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Cuomo: State Prepared for Impending Winter Storm
New York Ag Connection - 03/13/2018

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Monday announced continued state preparations ahead of the impending winter storm headed for the eastern portion of the state. The storm arrived Monday and was expected to continue during the day on Tuesday. The National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Watches and Warnings for the North Country, Capital Region, Mid-Hudson Region, New York City, and Long Island regions Monday night through Tuesday.

"With another nor'easter arriving tonight, the state has its response efforts in place to keep the roads clear and the power on," Governor Cuomo said. "The state will continue to work closely with local officials to remove the snow as quickly as possible. As with any winter storm, I urge New Yorkers to keep their supplies stocked, stay safe, and drive with extreme care."

Snow accumulations will range from 4 to 8 inches on Long Island, with the East End expected to receive between 8 and 12 inches. For New York City, 2 to 4 inches of snow is forecast; however, if the storm shifts west, a moderate or heavier snowfall for the metro area is possible.

New snow accumulation of 3 to 6 inches is expected in the Capital Region with 6 to 8 inches of accumulation possible across the higher terrain areas. The North Country can expect 3 to 6 inches of accumulation with amounts up to 12 inches in the Adirondacks. The Southern Tier is forecast to receive 2 to 5 inches, and Central and Western New York are forecast to receive 1 to 3 inches with the Tug Hill area expected to receive higher amounts.

The Mid-Hudson Region is expected to receive 3 to 6 inches with valley areas on the lower end of this range. A few spots in the Catskills could experience 6 to 8 inches by Tuesday evening. Although the widespread steady snowfall will end Tuesday evening, there will be places that continue to see on and off light snow or snow showers from Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The snowfall will make for a slow and slippery commute on Tuesday morning. Emergency managers and transportation officials will be closely monitoring the winter storm in order to determine if a travel advisory will be placed into effect. Residents are urged to check back for travel related updates.

A toll-free hotline will be available as the storm approaches tonight and continues tomorrow for updates on weather, power outage restoration times, and shelters and warming centers in their area. New Yorkers can reach the hotline at 866-697-2434 for assistance. In addition, the State Emergency Operations Center remains activated for enhanced monitoring and will increase operations to include all transportation agencies for the upcoming storm.

Sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph are expected in the New York City and Long Island region with higher gusts possible. Traveling will be dangerous due to low visibility and slippery road conditions. Some lingering light snow showers and flurries will continue Wednesday and Thursday, especially for high terrain areas, with daytime temperatures averaging below normal. An updated listing of Weather Watches and Warnings from the National Weather Service can be found here.

All New Yorkers can obtain emergency information through NY-ALERT, the state's free, all-hazards, web-based alert and notification system. To subscribe, visit nyalert.gov. If you do not own or have access to a computer, call toll-free 1-888-697-6972.

The Division's Office of Fire Prevention and Control has staff on standby to assist local officials on Long Island if needed with a high-axle vehicle during the duration of the storm. State stockpiles are prepared with over 700 generators, over 250 light towers, approximately 1,250 pumps, almost 1,000,000 sandbags, over 56,300 ready to eat meals, over 340,000 cans of water, over 4,000 flashlights, thousands of cots, blankets, and pillows, almost 1,000 traffic barriers, and over 7,000 feet of Aqua Dam temporary flood barrier. Additionally, the Division is prepared with high-axle vehicles, utility tracked vehicles, and a tracked sport utility vehicle.

New York's utilities have a total of 5,400 in-house workers and contractors working on restoration efforts. This includes 1,400 out-of-state line and tree workers from Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, Louisiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and Canada that will be dedicated to restoration efforts. All customers impacted by the previous winter storm have been restored. All remaining customer outages are associated with individual damage locations that affect a single customer; all those locations have been assigned work crews and will be restored as quickly as possible.

The Department of Public Service has extended Call Center Helpline hours starting Tuesday, March 13 at 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., as needed, to assist consumers in their storm restoration efforts. The Department of Public Service Call Center Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-342-3377. Public Service Commission staff will continue to monitor the utilities' efforts during the restoration period. The utilities are prepared to respond to power disruptions throughout the event.

The New York Power Authority and the Canal Corporation preparations include weather monitoring, preparing staff for potential deployment, readying equipment for emergency use, and staffing of state Emergency Operations Centers, as needed.

The New York State Police will add extra patrols in affected areas as needed. All 4x4 vehicles will be in service, and snowmobiles and Utility Terrain Vehicles will be staged and ready for deployment. All Troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested and is operational.

The Thruway Authority has 681 supervisors and operators ready to deploy 246 Large Snow Plows, 113 Medium Snow Plows, 11 Tow Plows and 55 Loaders across the state with more than 107,000 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 download its mobile app which is available to download for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic 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 here.

Assistant Commissioner Thomas McIntyre is being deployed to the Hudson Valley Transportation Management Center in Westchester County. Assistant Commissioner George Paralemos will be on the scene assessing the state's response on Long Island. The State Department of Transportation stands ready to respond with 3,865 operators and supervisors, 1,558 large plow/dump trucks, 20 graders, 323 large loaders, 195 medium plow/dump trucks, 14 pickup trucks with plows, 51 tow plows, 19 loader mounted snowblowers, and 22 truck mounted snowblowers.

The Department is deploying 65 operators from other regions to operate 65 reserve plows in the Hudson Valley and Long Island. An additional 20 operators with 20 large plows trucks are being deployed from upstate regions to Long Island, as well as two assistant resident engineers and four mechanics. DOT's Long Island region has also activated 30 contractor large plows with operators to double plowing capacity on the Long Island Expressway, Southern State Parkway and Northern State Parkway.

Motorists are reminded to check 511NY by calling 511 or by accessing http://www.511ny.org before traveling. The free service allows users to check road conditions and transit information. Mobile users can download the updated, free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. The app now 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.

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