Senator Joe Robach and the offices of other elected state officials declared a state of emergency for many counties throughout New York State this past week. Additionally, the National Weather Service declared a Blizzard Warning for many of these same counties.
The storm brought significant snowfall from Wednesday into Thursday in the Western, Central, Capital and North Country regions of the State. As part of the State of the Emergency, the Governor ordered the activation of the State’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Staffing at the EOC include personnel from NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, New York State Police, Thruway Authority, Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation and the Public Service Commission.
The Office of Joe Robach reminded residents that 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 taken to ensure readiness for the storm this past week and others include:
- The State activated 1,794 plows, 306 front loaders and 4,185 operators in affected regions.
- The State had 406,500 tons of road salt on-hand for the areas in the path of the storm.
- The Thruway Authority banned long tandem trailers from exit 25A (I-88) to the Pennsylvania state line.
- All Thruway and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) maintenance headquarters were and will be fully staffed around the clock for the duration of any storm that enters the region.
Joe Robach Office recommends the following tips to citizens that reside in storm affected regions:
- Never follow a snowplow too closely or attempt to pass one. Remember that the highway ahead of the plow is usually snow-covered.
- Adjust speed for road conditions and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.
- Schedule extra time for winter travel and be patient during ice and snow removal operations.
- Assume that bridge surfaces are slippery, as they freeze more quickly than road surfaces.
- Be wary of black ice, which can be difficult to see but makes conditions slippery when pavement temperatures are below freezing.
- Have a cell phone handy, if possible, but do not text while driving; distracted driving is illegal and becomes even more dangerous during storm events.
- Never venture from your vehicle if snowbound.
- Equip your car with emergency supplies including sand, shovel, flares, booster cables, rope, ice scraper, portable radio, flashlight, blankets and extra warm clothes.
- Inform a responsible person of your destination, intended route, and estimated time of arrival.
- Keep calm and do not panic in case of a vehicle breakdown, accident, or if you become snowbound.
If you lose electrical service during the winter, follow these tips:
- First, call 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.
If anyone needs information or assistance during any winter storm, Joe Robach encourages residents to call his district office at 585.225.3650.