field, as needed.
How to Contact Your Utility:
- Central Hudson: (845) 452-2700 or (800) 527-2714, or go to www.centralhudson.com
- Con Edison: (800) 75-CONED (800-752-6633), or go to www.coned.com
- PSEG-Long Island: (800) 490-0075, or go to www.psegliny.com
- National Grid (upstate electric): (800) 867-5222, or go to www.nationalgridus.com
- National Grid (upstate gas): (800) 642-4272, or go to www.nationalgridus.com
- National Grid (metro area gas): (718) 643-4050, or go to www.nationalgridus.com
- National Grid (Long Island gas): (800) 490-0045, or go to www.nationalgridus.com
- NYSEG (electric): (800) 572-1131, or go to www.nyseg.com
- NYSEG (gas): (800) 572-1121, or go to www.nyseg.com
- Orange & Rockland: (877) 434-4100, or go towww.oru.com
- Rochester Gas & Electric (electric): (800) 743-1701, or go to www.rge.com
- Rochestesr Gas & Electric (gas): (800) 743-1701, or go to www.rge.com
Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC is mobilizing Environmental Conservation Officers, Forest Rangers and other staff assets in the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island area, including ATV’s, UTV’s, snowmobiles, and 4×4 trucks available to assist in any necessary response efforts. DEC coastal engineering experts are also ready to assist in monitoring for potential flooding and coastal erosion from the storm. Other public protection and spill response staff are coordinating with other state and local partners to provide additional assistance as needed.
Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
In preparation for severe winter weather New York State Parks has alerted park police and park personnel to closely monitor weather updates and storm preparation efforts. New York State Parks has more than 500 emergency equipment resources on hand and ready for deployment. This includes light/medium duty plows, snowmobiles, 4×4 vehicles, ATV’s and portable generators. Park patrons should monitor www.nysparks.com or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.
All residents should have the following items available:
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- Battery-powered portable radio or NOAA Weather Radio to receive emergency information.
- Seven to ten days’ supply of food. High-energy food, such as dried fruit or candy, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best. Also stock an emergency supply of bottled water. The recommended amount is one gallon per person per day for 7 to 10 days.
- A one-week supply of essential medicines and baby items.
- First aid kit and supplies.
- Extra blankets and sleeping bags.
- Fire extinguisher and smoke detector – test regularly to ensure they are working properly.