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Home News Posted Nov 1: Governor Cuomo Alerts NY of Heavy Snow And High Winds Sunday Night Through Tuesday 

Posted Nov 1: Governor Cuomo Alerts NY of Heavy Snow And High Winds Sunday Night Through Tuesday 

November 1 Alert:
Governor Cuomo Urges Caution As Weather System Threatens to Deliver Heavy Snow And High Winds Sunday Night Through Tuesday

Press Release Posted on November 1, 2020

High Winds and Blowing Snow Will Impact Travel Conditions Across the State Starting Tonight 

Total Snow Accumulation of Up to 10 Inches in Some Upstate Areas

Wind Gusts Up to 50 MPH Across Most of the State Through Tuesday

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers to prepare for snow and high winds as a system moves across the state tonight through Tuesday morning, bringing up to 10 inches of snow in some upstate locations and up to 50 mph wind gusts across much of the state.  The combination of high winds and blowing snow in multiple locations may create hazardous travel conditions, including slippery surfaces, reduced visibility and power outages due to downed limbs and wires.

“The weather system approaching the state tonight will bring a widespread, moderate snowfall to most upstate locations and wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour,” Governor Cuomo said. “Conditions could become dangerous, as slippery surfaces, reduced visibility and gusting winds will cause the potential for power outages and difficult travel. We have state personnel and resources ready to assist as needed. Anyone venturing out in the next 48 hours should use extra caution.”

Most locations in Western and Central NY, Finger Lakes, North Country and Mohawk Valley will see 3 to 7 inches of snow, while some areas in the North Country and Central NY may see up to 10 inches of snow locally.  High winds will likely affect travel through Tuesday for locations throughout the state with many locations seeing up to 50 mph wind gusts.  Gusty winds can blow around unsecured objects and tree limbs could be broken, resulting in power outage.  In areas where new snow has fallen, winds could cause patchy blowing snow that reduces visibility and creates slippery surfaces.

A Lakeshore Flood Watch is in effect for northern Cayuga, Oswego and Jefferson counties through Tuesday morning.  The combination of winds and significant wave action may result in lakeshore flooding along the immediate lakeshore, especially in bays, inlets, harbors, and other low-lying areas along the shoreline. Shoreline erosion is also possible.

Multiple weather advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service through Tuesday for several locations.  New Yorkers are urged to stay alert and monitor local weather forecasts for changing conditions.  To view the complete listing of weather alerts issued by the National Weather Services in New York State, visit their website here.

Agency Preparations

Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with 3,473 supervisors and operators. Statewide assets are as follows:

  • 1,549 large plow trucks
  • 180 medium duty trucks with plows
  • 312 large loaders
  • 15 pickups with trucks
  • 39 snowblowers
  • 52 tow plows
  • 17 vac trucks with sewer jet
  • 31 tracked excavators
  • 47 wheeled excavators
  • 15 tree crew bucket trucks
  • 33 traffic signal trucks
  • 77 chippers, 10″ (min) capacity

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 644 operators and supervisors ready to deploy 234 large snowplows, 102 medium snowplows, 9 tow plows and 59 loaders across the state with more than 120,000 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 is also encouraging 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.

New York State Police

The New York State Police has instructed all Troopers to remain vigilant and closely monitor conditions for any problems. Additional personnel will be deployed to affected areas as needed. All four-wheel drive vehicles and all specialty vehicles are in-service.

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 likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

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.  Park visitors should check parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.

Department of Public Service

New York’s utilities have approximately 5,100 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response and restoration across New York State. Department of Public Service staff will track the utilities’ work throughout the storm event and will ensure the utilities shift the appropriate staffing to the regions anticipated to experience the greatest impact.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority urges motorists to use caution during the storm; speed restrictions may be in effect at the bridges as well as along roadways to and from the crossings.  Travelers through the Port Authority’s airports, bus terminal and bus station are encouraged to reach out to carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays, cancelations or rebookings.  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.

Safety Tips

Safe Travel

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.

Some of the most important tips for safe driving include:

When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.

  • Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads.
  • Wet leaves on roadways can cause slippery conditions, making it important to drive at slower speeds when approaching patches of them.
  • Make sure your car is stocked with 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.
  • Keep your gas tank full to prevent gasoline freeze-up.
  • If you have a cell phone or 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.
  • Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
  • While driving, keep vehicles clear of ice and snow.
  • Plan stops and keep distance between cars.  Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.

It’s important 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.

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