Governor Andrew M. Cuomo will activate the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to monitor a potent winter storm that is forecasted to impact New York State Thursday and Friday. This storm will likely produce moderate to heavy snowfall across a large portion of the state, and may also result in coastal flooding and beach erosion. This system will also add to the bitter cold already being experienced statewide. There is a windchill watch for the southern and western Adirondacks with values from -30 to -40 degrees on Thursday and Friday.
The Governor is also encouraging drivers to utilize mass transit tomorrow as there may be closures of major highways across the state including, the NYS Thruway I-87, Interstate 84, Interstate 684 and the Long Island Expressway.
“Knowing the potential impact of this winter storm, combined with plummeting temperatures, I have activated the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate response efforts,#157; said Governor Cuomo. “Blowing, drifting snow can make travel difficult and dangerous, so I urge citizens to exercise caution if they have to leave their homes. We recommend that everyone in potentially affected areas utilize 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.#157;
The forecast in the Capital Region is for a moderate to significant snowfall Wednesday night into Friday with the bulk of the snow expected Thursday and Thursday night. Average snowfall amounts for the region are expected to be 6 to 10 inches. Cold temperatures ranging from single digits to mid-teens are expected with most locations expected to be below zero Friday night into Saturday night. Winds 8-14 mph expected with wind chills below -5 to -20 degrees.
A Winter Storm Warning in effect in Central New York from Thursday at 10:00am until Friday at 10:00am for Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego, Schuyler, Seneca, Southern Cayuga, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins and Yates Counties. Total snowfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches are forecast. Wind chill values are expected to drop as low as -25 degrees late Thursday night and Friday morning.
A Winter Storm Warning in effect in Western New York until Friday at 6:00am for Allegany, Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario and Wayne Counties. Total snowfall accumulations of 7 to 14 inches are forecast. Wind chill values are expected to drop as low as -25 degrees late Thursday night and Friday morning.
A Winter Storm Warning in effect from Thursday at 6:00pm until Friday at 1:00pm for Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond and Southern Westchester Counties. Total snowfall accumulations of 6 to 8 inches are forecast. Sustained winds of 15 to 25mph with gusts to 35 mph are forecast.
The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning in effect from Thursday at 6:00pm until Friday at 1:00pm for Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Total snowfall accumulations of6-10 inches are forecast. Sustained winds of 25 to 35mph with gusts to 45 mph are forecast. In addition, a Winter Storm Warning is in effect from Thursday at 4:00am until Friday at 1:00pm for Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties. Total snowfall accumulations of 6-10 inches are forecast. Sustained winds of 15 to 25mph with gusts to 35 mph are forecast.
Representatives from State agencies will staff the EOC to help coordinate the State’s response, including the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs, the State Police, the Department of Environment and Conservation, the Department of Transportation, the Public Service Commission and the Thruway Authority.
Jerome M. Hauer, Commissioner, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services said, “The DHSES EOC will monitor closely the impact of this winter storm and help deploy the necessary resources to the areas of the state that require any additional assistance.”
The New York State Department of Transportation has plows available statewide to clear snow and treat roads with salt and is sending additional plows to assist with snow operations in Long Island. NYSDOT crews in will be out before the storm pre-treating the roads with salt to help slow ice and snow buildup. In addition, NYSDOT has private contractors on standby with additional equipment and personnel to be deployed as necessary.
DEC staff are monitoring the state’s stream gage network to track storm impacts on stream levels, and are in contact with local partners to ensure all flood control projects are ready for operation, if needed. DEC is also prepared to activate and operate state flood control projects if stream levels rise to the critical levels and will notify county emergency coordinators if this action becomes necessary.
MTA services on subways, busses, commuter rail and bridges and tunnels are subject to change as conditions demand. For more information, see the MTA’s Winter Weather Travel Guide at http://web.mta.info/service/ColdWeather.htm.
Electric system engineers with the New York State Public Service Commission today conducted detailed pre-storm briefings with the leaders of the NYPA, LIPA, and the other major NY State utilities. All NY State utilities are on high alert and are prepared in accordance with their emergency response plans.
NYPA has taken the necessary measures to ensure that all necessary resources, such as snow removal equipment and backup emergency generators, are in place.
No weather-related operational concerns (generation or transmission) are expected for this forecasted winter storm. This storm is not expected to impact NYPA’s statewide generation or transmission assets.
NYPA will continue to monitor the storm, and coordinate with state and local emergency management agencies, as necessary. NYPA’s facilities are designed for and experience winter storms regularly. NYPA’s operating plants, transmission system and operational staff are prepared for the predicted weather event. Corporate coordination with operating facilities continues, support staff will be available if necessary throughout the course of the weather event.
In general, all resources required (personnel, equipment, vehicles, etc.) for safe, efficient operations, have been put in place, or are available.