Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYSOEM) to closely monitor the potential impacts of an approaching winter storm that is expected to bring heavy snow and rain to New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley beginning this afternoon. By tonight, precipitation is expected to spread farther north and encompass all of eastern New York.
"The State is closely monitoring a winter storm expected to hit several areas of the state beginning this afternoon," Governor Cuomo said. "We are taking actions to prepare for the potential impacts of the storm and coordinating with local officials. New Yorkers in affected areas should follow local weather reports to stay updated."
Expected snowfall totals for Long Island range from 6-10 inches; for New York City, the Hudson Valley and the Capital District, expected snowfall totals range from 4-8 inches. The storm may cause severe levels of coastal flooding and erosion over a two-day period due to high winds and high seas. Winds will be strong throughout the event, with gusts over 50 mph possible, which, coupled with heavy snow on wires and tree limbs, may cause power outages and greatly reduce visibility.
The New York State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Albany will be activated at 8:00 p.m. tonight with the following agencies present: Office of Emergency Management, Department of Transportation, Division of State Police, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, and Thruway Authority. NYSOEM is in close contact with county and local emergency management officials and is prepared to assist with staffing and equipment if necessary.
In advance of the storm:
The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) deployed field staff to the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island to provide additional situational awareness, and to respond to County Emergency Operations Center activations as necessary.
NYSOEM deployed staff to Nassau and Suffolk County Emergency Operations Centers.
The Office of Interoperability and Emergency Communications (OIEC) deployed two Strategic Technology Reserve (STR) vehicles to Long Island. Additional STRs are available in Albany for deployment to other locations as needed. OIEC staff have been deployed to Long Island in support of the STRs and the Governor's All-Weather Response Coordination Vehicle.
Citizens are reminded to take the following steps in preparation for the storm:
Monitor local media and weather reports.
Listen and obey any local emergency orders.
Know your community's flood evacuation routes, public shelters, and where to find high ground.
Make sure you have a preparedness kit -- for items to include, visit the NYSOEM website at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/publicsafety/winter.cfm
Test sump pumps and, if possible, have a backup power source.
Minimize damage from basement flooding by elevating materials that could be damaged by basement flooding.
When traveling, take the following precautions:
Never follow a snowplow too closely or attempt to pass one. Remember that the highway ahead of the plow is usually snow-covered.
Adjust speed for road conditions and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.
Schedule extra time for winter travel and be patient during ice and snow removal operations.
Assume that bridge surfaces are slippery, as they freeze more quickly than road surfaces.
Watch for black ice, which can be difficult to see but makes conditions slippery when pavement temperatures are below freezing.
Have a cell phone handy, if possible, but do not text while driving; distracted driving is illegal and becomes even more dangerous during storm events.
Never venture from your vehicle if snowbound.
Equip your car with emergency supplies including sand, shovel, flares, booster cables, rope, ice scraper, portable radio, flashlight, blankets and extra warm clothes.
Inform a responsible person of your destination, intended route, and estimated time of arrival.
Keep calm and do not panic in case of a vehicle breakdown, accident, or if you become snowbound.