In the wake of a major snowstorm in the region, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued on Monday a safety advisory in seven counties and declared a state of emergency. The worst-hit regions - Ulster County, Schenectady County, Saratoga, Rensselaer County, Greene County, Columbia, and Albany County - fall under this category.
At a storm briefing held at Kingston, Cuomo made the announcement stating that the move will ease the process of disaster management. Over 300 National Guards have been deployed to assist in snow clearance operations in these regions, he added. Also, the commissioners from DHSES, Thruway Authority, DOT and State Police have been posted at the worst-hit regions to oversee the operations.
Enhanced Monitoring Mode
On December 1 late evening, NY Governor issued a directive in 11 counties declaring a suspension of work for "non-essential" state employees for a day on Monday. The employees who fall into the "essential" category are - emergency responders, snow-clearance teams, health care personnel, and hazard mitigation workers.
According to reports, the State Emergency Operations Center is activated and kept in Enhanced Monitoring Mode. Meanwhile, the National Guard is on standby duty. The National Weather Service has predicted heavy snow in Albany and Rockland counties along with Capital Region lasting till Tuesday.
12 inches of snow covering areas in the Capital Region
With already 12 inches of snow covering areas in the Capital Region, another eight inches deposition is predicted during the next couple of days. Residents of majorly hit towns like Colonie and Rockland have been advised to avoid unnecessary travel for the next two days. Schools, state and local government offices in the 7 counties remain closed.
Since the winter storm continues to display its rage, reduced speed limits have been put into effect on several state-owned roadways. Signs boards informing the suggested slower speeds are placed strategically in various locations on these highways.
The pedestrians and motorists have also been cautioned of the snowplow and emergency vehicles which have limited lines of sight during such weather. Meanwhile, the Thruway Authority is urging people with vehicles on the go to download its mobile application and sign up for TRANSalert e-mails to receive real-time traffic and navigation updates and assistance.
Though over 740 storm-related crashes have been recorded statewide and around 558 automobiles have been disabled, no casualties have been reported so far. Further details awaited.