Governor Kathy Hochul yesterday urged New Yorkers to prepare for another winter storm system that will likely bring snow, mixed precipitation and high wind gusts starting Friday night and continuing through Saturday afternoon. Many parts of the Capital, Mohawk Valley and North Country regions could see up to a foot of snow, while communities along the southern shore of Lake Ontario could receive up to eight inches. Other parts of the state might see three to six inches of snow and wind gusts of 35 miles per hour. Snow may mix with sleet and/or freezing rain in some areas, which could reduce snow totals but still result in difficult travel conditions. Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to monitor local weather forecasts and be extra cautious if traveling in impacted regions.
“Winter isn’t over yet in New York as snow, sleet, freezing rain and high winds are expected to impact most of the state this weekend,” Governor Hochul said. “State agencies are preparing emergency response assets, and we are ready to assist local governments if necessary. If you must travel this weekend, pay close attention to your local weather forecast and give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely.”
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “An early March winter storm with potential for heavy snow and a freezing, wintry mix will make travel difficult Friday night in affected areas. This snow is going to be heavy and wet, which will make it difficult to remove with a shovel or plow. Please be extra cautious this weekend if you’re on the road.”
Winter Storm Watches have been issued for the Capital Region, North Country and Mohawk Valley regions from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening. Other Warnings, Watches and Advisories may be issued for this statewide weather event. For a complete listing of weather warnings in your area, visit your area’s National Weather Service website.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division is actively monitoring the weather forecast and coordinating the State’s response to the weather event. Office of Emergency Management staff are in contact with localities and are prepared to facilitate requests for assistance from local governments and deploy assets from the State’s stockpiles, if necessary.
Department of Public Service
New York’s utilities have approximately 6,125 workers available statewide to engage in damage assessment, wire guarding, response, repair, and restoration efforts for this week’s winter weather. This includes an additional 125 external line workers secured by National Grid and an additional 500 external line and tree workers secured by NYSEG and RG&E. Department staff will track utilities’ work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact.
If your service is interrupted, visit the DPS Utility Service Interruptions website for tips.
Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond to this multi-impact, statewide winter storm with 3,614 supervisors and operators. Regional crews are currently engaged in snow and ice response and preparation activities. All residency locations will remain staffed for 24/7 operations throughout the duration of the event and priority cleanup operations.
To support snow and ice activities in critical areas, 25 operators are being deployed from Long Island to the Mid-Hudson Region. The need for additional resources will be re-evaluated as conditions warrant throughout the event.
All available snow and ice equipment is ready to deploy. Fleet mechanics in affected areas will be staffing all main residency locations 24/7 to perform repairs and keep trucks on the road. Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:
- 1596 large plow trucks
- 154 medium duty plows
- 50 tow plows
- 340 large loaders
- 36 snow blowers
For real-time travel information, motorists should call 511 or visit www.511NY.org or the mobile site at m.511ny.org, New York State’s official traffic and travel information source.
The Thruway Authority staff is monitoring the forecast and ready to respond with 680 operators and supervisors available. Statewide equipment numbers and resources are listed below:
- 355 large and medium duty plow trucks
- 11 tow plows
- 67 loaders
- More than 114,000 tons of salt on hand
Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway.
The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic information, live traffic cameras, and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway.
The State Police will monitor conditions and assign extra patrols to areas that are significantly impacted by the storm. All four-wheel drive and specialty vehicles are in service, including utility task vehicles and snowmobiles.
- Some of the most important tips for safe driving include:
- Do not drive unless necessary.
- Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads.
- 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.
- If you have a cell phone or other communications device such as a 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.
- The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow; good vision is key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert and remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.
- It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.
- Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted. Never attempt to pass a snowplow while its operating.
- Check with your utility to determine area repair schedules.
- Turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when service is restored; leave one light on to indicate when power has been restored.
- If heat goes out during a winter storm, keep warm by closing off rooms you do not need.
- To Report an Electric Outage, Call:
–Central Hudson: 800-527-2714
–Con Edison: 800-752-6633
–National Grid: 800-867-5222
- Use only safe sources of alternative heat such as a fireplace, small well-vented wood or coal stove or portable space heaters.
- Always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- When using alternative heat sources such as a fireplace, woodstove, etc. always make sure you have proper ventilation.
- Keep curtains, towels, and potholders away from hot surfaces.
- Have a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors and make sure they work.
- If you use kerosene heaters to supplement your regular heating fuel, or as an emergency source of heat, follow these safety tips:
–Follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
–Use only the correct fuel for your unit.
–Refuel outdoors only and only when the unit is cool.
–Keep the heater at least three feet away from furniture and other flammable objects.
–When using the heater, use fire safeguards and ventilate properly.
For more Winter safety tips, visit https://dhses.ny.gov/safety. For all non-emergency service needs in New York State before, during or after a storm, call 211 or visit 211nys.org.
About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, find DHSES on Facebook, on Twitter or visit dhses.ny.gov.