Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today (March 13) declared a state of emergency across all 62 counties in New York ahead of the extreme winter storm expected to bring heavy snowfall and high winds. The Governor also directed non-essential state employees impacted by the winter storm to stay home from work on Tuesday without having to charge accruals.
At the Governor’s direction, MTA express subway service will be suspended after the rush hour Tuesday night in order to store trains underground on those tracks. Beginning at 4 a.m. Tuesday, above-ground service on the subway will also be suspended. Commuters traveling on New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro North are encouraged to stay home tomorrow, if possible, as additional service changes are expected. As the state continues to prepare for the storm, New Yorkers should exercise caution, avoid unnecessary travel and pay close attention to winter storm advisories as the day progresses.
“To ensure our local governments have the resources and support they need to prepare and respond quickly to the impending winter storm, I am declaring a statewide state of emergency,” Governor Cuomo said. “With heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions expected from upstate to downstate, we are taking every precaution to keep New Yorkers safe. I urge residents to stay informed, avoid unnecessary travel, and where possible, leave work early as heavy snowfall is expected to begin tonight.”
Snow is expected to cover Upstate New York, where 12 to 24 inches of snow is anticipated in the Western New York, Finger Lakes, and Central New York regions over a 48 hour period beginning Monday night.
Areas south of Lake Ontario from Buffalo to Rochester will see periods of snowfall of 2 to 3 inches per hour during parts of the day Tuesday.
The heaviest snow accumulations are expected in the south and east of the Capital Region, the Mohawk Valley, and the Mid-Hudson Valley region where 20 to 24 inches of snow is expected from late Monday night through late Tuesday night and will taper off on Wednesday.
Peak snowfall will fall on Tuesday during the daylight hours and in these areas, the bulk of the snowfall will from between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Travel will be extremely dangerous from high rates of blowing and drifting snow.
The storm has shifted to the west and will have substantial impacts on the New York City areas. Snow will move into the lower Mid-Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island regions after midnight on Monday. Heavy snow will be begin early Monday evening and will fall at a rate of 2 to 3 inches per hour for the Tuesday morning rush hour. By the evening commute, there is strong potential for 16 to 20 inches of snow with whiteout conditions throughout the day. Snowfall rates may reach 2 to 4 inches per hour at intermittent periods throughout the day, which will be exacerbated by gusty winds of 40-50 miles per hour in New York City and Long Island. Highest snow totals will be in the northern parts of New York City, Orange and Putnam counties which will see 20 to 24 inches of snow during the duration of the storm. Long Island especially areas near Montauk, will see wind gusts up to 60 mph which could take down tree limbs and power lines.
Driving will be especially hazardous on Tuesday for both the morning and evening commutes. Minor coastal flooding is also expected during high tide.
Winter Storm Warnings will go in effect for the Western New York region, Finger Lakes region, Central New York region, Mohawk Valley region, Southern Tier, and northern Capital Region from Monday night through Wednesday night.
Winter Storm Warnings will go into effect for the upper Mid-Hudson Valley region and the Eastern Long Island region from late Monday night through Tuesday night.
Winter Storm Warnings will go into effect for the North Country region from Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning.
Blizzard Warning will go into effect for the lower Capital District region, Mid-Hudson Valley, New York City, and Western Long Island regions from late Monday night through Tuesday night.
A Coastal Flood Warning will go into effect from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday along the South Bays of western Long Island and the Atlantic Ocean beachfront.
All residents should have the following items available:
Flashlight and extra batteries.
Battery-powered portable radio or NOAA Weather Radio to receive emergency information.
Seven to ten days’ supply of food. High-energy food, such as dried fruit or candy, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best. Also stock an emergency supply of bottled water. The recommended amount is one gallon per person per day for 7 to 10 days.
A one-week supply of essential medicines and baby items.
First aid kit and supplies.
Extra blankets and sleeping bags.
Fire extinguisher and smoke detector – test regularly to ensure they are working properly.