Threat of Widespread Power Outages in Impacted Areas Due to Heavy, Wet Snow and Gusty Wind; Hazardous Travel Conditions Expected for Monday Evening Through Wednesday Morning
Governor Hochul Deploys Additional State Agency Personnel and Assets to Impacted Regions, Activates New York National Guard in Advance of Storm to Assist State's Response in Capital and Mid-Hudson Regions
Beginning 8 p.m. Monday Night All Tandem and Empty Tractor Trailers Banned from I-87 Exit 17 to I-90 Exit 36 and Length of Berkshire Spur from I-87 Exit 21B to Massachusetts Border, Similar Restrictions Will be in Effect on Additional Interstates
Governor Hochul Advises No Unnecessary Travel in Impacted Regions, Particularly on Tuesday When Visibility Will Be Extremely Limited
Governor Kathy Hochul today deployed additional assets and personnel to several regions expected to be impacted by a significant snowstorm beginning Monday night and continuing through Wednesday. Widespread areas of the Capital Region, Central New York, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley and North Country Regions could see up two feet of snow during this time period. Higher elevations in the Capital and Mid-Hudson regions, where the most accumulations of snow are expected, could receive up to three feet of snow by Wednesday morning. The Western New York and Finger Lakes regions may see up to 8 inches or more of snow by Wednesday. For these regions, heavy, wet snow will begin Monday night and gusty winds up to 45 mph on Tuesday will increase the chances of power outages and related impacts. New York City and Long Island are expected to receive up to two inches of snow, but will mostly experience rain which may cause minor coastal flooding.
The Governor will declare a State of Emergency that goes into effect at 8 p.m. on Monday, and includes Albany, Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Yates and contiguous counties.
"New Yorkers should prepare now for a multi-day event that will bring up to three feet of snow in certain parts of the Capital Region and Mid-Hudson region," Governor Hochul said. "State agencies spent the weekend preparing emergency response assets, my team is in constant contact with local officials, and we have activated the National Guard to assist with emergency response. This storm will create hazardous road conditions through Wednesday morning, and I encourage New Yorkers in impacted regions to stay home and avoid any unnecessary travel to allow plow crews to do their job."
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "The forecasted snow totals for this winter storm keep increasing, and the weight of the snow combined with 45 mph wind gusts will almost certainly bring down tree branches and power lines. New Yorkers should plan for two to three days straight of hazardous winter weather starting tonight. Only travel if absolutely necessary, and keep your phones and other devices charged in case you need to call for assistance during a power outage."
In preparation for the storm, the New York State Thruway Authority will ban all tandem and empty tractor trailers beginning Monday, at 8 p.m. from I-87 exit 17 (Newburgh - Scranton - I-84) to I-90 exit 36 (Watertown - Binghamton- I-81) and the length of the Berkshire Spur (I-87 exit 21B to the Massachusetts border).
Additionally, in coordination with New York State Police and the Thruway Authority, NYSDOT has issued the following commercial vehicle restrictions:
- I-84: Full length. 8 p.m. start; No tandem or empty tractor trailers
- I-88: Full Length. 8 p.m. start; No tandem or empty tractor trailers
- I-87 (Northway): Albany To Plattsburgh. 8 p.m. start; No tandem or empty tractor trailers
- I-90: I-87 to Berkshire Spur. 8 p.m. start; No tandem or empty tractor trailers
- I-81: PA Line to Syracuse. 8 p.m. start; "Trucks Use Right Lane" advisory
- Route 17: Middletown to Binghamton. 8 p.m. start; "Trucks Use Right Lane" advisory
Multiple winter storm warnings and advisories are in effect for the entire eastern part of New York State, north of New York City. Coastal flood advisories have been issued Long Island, the Bronx and Queens through Tuesday morning. Additional warnings and/or advisories may be issued. For a listing of weather alerts in your area, visit your area's National Weather Service website.
Agency Preparations and Resources
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The State's Emergency Operations Center activated Monday morning to further coordinate the State's response to the weather event. Office of Emergency Management staff are in contact with local counterparts and are prepared to facilitate requests for assistance.
The Division is prepared to deploy the following assets and shelter supplies from the State's stockpiles, if necessary:
- 1,489 generators
- 536 chainsaws
- 964 portable Heaters
- 39,948 MREs
- 552,260 bottles & cans of water
- 9,105 cots
- 9,641 blankets
- 11,220 pillows
Division of Military and Naval Affairs
The New York National Guard will mobilize 100 personnel and 20 vehicles to assist the State's response to the storm. Fifty soldiers will be on duty at the New York National Guard Headquarters in Latham, 30 Airmen will be on duty at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia and 20 Airmen will be on duty at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh. The three teams will be equipped to provide some debris clearance, traffic control and provide mobility support.
This storm will create hazardous road conditions through Wednesday morning, and I encourage New Yorkers in impacted regions to stay home and avoid any unnecessary travel.
Governor Kathy Hochul
Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with 3,631 operators and supervisors available statewide. To support snow and ice activities in critical areas, a total of 90 staff, including 77 plow truck operators, 11 supervisors and 2 equipment operator instructors are being deployed. They are distributed as follows:
- Capital Region
- Receiving 10 plow operators, 5 plow trucks and 2 supervisors from the Western Southern Tier
- Receiving 14 plow operators from Long Island
- Central NY: Receiving 3 plow operators and 1 supervisor from the Western Southern Tier
- Receiving 6 plow operators, 1 supervisor, and 2 equipment operator instructors from the Finger Lakes Region
- Receiving 24 plow operators and 5 supervisors from Western NY
- Receiving 20 plow operators and 2 supervisors from Long Island
The need for additional resources will be re-evaluated as conditions warrant throughout the event.
To ensure a quick response to potential incidents, DOT will have tow trucks pre-staged on I-90 between Exits 5 and 6 and on the Northway near the Twin Bridges, as well as parts of I-84, I-684, Route 17 and I-81.
Regional crews are currently engaged in snow and ice response activities and preparations. All residency locations will remain staffed for 24/7 operation throughout the duration of the event and priority cleanup operations. All available 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:
- 1,617 large plow trucks
- 154 medium duty plows
- 52 tow plows
- 344 large loaders
- 37 snow blowers
For real-time travel information, motorists should call 511 or visit www.511NY.orgor the mobile site at m.511ny.org, New York State's official traffic and travel information source.
The Thruway Authority is ready to respond to the winter storm with 680 operators and supervisors available statewide. The Thruway is shifting additional staff and large plow trucks from its Buffalo Division to support snow and ice operations in eastern New York. Staff is currently monitoring the storm and additional operators and equipment may be deployed if conditions warrant.
Statewide equipment numbers and resources are listed below:
- 357 large and medium duty plow trucks
- 11 tow plows
- 68 loaders
- More than 117,000 tons of salt on hand
The Thruway (I-87/I-90) will ban all tandem and empty tractor trailers beginning Monday, March 13 at 8 p.m. from I-87 exit 17 (Newburgh - Scranton - I-84) to I-90 exit 36 (Watertown - Binghamton- I-81) and the length of the Berkshire Spur (I-87 exit 21B to the Massachusetts border).
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 TRANSalerte-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway.
Department of Public Service
Utility companies regulated by the Department of Public Service have approximately 7,800 workers available statewide to engage in repair and restoration efforts for the winter weather system.
This includes the following supplemental external contract resources:
- 765 external line and service workers for National Grid for the East and Central divisions.
- 450 external line and tree workers for NYSEG and RG&E.
- 187 external line workers for Central Hudson.
- 410 external line workers for Con Edison.
- 500 external line workers for Orange & Rockland.
Department staff will track utilities' work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact and ensure they make contract resources available to the other State Utilities once they have cleaned up their service territories.
If your service is interrupted, visit the DPS Utility Service Interruptions websitefor tips.
New York State Police
The New York State Police will be adding additional patrols and staging snowmobiles and utility terrain vehicles for immediate response in areas that will be impacted by the storm. All four-wheel drive vehicles are in service, and all emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.
Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure impacted by severe weather. All available assets are positioned to assist with any emergency response.
DEC is advising backcountry visitors to be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions due to weather that could increase the risk of avalanches on slides or steep, open terrain. More information is available at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/950.html.
Winter hiking safety and preparedness are extremely important regardless of a hiker's physical ability or destination. Properly preparing for winter conditions is essential for a more enjoyable and safer experience. Additional information on winter hiking is available at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/112826.html.
DEC reminds those responsible for the large-scale removal and disposal of snow to follow best management practices to help prevent flooding and reduce the potential for pollutants like salt, sand, oils, trash and other debris in snow from affecting water quality. Disposal of snow in local creeks and streams can create ice dams which may cause flooding in nearby areas. Public and private snow removal operators should be aware of these safety issues during and after the storm. Additional information is available at https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/water_pdf/togs5111new.pdf.
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Response equipment is being fueled, tested and prepared for storm response use. State Parks has nine sawyer crews available for deployment has needed. Park visitors should check parks.ny.govor call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Metropolitan Transportation Authority is closely monitoring weather conditions to ensure safe, reliable service. MTA employees will be poised to respond to any weather-related issues. Customers are encouraged to check new.mta.infofor the latest service updates, and to use caution while navigating the system. Customers should also sign up for real-time service alerts via text or email. These alerts are also available via the MTA's apps: MYmta and TrainTime.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
The Port Authority is monitoring weather conditions. Speed restrictions may be in effect at the bridges, as well as along roadways to and from the crossings. Passengers through the Port Authority's facilities are encouraged to reach out to carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays and cancelations.
For the latest information about Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up for PA alerts or download one of the PA mobile apps, including RidePATH, which provides real-time updates and alerts for PATH service.
Some of the most important tips for safe driving include:
- 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.
- 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.
Report an Electric Outage
- Central Hudson: 800-527-2714
- Con Edison: 800-752-6633
- National Grid: 800-867-5222
- NYSEG: 800-572-1131
- O&R: 877-434-4100
- PSEG-LI: 800-490-0075
- RG&E: 800-743-1701
- Use only safe sources of alternative heat such as a fireplace, small well-vented wood or coal stove or portable space heaters.
- When using alternative heat sources such as a fireplace, woodstove, etc. always make sure you have proper ventilation. Always follow manufacturer's instructions.
- 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 Twitteror visit dhses.ny.gov.
Contact us by phone:
Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640
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