New York State Department of Financial Services

12/10/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/10/2023 12:59

Governor Hochul Urges New Yorkers to Remain Prepared as Large Storm System Brings Heavy Rain and Strong Winds Downstate and Heavy, Wet Snow Upstate

December 10, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Urges New Yorkers to Remain Prepared as Large Storm System Brings Heavy Rain and Strong Winds Downstate and Heavy, Wet Snow Upstate

Governor Hochul Urges New Yorkers to Remain Prepared as Large Storm System Brings Heavy Rain and Strong Winds Downstate and Heavy, Wet Snow Upstate

Long Island, New York City, and Lower Mid-Hudson Regions to See Several Inches of Rain and Strong Winds That Could Cause Flooding and Power Outages

North Country, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Capital District and Upper Mid-Hudson Regions to Receive Heavy, Wet Snow Overnight Which Will Impact Travel on Monday Morning and Could Cause Power Outages

New Yorkers Encouraged to Pay Attention to Updated Weather Forecasts and Plan Travel and Other Activities Accordingly

Governor Kathy Hochul today urged New Yorkers to remain prepared as a large storm system is expected to cause power outages throughout much of the state and create difficult travel conditions in some locations during the Monday morning commute. Downstate areas including Long Island, New York City, and the lower Mid-Hudson regions, will see several inches of rain and strong winds that could cause flooding and power outages. Further upstate, including areas in the North Country, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Capital District, and Upper Mid-Hudson regions, rain will transition to wet heavy snow overnight, which could create difficult travel conditions during the Monday morning commute and cause power outages. New Yorkers should pay close attention to the weather forecast throughout the night and tomorrow and plan travel and other activities accordingly.

"This system will bring heavy rain and strong winds to downstate New York, while upstate will receive snow and wind tonight and tomorrow," Governor Hochul said."We will continue to monitor impacts from this weather system and state agencies are prepared to respond to requests for assistance. I urge all New Yorkers to watch the weather and plan your travel and activities accordingly with updated forecasts to stay safe, especially during tomorrow's morning commute."

Sunday and continuing into Monday, up to three inches of rain is expected across New York City and Long Island with up to five inches of rain possible across eastern Long Island. Parts of Suffolk County could see wind gusts up to 60 mph overnight tonight, which could cause power outages due to downed trees and wires, while parts of New York City and Nassau County could see 50 mph wind gusts. This evening, areas in the North Country, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Capital District and Mid-Hudson Valley will see rain transition to heavy, wet snow with a foot or more expected in the highest elevations, including the Adirondacks, Catskills, and Tug Hill, and some lower elevation areas could see up to six inches of snow. Wind gusts up to 35 mph are possible statewide, which could lead to additional, isolated power outages.

For a complete listing of weather alerts and forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website at https://alerts.weather.gov.New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts by subscribing to NY Alert at https://alert.ny.gov,a free service providing critical emergency information to your cell phone or computer.

Agency Preparations

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The Division is actively monitoring the weather forecast and coordinating 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:

  • 1,515 generators
  • 536 chainsaws
  • 954 portable heaters
  • 48,636 MREs
  • 345,432 bottles & cans of water
  • 7,877 cots
  • 8,149 blankets
  • 11,220 pillows

New York State Department of Transportation

The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond with 3,650 supervisors and operators available statewide. Staff can be configured into any type of response crew that is needed (plow, drainage, chipper, load & haul, cut & toss, etc.). Additionally, 75 ICS personnel are available to support the response to this event. The need for staff deployments will be continually re-evaluated throughout the event. All residency locations will remain staffed for 24/7 operation throughout the duration of the event and priority cleanup operations and all equipment is ready to deploy. Fleet mechanics in affected areas will staff all main residency locations 24/7 to perform repairs and keep trucks on the road.

Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 1619 large plow trucks
  • 154 medium duty plows
  • 51 tow plows
  • 336 large loaders
  • 37 snow blowers

NYS Parks has identified a total of eight (8) Sawyer Crews available for cut and toss missions in impacted areas. Crews are in the following areas: Cattaraugus, Dutchess, Jefferson, Niagara, Oswego, Saratoga, Steuben, Tompkins, and Wyoming. Crews are standby Sunday through Monday.

For real-time travel information, motorists should call 511 or visit https://www.511ny.org or the mobile site at m.511ny.org, New York State's official traffic and travel information source.

Thruway Authority

Thruway Authority staff is closely monitoring the weather forecast and is proactively inspecting storm drains across the system, ensuring equipment is ready to respond to any wind, flood or weather related issues, as well as checking rock slopes in areas that are expecting heavy rain. The Thruway Authority is ready to respond with 687 operators and supervisors available. Statewide equipment numbers and resources are listed below:

  • 349 large and medium duty plow trucks
  • 11 tow plows
  • 66 loaders
  • More than 128,000 tons of salt on hand

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 TRANSalert e-mails and follow @ThruwayTraffic on X for the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway.

New York State Department of Public Service

Utility companies regulated by the Department of Public Service have approximately 6,600 workers available statewide to engage in repair and restoration efforts for the winter weather system. This includes approximately 800 workers secured by NYSEG and approximately 300 workers secured by National Grid for today's weather event. DPS staff will track utilities' work throughout the event and ensure utility companies shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact. If your service is interrupted, visit the DPS Utility Service Interruptions website for tips.If your service is interrupted, visit the DPS Utility Service Interruptions website for tips.

New York State Police

State Police are monitoring weather conditions and are prepared to deploy additional Troopers as needed. All State Police four-wheel drive and specialized vehicles, including snowmobiles and utility terrain vehicles, are staged and ready for immediate response, and all emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

DEC Emergency Management staff, Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation. All available assets are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

New York State 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 https://parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings, and closings.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The 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, including removal of any downed trees that may fall across tracks.

Due to forecasted high wind conditions, MTA Bridges and Tunnels will implement a soft ban on empty tractor-trailers and tandem (piggyback, dual, triple, etc.) trucks starting 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening. Based on the current forecast and the overall timing of this weather event, it is anticipated that this soft ban will be in place until 6:00 a.m. Monday morning.

In addition to the soft ban, the pedestrian walkways on the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial and Marine Parkway bridges will be closed during this period. The pedestrian walkways on the Robert F. Kennedy and Henry Hudson Bridges will remain open but will close when/if conditions warrant.

Customers are encouraged to check https://new.mta.info 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 and TrainTime.

Port Authority

The Port Authority monitors weather conditions across all its facilities. In the event of severe weather conditions, the agency issues regular travel alerts and updates as needed. 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.

Safety Tips

Travel

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.

Power Outages

  • 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.
  • To Report an Electric Outage, Call:
  • 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

Heating Safety

  • 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 (DHSES) provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, follow @NYSDHSES on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter) or visit dhses.ny.gov.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640