Albany, NY - March 14, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced temporary tractor trailer bans on interstates on I-81, I-84, I-86/Route 17, I-88 and all of the New York State Thruway. The Governor also announced a full travel ban for all of Broome County beginning at 9 am.
Metro North service will also be suspended at 12 pm due to weather conditions. Currently, MTA New York City bus service remains active but as conditions worsen, bus service may be suspended. Travelers are encouraged to check www.mta.info for service updates and to see when their last inbound or outbound trains will depart.
Tractor Trailer Ban
New York State is implementing a travel ban at 9 a.m. for all tractor trailers, including tandem trailers on the full length of the following roadways:
- I - 81
- I - 84
- I - 86/Route 17
- I - 88
A full travel ban will go into effect in Broome County.
“During any emergency situation, protecting the safety of New Yorkers is our number one priority,” Governor Cuomo said. “By enacting this tractor trailer ban and banning travel in Broome County, we are putting the safety of travelers first and allowing emergency crews to clear roadways as soon as possible. We encourage all New Yorkers take appropriate precautions now so that they can stay home and stay safe as these dangerous conditions continue.”
Blizzard and Winter Storm Warnings are in effect in throughout the State. Blizzard conditions are possible with 6-14 inches of snow expected in Lower Mid-Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island Regions. 14-24 inches of snow is expected in the Capital Region, Eastern Mohawk Valley & Upper Hudson Valley areas. 12-30 inches are expected in the Central New York, Western Mohawk Valley, and Southern Tier regions. 18-24 inches of total snowfall is expected in Western New York. Snowfall rates are between 2-4 inches per hour. Wind gusts may affect visibility throughout the State.
A blizzard warning is currently in effect in the following counties:
- Lower Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island: Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk and Westchester Counties
- Capital Region, Eastern Mohawk Valley & Upper Hudson Valleyo Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Ulster, Warren and Washington Counties
- Central New York, Western Mohawk Valley, & Southern Tiero Delaware and Sullivan Counties
- North Country, Clinton, Essex, Franklin and St. Lawrence Counties
Winter Storm Warning
A winter storm warning is currently in effect in the following counties:
- Long Island, Suffolk County
- Capital Region, Eastern Mohawk Valley & Upper Hudson Valley, Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Hamilton, Montgomery, Fulton, Herkimer, Warren, Washington, Schoharie, and Saratoga Counties
- Central New York, Western Mohawk Valley, & Southern Tiero Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Northern Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego, Schuyler, Seneca, Southern Cayuga, Southern Oneida Counties
- Western New York, Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Northern Cayuga, Wayne, Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, Genesee, Erie, Wyoming, Allegany, Livingston, Ontario, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties
New York City Airport updates, as of 6 am:
- LaGuardia Airport: 99 percent of flights at LaGuardia are cancelled.
- John F. Kennedy Airport: Two-thirds of flights are cancelled and numbers continue to climb
Governor Directs All Non-Essential State Employees to Stay Home on Tuesday
Due to anticipated weather conditions associated with the extreme winter storm, all non-essential New York State employees in all counties except Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Lewis, Franklin, Clinton and Essex do not have to report to work on Tuesday, March 14 and do not need to charge accruals for such absence. If an agency has any questions, the agency's designated representative should contact the Governor's Office of Employee Relations at 518-474-6988.
State Agency Preparations for Nor'easter
Representatives from the following state agencies and emergency response partners have been directed to report to the State Emergency Operation Center for storm preparation and response starting Monday evening:
- Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
- Office of Emergency Management
- Office of Fire Prevention and Control
- Department of Transportation
- New York State Thruway
- State Police
- Department of Public Service
- Division of Military and Naval Affairs
- Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
- Department of Environmental Conservation
- American Red Cross
- Office of Information Technology Services
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 Valley region with personnel and one High Axle with personnel is being deployed to Buffalo. 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 1,600 large plow/dump trucks, 200 medium plow/dump trucks, 324 loaders, 42 truck/loader mounted snow blowers, 61 tow plows, 20 graders and 15 pickup trucks with plows. The DOT also has more than 443,000 tons of road salt on hand. Upstate regions will be providing an additional 176 operators and supervisors, 12 Storm Managers, 30 trucks, and 12 loader/snowblowers to serve Long Island and the Mid-Hudson region for the duration of this storm. The Long Island Expressway will have 100 plows servicing the road – double the normal deployment for a snowstorm. DOT continues to monitor the forecast to ensure that out-of-region resources are being deployed to the areas that are expected to be hardest-hit by the storm.
Motorists are reminded to check 511NY by calling 511, or visiting www.511ny.org before traveling. The free service allows users to check road conditions and transit information. Mobile users can download the free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. The app 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 New York State 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 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 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 here. Thruway travelers can also get real-time updates by following @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter or by visiting www.thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.
The New York State Police will deploy additional patrols for the duration of the storm, and all resources will be 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 active and monitoring the situation with approximately 2,000 members deployed to specific regions of the state or on standby and available as needed. The New York National Guard has 350 members with 45 vehicles deployed in New York City; 255 members with 38 vehicles deployed in the Hudson Valley; 135 members with 57 vehicles deployed on Long Island; 100 members with 35 vehicles deployed in Capital Region; 50 members with 22 vehicles deployed in Central New York; and 255 members with 69 vehicles deployed in Western New York. Additional personnel will staff Joint Task Force Headquarters in New York City, Mid-Hudson and Buffalo Regions. The National Guard is also prepared to respond if needed with personnel and high-axle vehicles on Long Island, in New York City, the Mid-Hudson Valley and other regions of the state.
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 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 inclement weather expected, the Department will expand its Call Center Helpline hours, beginning Tuesday, March 14 from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., 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 to www.oru.com
- Rochester Gas & Electric (electric): (800) 743-1701, or go to www.rge.com
- Rochester Gas & Electric (gas): (800) 743-1701, or go to www.rge.com
Department of Environmental Conservation
The State Department of Environmental Conservation is mobilizing Environmental Conservation Officers, Forest Rangers and other staff assets in the Mid-Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island regions, including ATV's, UTV's, snowmobiles, and 4x4 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
Governor Cuomo also announced the closure of all state parks, historic sites, and DEC-managed facilities located within the impacted areas, including Suffolk, Nassau, New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, Greene, Columbia, Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Montgomery, Saratoga and Washington counties. Park visitors should monitor www.nysparks.com or call their local park office for the latest updates.
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.
Safety on the Road
- When winter storms strike, 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.
- Keep your gas tank full to prevent gasoline freeze-up.
- If you have a cell phone or 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.
- Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents.
- Before getting behind the wheel or your car, clear it of ice and snow. Good vision is a key to good driving.
- Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert. Remember, snowdrifts can hide smaller children.
- Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.
Trapped in a Car
With blizzard conditions expected, here are some tips to follow:
- Stay in your car and wait for help to find you.
- Run your engine for short periods of time to stay warm. Keep your down-wind window open and make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow.
- Turn on the dome light at night when you are running the engine to signal rescuers.
- Hang a brightly colored piece of cloth or piece of clothing from your car.
- Exercise from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.