JOE ROBACH OFFICE REMINDS RESIDENTS TO EXERCISE CAUTION AND AVOID UNNECESSARY TRAVEL DURING WINTER STORM

State agencies are preparing for this winter storm that is expected to cover a wide portion of New York State from Tuesday through Wednesday. As the storm approaches the state, Joe Robach reminds citizens to prepare properly for the storm, avoid unnecessary travel and use caution when traveling to and from the home or office.

The State has 1,789 plows, 359 loaders and 4,185 operators stationed and ready for the storm, along with 259,605 tons of salt on hand statewide. These actions allow plow operations on critical roadways to be maintained overnight while ensuring driver safety.

Joe Robach states that all Thruway and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) maintenance headquarters will be fully staffed at their office around the clock for the duration of the storm.
Travelers on the New York State Thruway can find real-time traffic and road condition updates at www.Thruway.ny.gov, can sign up for TRANSAlert emails at http://www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml, or follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter. Also for more information and to sign up for free alerts about hazardous travel conditions in your area, go to www.nyalert.gov. Thruway travelers can also find useful information on the Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) stations which broadcast traffic advisories, road conditions, and safety tips 24-hours-a-day. HAR frequencies can be found at http://www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/har/index.html.

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) will also extend its call center helpline hours beginning Wednesday, February 5, from 7:30 AM to 7:30PM, and continuing Thursday, February 6 from 7:30AM to 7:30PM, if needed, to assist consumers in storm preparation and response efforts. The helpline number is 1-800-342-3377.

Joe Robach also announced the activation of the State Emergency Operation Center office to monitor the storm. All specialty vehicles in the State Police’s fleet, including four wheel drive vehicles, have been prepared for emergency response use. All emergency power and communications equipment has been tested. State Police troopers normally assigned to Traffic Incident Management and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement troopers have been re-assigned to patrol duties for this storm. State Police will provide staff to any county emergency operations centers that may be activated to help coordinate responses with local agencies.

Additionally, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the following areas from Tuesday, February 4th through Wednesday, February 5th:
Western and Central New York
Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Genesee, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Yates and Wayne Counties
Moderate to heavy snow with accumulations of 6 to 14 inches is expected.

New York State provides a travel advisory system that features real-time travel reports and can be accessed by phone at 511 or online at www.511ny.org. The Web site features a color-coded map indicating which state roads are snow covered, ice covered, wet, dry, or closed to help travelers determine if travel is advisable. The system provides real-time snow and ice conditions for interstates and other heavily traveled roads, as reported by snowplow operators.