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Governor Cuomo Warns of Possible Highway Closures as Winter Storm Hercules Approaches, Utilize Mass Transit

Written by Wendy L  |  02. January 2014

As many people return back to work from the holidays and students return back to school on Thursday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is encouraging everyone to utilize mass transit as Winter Storm Hercules approaches.

Governor Cuomo announced there may be closures to major highways across the state on Thursday, including the Long Island Expressway, the NYS Thruway 1-87, Interstate 84 and Interstate 684.

This incoming winter snow storm is no light dusting. There will be quite an impact considering the snowfall amounts, strong winds and temperatures dropping into the teens and single digits. Combine all these factors and it is cause for “blowing, drifting snow [that] can make travel difficult and dangerous,” warned Governor Cuomo.

“I urge citizens to exercise caution if they have to leave their homes. We recommend that everyone in potentially affected areas utilized mass transit and take steps to safeguard against frigid temperatures. Keep a close eye on the weather, follow any instructions issued by local emergency officials, and check on your neighbors and family members,” Governor Cuomo advised.

The New York State Department of Transportation is ready to clear snow and treat roads with salt. It is also sending additional plows to assist with snow operations in Long Island.

A travel advisory system is in place featuring real-time travel reports on road conditions by calling 511 or visiting www.511ny.org. There’s also real-time traffic and road condition updates available at www.Thruway.ny.gov. An update on Long Island traffic with a live-updating traffic map is also available at LongIsland.com's Traffic page.

MTA services will be subject to change as conditions change. The latest information on public transportation service is available at the MTA’s Winter Weather Travel Guide.

The following tips have also been offered by Governor Cuomo on safe winter driving: 

  • Never follow a snowplow too closely or attempt to pass one. Remember that the highway ahead of the plow is usually snow-covered;
  • Adjust speed for road conditions and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles;
  • Schedule extra time for winter travel and be patient during ice and snow removal operations;
  • Assume that bridge surfaces are slippery, as they freeze more quickly than road surfaces;
  • Be wary of black ice, which can be difficult to see but makes conditions slippery when pavement temperatures are below freezing;
  • Have a cell phone handy, if possible, but do not text while driving; distracted driving is illegal and becomes even more dangerous during storm events;
  • Never venture from your vehicle if snowbound;
  • Equip your car with emergency supplies including sand, shovel, flares, booster cables, rope, ice scraper, portable radio, flashlight, blankets and extra warm clothes;
  • Inform a responsible person of your destination, intended route, and estimated time of arrival; and
  • Keep calm and do not panic in case of a vehicle breakdown, accident, or if you become snowbound.

For the most up to date weather information, go to the LongIsland.com Weather Center, where you can find the latest weather forecasts, advisories, and more.

For the latest information on local School Closings & Delays, go to LongIsland.com’s School Closings Page.

[Source: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo]

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