Kathy Hochul declares state of emergency ahead of winter storm
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One week after announcing that New York State was entering a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Sandy, Governor Kathy Hochul has done the same ahead of the Winter storm that’s expected to hit upstate parts of New York this weekend.

What is a state of emergency?

A state of emergency is issued when there is an imminent threat or danger to the public such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or hazardous materials release.

It can also be issued in response to an event that has already occurred. The governor can declare a state of emergency due to pending or anticipated power outage, strike, fire, flood, storm, or civil disturbance.

The New York State Emergency Management Office (NYSEMO) will coordinate all necessary assistance by the various local and federal agencies.

A State Emergency Declaration may cause certain changes in transportation schedules including adjustments in routes and service frequency.

Service disruptions should be expected for customers who rely on commuter rail services from upstate New York to Long Island, New Jersey and Penn Station.

If you rely on this form of transportation please plan accordingly. For customers who rely on LIRR for their commute, expect delays or cancellations which could impact your travel plans.

Check LIRR’s website for updates or call 511 before traveling into the city today so you are aware of any potential interruptions in service during this time period .

Customers are advised to contact their airlines directly for additional information about flights.

Travelers should expect delays at airports and other travel hubs throughout New York City. Overnight parking restrictions in effect.

Commuters encouraged to use public transit during storm hours Tuesday evening through Thursday morning, with service beginning again Thursday afternoon at 3:00pm.

DOT will keep traffic moving safely until crews can clear snow accumulations and fallen trees/limbs following storm’s end Friday morning. Stay tuned for further announcements.

UNIONDALE, New York (WWNY) – A state of emergency will be declared by Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday ahead of the winter storm headed for upstate New York.

New York State Emergency Management Office (NYSEMO) Director Howard J. Stanis said the declaration ensures we’re able to mobilize resources across the board, but he stressed that it does not mean every county in New York needs to take action yet.

Stanis says one key focus is making sure people have what they need at home and work to prepare for whatever happens – stockpiling food, water and flashlights.

If they get cut off from electricity, they’ll have a way to provide light inside their house, Stanis said.

What does this mean for residents?

In the event that you are without power for more than four hours, please contact your utility company and report the outage.

If you have medical needs, please call 911. The governor also urges residents to stay off the roads if possible to allow crews to clear snow from highways and side streets as quickly as possible.

It is also recommended that drivers do not travel on secondary roads with deep snowdrifts or ice patches.

In order to get a head start on the storm, Governor Kathy Hochul has issued a State of Emergency in New York State beginning at 7:00 am Thursday morning.

For the time being, the state of emergency will be in effect until notified.

The National Weather Service predicts snow accumulation up to three feet across the Southern Tier and Central New York regions.

Residents can expect high winds, heavy snowfall, whiteouts and freezing rain. Officials advise anyone who does not need to be on the road to stay home unless it is an emergency situation.

Possible continuation (two+ sentences using words: strong winds): Meteorologists are predicting wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour across most of New York State Friday through Saturday.

If this occurs, officials say there could be downed trees and power lines due to the high winds that may accompany the storm. Even if these conditions are not met, New Yorkers should still stay alert for sudden changes in the weather.

Updates about our winter storm can be found on News Channel 9’s website by clicking here .

The State of Emergency goes into effect Thursday morning at 7am and ends when Governor Hochul lifts the state of emergency.

A state of emergency allows New York to better respond to disasters such as the approaching winter storm by mobilizing resources more efficiently throughout the duration of said emergencies.

Examples include the federal government providing assistance with disaster relief efforts and expediting requests for assistance from New York.

Governor Hochul called Wednesday’s declaration a precautionary measure because we want to make sure we have all of our resources ready before we know what’s coming.

What are some tips for staying safe during a winter storm?

While you can never predict the severity of a snowstorm, there are some precautions that you can take to stay safe.

Here are some tips from the Red Cross:

  • Keep your gas tank close to full so you have plenty of fuel during any power outages.
  • Have an emergency kit in your car and at home with water, nonperishable food, blankets, battery-powered radio and flashlight.
  • Listen to local radio stations for information on the latest weather updates.
  • Stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary (local authorities should clear them first).
  • In case of an evacuation order due to flooding or other emergencies, listen for instructions from local authorities. If needed, evacuate early so others don’t get stranded in traffic jams as they try to leave their homes.
  • We urge residents across upstate New York who live along streams and rivers to be prepared to go without electricity, heat or other necessities because we could be looking at a very significant event, said Governor Kathy Hochul. This morning, I will declare a state of emergency.
  • A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Wednesday night into Thursday morning from 9 pm EST until 12 pm EST across parts of New York State.

Snow accumulations may reach 15 inches in some areas with ice likely leading to tree branches breaking under weight.

The New York State Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it had crews working around the clock to treat roadways before the snowstorm hits.

Governor Hochul urged motorists in advance of this blizzard to be careful and make sure they always have gasoline on hand as well as enough emergency supplies like flashlights, batteries and food.

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