Governor Andrew M. Cuomo ordered state authorities today to prepare emergency response as a storm system is expected to produce a foot or more of lake effect snow in the Tug Hill area of the North Country and parts of western New York today by Friday evening. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible in these areas starting tonight, creating difficult and rapidly changing travel conditions, including slippery surfaces and limited visibility. New Yorkers are encouraged to exercise caution while traveling, keep an eye on updated weather forecasts, and obey all local emergency orders.
“New Yorkers are no strangers to winter weather, especially lake-effect snow, and we are fully prepared to deal with anything Mother Nature puts in our way.” Governor Cuomo said. “The state authorities have emergency procedures and staff ready to assist one of our local partners during the duration of the storm. While this system is welcome news for many snow and winter sports enthusiasts, I urge anyone who travels in these areas is to be on the safe side and to be extra careful tonight and tomorrow as the snowfall rate can exceed an inch an hour. “
Starting today, the rate of snowfall at Tug Hill is expected to drop to 1 to 2 inches per hour for a period of time. Total snow accumulation in the Tug Hill area is expected to exceed one foot, while higher elevations in Herkimer, Hamilton and Oneida counties could receive up to 8 inches of snow. In the western part of the state in the hills of southern counties Erie and Wyoming and the higher elevations of Counties Chautauqua and Cattaraugus, concentrations between 6 and 8 inches are projected. Areas in Central New York and Southern Tier could receive 1 to 2 inches of snow.
For a complete list of weather guards and warnings in your area, please contact your area’s National Weather Service website.
Ministry of Transport
The Ministry of Transport is ready to respond with 3,642 supervisors and operators. The nationwide assets are as follows:
- 1,612 large plow wagons
- 177 medium-weight trucks with plows
- 317 large loaders
- 11 pickups with trucks
- 40 snow blowers
- 52 tow plows
- 31 track excavators
- 42 wheel excavators
- 15 tree crew shovel wagons
- 35 traffic light cars
- 79 chopper, 10 “(min) capacity
The Thruway Authority has 692 operators and regulators available across the state with 245 large snow plows, 103 medium snow plows, 10 tow plows, and 61 loaders carrying more than 123,000 tons of road salt. Variable message signs, highway advisory radio and social media are used to alert motorists to winter weather conditions on the highway. The Thruway Authority is asking motorists to download theirs App This is available for free for iPhone and Android devices. The app gives drivers direct access to traffic and navigation support in real time while on the move. Drivers can also register TRANSalert Emails with the latest traffic conditions along the highway Here.
Environmental Protection Department
DEC Environmental Protection Police officers, Forest Rangers, emergency management staff and regional staff are on alert and monitor the evolving situation and actively monitor areas and infrastructure that may be affected by severe weather. All available assets are available for emergencies.
Parks, Recreation and Monument Preservation Office
The New York State Park police and park staff are on alert and are closely monitoring weather conditions and effects. Reaction devices are refueled, tested and prepared for use in storm reactions. Park visitors should visit parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest information on parking times, openings and closings.
New York State Police
The state police are ready to deploy additional soldiers in the affected areas if necessary. All special vehicles of the state police, including all-wheel drive vehicles and commercial vehicles, are staged and ready for immediate use. All emergency power and communication devices in the force were tested.
Some of the most important tips for safe driving are:
- In winter storms, only drive if necessary.
- Be careful on bridges as ice can form faster than roads.
- If you need to travel, make sure your car has survival gear like blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, a set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy groceries and a brightly colored cloth You can use as an emergency flag.
- If you have a cell phone or other communication device such as a two-way radio, keep the battery charged and take it with you when you travel. Should you be stranded, you can call for help and inform the rescuers of your location.
- The most common cause of death and injury in winter storms are transportation accidents. Make sure your vehicle is free of ice and snow before you get behind the wheel. Good visibility is the key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra vigilant and remember that drifting snow can hide smaller children. Always adapt your speed to the road and weather conditions.
- For motorists on all roads, it is important to note that snow plows travel at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, which in many cases is below the stated speed limit, to ensure that the salt that is spread stays in the lanes and not off the Streets being scattered. Snow plows often work side by side on freeways as this is the most efficient and safest way to clear multiple lanes at the same time.
- Motorists and pedestrians should also be aware that snow plow drivers have limited lines of sight and the size and weight of snow plows can make maneuvering and stopping very difficult. Snow blowing behind the plow can seriously affect visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Drivers should not try to pass or follow snow plows too closely. The safest place for drivers is far behind the snow plows, where the road is clear and salty.