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Governor Cuomo directs state agencies to prepare for lake effect snow

Posted at 3:15 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 15:18:27-05

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets in advance of lake effect snow expected in areas of Western New York and the eastern end of Lake Ontario.

A Lake Effect Snow Warning is now in place from Friday afternoon through Saturday night for Erie, Genesee and Wyoming counties. Accumulations of over a foot of snow are possible. Wind will also be a factor, making for difficult travel within the snow bands.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in place for Niagara and Orleans counties for the same time period.

You can find the latest weather alerts and forecast here.

Below are some of the preparations the state has made:

Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation is responding with 3,645 supervisors and operators. All residency locations will remain staffed for 24/7 operation throughout the duration of the event. Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 1,605 large plow trucks
  • 175 medium duty plows
  • 11 pickups with plows
  • 51 tow plows
  • 315 large loaders
  • 39 snow blowers

Thruway Authority

  • 694 operators and supervisors ready to respond
  • 242 large snowplows
  • 103 medium snowplows
  • 11 tow plows
  • 63 loaders
  • More than 116,000 tons of road salt on hand.
  • Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway.

New York State Police

State Police are prepared to deploy additional Troopers as needed to affected areas. All State Police specialized vehicles, including four-wheel drive vehicles, snowmobiles and Utility Task Vehicles, are staged and ready for immediate response. All Troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.

Winter safety tips from NYS

  • When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.
  • Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads.
  • If you must travel, make sure your car is stocked with survival gear like blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag.
  • If you have a cell phone or other communications device such as a two-way radio available for your use, keep the battery charged and keep it with you whenever traveling. If you should become stranded, you will be able to call for help, advising rescuers of your location.

"The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow; good vision is key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert and remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions," a release from the governor's office says.