Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Governor Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for Western New York. This as we deal with a blizzard warning this afternoon.
“With arrival of this latest winter storm , I am declaring a state of emergency in the regions where a Blizzard Warning has been issued, so that we can effectively respond to the storm and aid communities that may experience difficulty as a result of high snowfall,” Governor Cuomo said. “These areas are expected to continue to receive heavy snow that may accumulate at rates of around one to two inches per hour, which will make it difficult for plows to keep some roads clear. New Yorkers in these areas should exercise caution until the worst of the storm has passed.”
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 include:
Roads and Bridges
The State has activated 1,794 plows, 306 front loaders and 4,185 operators in affected regions.
Also, the State has 406,500 tons of road salt on-hand for the areas in the path of the storm.
The Thruway Authority has 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 will be fully staffed around the clock for the duration of the storm.
The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) will activate its call center helpline hours beginning Wednesday, March 12th at 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM, and continuing through Friday, March 14th 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.
PSC staff will continue to monitor the utilities’ efforts throughout the storm and during the restoration period. The electric utilities are prepared to respond to power disruptions throughout the event. In total, approximately 3,800 field workers are available to respond statewide. Additional crews are also available through mutual assistance, if needed.
The Division of State Police has had contact with all regional Troop Commanders to ensure that resources and staffing patterns have been identified for the storm. Troop Emergency Management personnel have been pre-designated to staff open county Emergency Operation Centers. Weather related incident reporting procedures are in place for the duration of the storm. State Police continue to closely monitor road closures and restrictions with the Department of Transportation and NYS Thruway Authority.
The Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services and State Police will provide staff to any county emergency operations centers that may be activated to help coordinate responses with local agencies.