New York State agencies directed to prepare for Christmas Eve storm

New York State

(File/Getty)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Agencies across the state are being directed to prepare for extreme weather on Christmas Eve.

Governor Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers on Wednesday to prepare for extreme weather as a storm is expected on December 24, Christmas Eve. A weather system is predicted to move through the state; bringing a mix of heavy rain and high wind and heavy lake effect snow.

According to the National Weather Service, a passing cold front is expected to bring up to nine inches of lake effect snow to areas in the North Country, up to a foot of snow in Western New York and heavy rain, gusty winds and the possibility of flooding in the Capital, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City and Long Island Regions.

The extreme weather is expected to begin late Thursday nigh and continue through Friday and Saturday. Flood watches, high wind watches and winter storm watches have been issues for various locations across the state.

In response to the extreme weather, Governor Cuomo has directed state agencies to begin emergency preparations.

“It appears as if Mother Nature is giving us a mixed bag of weather as a gift this holiday season, with lake effect snow forecast for Western New York, and a potential washout everywhere else,” stated Governor Cuomo. “I have directed our state agencies to prepare emergency response assets and remain in constant coordination with local governments and utility companies to ensure any problems stemming from the storm are addressed immediately. If you plan on traveling, please do so with care and remember to celebrate smart.”

According to Governor Cuomo’s Office, the following resources will be made through the Department of Transportation.

  • 1599 large plow trucks
  • 175 medium duty trucks with plow
  • 40 snow blowers
  • 49 loaders with grapple
  • 16 vacuum trucks with sewer jet
  • 31 tracked excavators
  • 45 wheeled excavators
  • 53 tractor trailers with lowboy trailer
  • 15 tree crew bucket trucks
  • 33 traffic signal trucks
  • 6 water pumps (4-6 inch)
  • 79 chippers 10″ (min) capacity

Additionally, the Thruway Authority, Office of Recreation and Historic Preservation, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Public Service, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, State Police Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Port Authority have made resources available in preparation.

New Yorkers are also urged to drive with caution during extreme weather. Tips for safe driving include the following.

  • Avoid unnecessary travel when winter storms strike
  • Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads
  • Drive at slower speeds he approaching patches of leaves as wet leaves can cause slippery conditions
  • Prepare vehicles with survival gear
    • Blankets, shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, tire chain, battery booster cables, quick energy foods and brightly colored cloth

The National Weather Service issued a Severe Winter Weather Watch for both Jefferson and Lewis County in preparation for the winter storm. The watch goes in effect starting at 1 a.m. on December 25 and is expected to last through the afternoon of December 26, 2020.

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