In anticipation of a major winter storm set to hit most parts of New York State today and Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo activated the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at noon to monitor the storm and coordinate response efforts.
Similar activities are taking place all along the northeastern U.S.
"I urge New Yorkers to closely watch local news reports for weather updates and adjust their travel plans accordingly,” Cuomo said, “including avoiding nonessential travel during and directly after the storm since roads will be icy with blizzard conditions in some places.”
Beginning Friday morning and lasting through Saturday afternoon, significant snow and wind are forecasted to affect the metro New York City and Long Island areas, as well the Hudson Valley. New Yorkers could see potentially significant and prolonged transportation disruptions, power outages and other impacts. The greatest concern for the Long Island area is the possibility for high winds. Gusts of up to 50 mph are expected, which could cause downed power lines, power outages, downed trees, beach erosion, battering waves and coastal flooding. Minor widespread coastal flooding with local, moderate coastal flooding is also expected.
Representatives from state agencies will be present at the State EOC to coordinate storm response efforts, including Office of Emergency Management, Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Office of General Services, Department of Health, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Public Service Commission, National Grid, Division of State Police, Thruway Authority, Department of Transportation and the American Red Cross.
New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is mobilizing its fleet of snow and ice-busting equipment designed to keep outdoor tracks and the third rail clear of snow and ice during harsh winter weather. The fleet includes super-powered snow throwers, 10 jet-powered snow blowers, and five specially built deicing cars, all designed to keep service moving.
The Department of Buses has and is deploying its own fleet of snow fighting equipment, including 28 salt-spreading trucks equipped with plows assigned to each depot to maintain the flow of buses.
MTA Bridges & Tunnels is fitting plows onto regular maintenance trucks and salt domes are being filled with tons of deicer. The fleet also includes 45 trucks that have special ground temperature sensors, which provide information about roadway conditions on entrance and exit ramps and other areas that are not covered by embedded roadway sensors. Above-ground atmospheric sensors are also used to help gather real-time information on wind velocity, wind direction, humidity and precipitation via wireless communication.
NYSDOT has more than 1,270 plow trucks and 1,582 drivers standing by to pre-treat roadways with salt brine in advance of the storm and clear snow and ice once precipitation begins. NYSDOT also has 366,500 tons of road salt on hand.
Travelers are encouraged to check conditions before venturing out by accessing NYSDOT’s free 511NY traffic and travel information system, which provides real-time travel information, by calling 5-1-1 or visiting www.511NY.org.