A winter storm that’s been called ‘Hercules’ is really packing a punch over the Northeast and has also been making its presence known here in Central New York. Frigid cold temperatures are forecasted to plunge to around zero with windchills dropping to minus ten to 20 below. In advance of the storm on Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo Activated the State Emergency Operations Center. He also issued a State of Emergency Thursday night. An emergency management team continues tracking the frigid weather to decide where snowplows and other storm resources are needed.
“Normally we have a Downstate situation or an Upstate situation and we’ll deploy resources accordingly. So, if it’s a downstate problem; we bring the Upstate resources down and vice versa. If we have to work statewide, that obviously is going to stretch our equipment and resources and personnel.” - Governor Cuomo
The Governor is urging citizens to use caution if they have to leave their homes. As far as travel is concerned, he also wants drivers to know they might not be able to use highways.
“If the storm continues on this trajectory with this severity, there is the very real possibility of road closings.”
Cuomo adds that any driver that goes past physical road or highway closure barriers can expect legal ramifications. The State Emergency Operations Center is also keeping tabs with counties. Onondaga County 9-1-1 Commissioner Bill Bleyle says there was a steady stream of vehicle accidents on Thursday.
“… but, call volume is not what you think it might be given the weather conditions out there. But, we do expect that we’ll see increases in volume come rush hour time.”
New York State has been in contact with other neighboring states to keep them on stand-by in case additional assistance is necessary. For winter storm preparedness tips, visit the State Emergency Management website. The New York State Thruway was closed Thursday night from Albany to New York City.