During a press conference this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency due to the winter storm and asked New York State residents to stay off the roads. Cuomo's office issued a press release soon afterwards.
Here's the full text of the press release, below.
Governor Cuomo Declares Statewide State of Emergency
Full Vehicle Ban in Effect for I-84 as Large Winter Storm Impacts All Regions of the State
State Replenishing Supplies of Road Salt for Downstate Localities
Albany, NY (February 5, 2014)
Governor Cuomo today declared a state of emergency for all of New York State, effective immediately as a winter storm continues to bring heavy snow, ice, and freezing rain to communities in both the upstate and downstate regions.
“This is a significant winter storm impacting all regions of the state and we are taking all necessary steps to keep New Yorkers safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “I have declared a state of emergency for all counties so that we can continue our effective and quick response in communities that have been hit the hardest. New Yorkers in affected regions should stay off the roads, check on their neighbors and loved ones, and stay inside their homes until the worst of the storm has passed.”
Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, “Our crews have been working around the clock to clear roads and ensure the safest travel conditions possible. With that being said, commuters should not be using I-84 until further notice, as we continue to clear snow and ice from the roadway.”
State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said, “The State Police will be monitoring Interstate 84 throughout New York State to ensure that vehicles are not on the road until the ban is lifted. Drivers across the State should exercise extreme caution if travel is absolutely necessary, and only use roadways that are open.”
Under a state of emergency, critical resources that are normally restricted to State use are mobilized to assist local governments and laws and regulations that would otherwise impede their rapid response are suspended. Steps being taken by the State include:
The State has adequate salt supply for all State roads; however, localities in New York City and on Long Island have reported shortages. Under the state of emergency, the Governor has directed the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Thruway Authority to move surplus salt supplies from State stockpiles to New York City and Long Island localities in need. A total of 3,500 tons of road salt – about 130 truckloads – is being sent to those communities. The State is also working with suppliers to increase salt deliveries to local governments.
To expedite road salt deliveries, DOT has waived federal restrictions on hours for drivers of salt trucks in order to allow salt truck drivers to work as many hours as necessary through the duration of the emergency. The MTA has also waived weight restrictions on bridges to allow larger loads of salt to move through the region.
Road Closures & Plowing
Earlier this morning, the Governor ordered a full vehicle ban on Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders. The ban is effective immediately and will remain in place until further notice. Any vehicles found on I-84 before the ban has been lifted will be ticketed.
The State has 1,789 plows, 359 loaders and 4,185 operators working the storm.
With ice accumulations approaching half an inch in some areas, additional power outages are likely. State utilities have been directed to activate all emergency plans and bring in any available additional crews. Con Edison has 180 additional crews through mutual aid, and PSEG-Long Island has an additional 300 crews en route.
A total of 8,406 outages have been reported across the State. A regional breakdown of outages and estimated time of restoration (ETR) is as follows:
Central Hudson: 8 ETR=1:30 pm
Con Edison: 2,372 ETR= Feb 6, 11:00 am
National Grid: 5 ETR= 11:15 am
New York State Electric & Gas: 1 ETR= 10:45 am
Orange & Rockland Utilities: 0
PSEG-Long Island 6,020 ETR= 3:00 pm
Rochester Gas & Electric: 0
John F. Kennedy Airport has virtually no flight activity until 10:00 a.m.
LaGuardia International Airport has no flight activity until 12:00 p.m.
SWF has received seven inches of snow and counting, and one of 12 scheduled flights has been cancelled.