Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers as Heavy Snow and Strong Winds Continue to Impact Downstate Regions Today

Agency Preparations

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Emergency Operations Center is activated and closely monitoring weather and travel conditions, coordinating State agency response operations, and will keep in contact with localities throughout the duration of the event. State stockpiles are prepared to deploy assets to localities to support any storm-related needs, including pumps, chainsaws, sandbags, generators, cots, blankets, and bottled water.

On Friday night, the Division’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control activated the Fire Operations Center in Albany to support any requests for assistance received during the severe weather event. In advance of the storm, OFPC deployed four tracked UTVs, including 15 personnel with support vehicles, to the Bay Shore Stockpile. The teams can operate as a single unit or split into two teams of two UTVs each if needed to operate in multiple locations.

Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation issued an advisory speed of 45 miles per hour on the Long Island Expressway and parkways, and restricted trucks to the right lane only on the Long Island Expressway. These advisory speeds are supported by variable message signs on roads across Long Island.

To support snow and ice activities in critical areas, a total of 94 staff – including 70 plow truck operators, ten supervisors, six signal mechanics, four mechanics, three Assistant Regional Engineers, one safety officer, and two mechanic service trucks – are deployed to the Long Island Region as follows:

  • Syosset received 10 operators and one supervisor from the Mohawk Valley
  • Garden City received 8 operators and one Assistant Regional Engineer from the Capital Region
  • Riverhead received 10 operators and 2 supervisors from the Finger Lakes, and 6 operators and 1 supervisor from the North Country
  • Central Islip received 8 operators and 1 supervisor from the Southern Tier, and 4 operators and 1 supervisor from the North Country
  • Melville received 10 operators and 2 supervisors from the Mohawk Valley
  • North Merrick received 8 operators and 2 supervisors from Central New York and 4 operators from the Capital Region
  • Babylon received 2 operators and 1 Assistant Regional Engineer from Central New York and 1 Assistant Regional Engineer from the Capital Region
  • Long Island Fleet Management received 2 mechanics from the Mohawk Valley and 2 mechanics from Central New York
  • One Safety Officer from the Finger Lakes has been deployed to Long Island, as well as 2 signal mechanics from the Capital Region, 2 signal mechanics from the Mohawk Valley, and 2 signal mechanics from the Southern Tier.
  • Chipper and tree crews will be deployed as necessary to clear downed trees from roadways and the need for additional resources will be consistently evaluated throughout the event.

Tow Trucks are also being staged in Syosset, Riverhead, Medford, Hampton Bays, Central Islip, Melville, and North Merrick to clear crashes quickly.

All residency locations will remain staffed for 24/7 operation throughout the duration of the event. 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 listed below:

  • 1,596 large plow trucks
  • 143 medium duty plows
  • 51 tow plows
  • 322 large loaders
  • 38 snow blowers

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority is actively engaged in snow and ice operations with 681 operators and supervisors.

Statewide equipment numbers are listed below:

  • 252 large plow trucks
  • 112 medium duty plows
  • 11 tow plows
  • 67 large loaders

Due to heavy snow and strong wind, the speed limit on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge has been lowered to 35 mph.

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 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.

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, including sawyers, are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

All Long Island State Parks will be temporarily closed Saturday morning as a safety precaution. Park visitors should check or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, opening, and closings New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Sawyer crews are on standby to assist with emergency response

Department of Public Service

New York’s utilities have approximately 5,550 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response, and restoration efforts across New York State. Agency staff will track utilities’ work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions anticipated to be most impacted.

New York State Police

State Police are adding extra patrols to areas that are expected to be most affected by the storm and are prepared to deploy additional Troopers as needed. All State Police four-wheel drive and specialized vehicles are staged and ready for immediate response, and all emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.

New York Power Authority / Canal Corporation

The New York Power Authority and the Canal Corporation staff are performing preparations to ensure all facilities, assets and equipment are secured and ready. The Power Authority is prepared to support power restoration activities if needed.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

MTA employees will be positioned to spread salt, clear platforms and stairs where ice exists, and keep signals, switches, and third rail operating, remove any downed trees that may fall across tracks, and attend to any weather-related challenges during the storm. Due to the weather, all MTA vaccine and testing sites are closed today.

Long Island Rail Road suspended service on all branches by 8 am Metro-North Railroad will run hourly service on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines, with service suspended on its branch lines. New York City Subways and Buses expects to run on their normal weekend schedules. Articulated buses throughout New York City have been taken out of service and replaced by 40-foot standard buses fitted with chains. MTA Bridges and Tunnels has implemented a ban on empty tractor-trailers and tandem vehicles from 12:01 am through 6:00 pm It has also closed the upper level of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge due to high wind conditions and is advising motorists to use caution when driving on icy roadways and drive at reduced speeds.

Customers are encouraged to check for 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, Long Island Rail Road Train Time and Metro-North Train Time.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority is closely monitoring weather conditions and has mobilized personnel and equipment across its facilities to prepare and respond to the nor’easter and significant snowfall. The accumulating snow has caused delays and cancellations throughout the region. To facilitate snow removal across Port Authority facilities, the agency will have over 480 pieces of equipment and tools on hand including high-speed snow blowers, runway plows, and deicers. Speed ​​restrictions are 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 cancellations.

More than 76 percent of flights have been canceled at John F. Kennedy Airport and 98 percent of flights canceled at LaGuardia Airport. In the event of service disruptions to AirTrain JFK, free shuttle buses will be provided to passengers.

Passengers through the Port Authority’s facilities are encouraged to reach out to carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays and cancellations. 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.

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