(The following press release from the New York State Governor's Office was
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State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor
For Immediate Release: December 26, 2012
GOVERNOR CUOMO ACTIVATES EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER AS WINTER STORM HITS NEW
Governor Cuomo today announced that he will activate the State Emergency
Operations Center (EOC) at 6:00 PM today to monitor the storm and any emergency
needs. Representatives from state agencies are present to coordinate storm
response efforts, including the State Police, Department of Transportation,
Thruway Authority, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Division of Military
and Naval Affairs, Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Department
Beginning Wednesday afternoon and lasting through Thursday afternoon, a winter
storm will bring moderate to heavy snow and some ice to parts of the state. New
Yorkers should monitor weather conditions, stay tuned to local radio and
television stations or to NOAA weather radio for the latest information, plan
their activities accordingly, and be particularly cautious while driving.
"Winter weather has arrived for many parts of the state, so as a precaution we
have opened the emergency operation center to coordinate response efforts using
all state and local resources," Governor Cuomo said. "I also urge New Yorkers
to closely watch local news reports for weather updates and adjust their travel
plans accordingly. All non-essential travel should be avoided during and
directly after the storm since roads will be icy with blizzard conditions in
Secretary to the Governor Larry Schwartz this morning sent a letter to the CEOs
of the utilities that operate in New York State saying that they will be held
accountable for their performance during and after this storm if they do not
meet their obligations to New Yorkers.
Mr. Schwartz’s letter to the utilities is below:
December 26, 2012
Mr. Kevin Burke, Chief Executive Officer
Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc.
4 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003-3598
Mr. William Longhi, President & Chief Executive Officer
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.
One Blue Hill Plaza
Pearl River, NY 10965
Mr. James Laurito, President & Chief Executive Officer
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.
284 South Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Mr. Mark S. Lynch, President
Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. & New York State Electric & Gas Corp.
89 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14649
Mr. Ken Daly, Chief Operating Officer
National Grid – NY
One Metro Tech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Mr. Thomas B. King, President
National Grid, USA
201 Jones Road – 5th Fl.
Waltham, MA 02451-1120
Mr. Michael Taunton, Acting Chief Executive Officer
CC: Larry Waldman, Chairman
Long Island Power Authority
333 Earle Ovington Blvd., Suite 403
Uniondale, NY 11553
The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy snow, freezing rain, and/or
high winds throughout much of the New York State region, beginning today and
continuing into Thursday.
Utilities that are licensed to operate in New York have a responsibility to
ratepayers and to the public to be prepared for predictable weather events. The
State of New York will hold your company accountable for its performance.
I want to make sure you are taking every action necessary to reduce the
likelihood of power outages that could result from this storm, and to be
prepared for any outages that do occur with a sound communications and
To that end, please respond to this letter via email by close of business today
identifying the vulnerabilities in your service territory, and detailing steps
you have taken to prepare for the pending storm, including but not limited to
crewing levels, mutual aid staging logistics, and communications with critical
infrastructure and vulnerable customers. In addition, please send me the
contact information for your lead operations personnel for this event.
Secretary to the Governor
This storm is expected to last 24 to 36 hours, perhaps longer in certain areas
of the state.
The State has taken the following steps to ensure readiness:
Public Service Commission
· PSC Chairman Garry Brown has contacted the CEOs of all the major utilities to
confirm storm preparation efforts.
The electric, gas, steam, and telecommunications utilities are:
· Implementing their emergency plans
· The electric utilities are participating in mutual aid calls to secure
· Staging areas are being stocked to support restoration efforts
· LIPA and National Grid have 110 linemen and 135 tree trimmers ready for
deployment and are coordinating efforts with state, New York City , county and
local emergency management organizations
New York Power Authority
· All resources required (personnel, equipment, vehicles, etc.) for safe,
efficient operations, have been put in place, or are available.
· NYPA will coordinate with State and Local Emergency Management Agencies as
· Northern New York Region:
o Fleet has snow equipment in-service & ready.
· Central New York Region:
o Snowplow vehicles and snow blowers fueled up and pre-staged on Wednesday..
o If needed, the line crew will be prepared for dispatch.
o Emergency generators are fueled and ready.
· Southeast New York Region:
o Storm preparation was the topic of a conference call this morning with all
Small Clean Power Plant sites.
o Snow shovels and rock-salt have be delivered and staged.
· Western New York Region
o Snow removal equipment is in-service and ready.
o Snow removal staffing, plowing and shoveling, has been planned on the basis
of forecasted weather as is standard operating practice.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
· Activating state EOC tonight at 6 PM and continuing around the clock till
storm ends and impacts are responded to.
· EOC in Albany will have New York State Police, OFPC, DOT, Thruway Authority,
PSC tonight and adding human services branch, DOH, DOCCS, DEC, and other
agencies tomorrow at 6 AM.
· DHSES staff will be in Nassau, Suffolk and NYC EOCs, including Breezy Point.
· Setting up a regional coordination center in Mid-Hudson Valley at our DHSES
· Four high axle vehicles have been deployed w DOT crews at DHSES disposal,
including LI and NYC.
· DHSES staff will be staffed in LIPA and ConEd centers as well.
New York State Police:
· Full complement of Troopers and Supervisors on the 1(7 AM-7 PM) and 2 (7 PM-7
AM) shift on both Wednesday and Thursday.
· Approximately 80 - 4 wheel drive vehicles available throughout the State.
· Emergency Management Non-Commissioned Officers's (NCOs) and Zone Commissioned
Officers will be coordinating with the local County Emergency Operations
centers as needed.
· 5 snowmobiles and 8 ATVS will be deployed as needed
· Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit (CVEU) and Traffic Incident Management
(TIM) team members will be used to supplement normal patrol coverage.
· The Dept. of Environmental Conservation will be ready to deploy forest
rangers and law enforcement personnel as needed within their respective service
territories. Together, these units maintain approximately 70 snowmobiles and 40
All Terrain Vehicles that can be utilized to assist in winter-time emergencies.
The equipment is fueled and ready to go.
· DEC Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation officers are on duty and
ready to assist as needed.
· Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers are equipped with 4
wheel drive pick up trucks with mobile radio communications that can be
mobilized as necessary.
· 100 ECOs working tomorrow, along with 22 Supervisors.
· 42 Forest Rangers working tomorrow and additional personnel are available as
All units of the MTA have been monitoring the developing storm since last week
and activating weather contingency plans as the storm develops.
All units have confirmed that necessary personnel will be available throughout
the anticipated storm period for maintenance and response to damage or
developing conditions. In addition:
· NYC Transit
o in anticipating of high tides, has staged its three pump trains and one work
train with portable pumps to respond to possible flooding in vulnerable
o No. 3 train service will therefore terminate at 137th Street and Broadway to
allow for water walls to be erected to prevent flooding at adjacent locations.
o MTA is taking usual steps to advise all customers of developing conditions
and service changes. Riders should consult “service status” at www.mta.info.
o Transit’s Department of Subways has fleet of snow fighting and de icing
equipment prepped to keep tracks, switches and third rails clear of snow and
ice. Fleet includes super powered snow throwers, snow blowers and de-icing cars
for immediate deployment.
o The Subway system has 220 miles of outdoor track, and snow moving equipment
is dispatched to those areas particularly vulnerable to snow and freezing
precipitation, as well as falling trees and limbs, so crews with power saws
will be deployed and available.
· Bridges and Tunnels
o has a fleet of nearly 100 snow and ice fighting vehicles on stand-by
o prepared to moderate traffic or close bridges depending on wind or
precipitation conditions and the need to clear snow and ice.
o The Bridges may be closed to some or all traffic when sustained winds exceed
40 mph or high wind gusts prevail.
o Bridge and Tunnel equipment includes regular maintenance trucks that can be
converted to snow plows and conveyers and vehicles that can sense ground
temperature and the danger of roadway freezing, as well as imbedded roadway
sensors and other technology to track wind, precipitation and temperature
· Long Island Railroad and Metro North Railroad
o are prepared with thousands of employees on alert for emergency duty from pre
storm operations through digging out, dealing with storm damage and restoring
o LIRR will roll out newest addition to snow equipment, the Nordco Snow
Fighter, a rail-bound plow with two 16-foot wings to plow snow, along with
smaller snow removal equipment.
o LIRR is prepared to keep station waiting rooms open around the clock if
necessary to provide shelter for customers.
o Additional crews will be positioned to clear platforms and stairways of snow
and ice with conventional hand-held equipment.
o Metro North and LIRR have been prepping fleets of rail cars, clearing air
brake lines to prevent freezing, de-icing door panels, and fitting signals,
third rail shoes and other equipment to prevent snow accumulation
o Metro North has also recently acquired additional snow fighting equipment
including cold air blowers to clear yard switches and third rails.
o Snow fighting equipment has also been dispatched to all MNR stations and
crews are also positioned to clear and maintain stations.
o With predictions of the heaviest snow accumulations in its service area, MNR
also has crews dispatched with chain saws to quickly clear tracks of fallen
trees and limbs.
Department of Transportation
· The New York State Department of Transportation has fully mobilized its crews
and equipment and is prepared for the approaching storm.
· In addition, NYSDOT's Statewide Transportation Information Coordination
Center is operational and ready to manage the storm response. NYSDOT’s
Transportation Management Centers are staffed to monitor conditions and will
coordinate with first responders on clearing accidents and other incidents.
· NYSDOT has 1,346 plows, 300 loaders and 35 snowblowers to clear snow and ice
from roadways, and will be deployed throughout the storm.
· NYSDOT has a total of 3,815 crew members ready to clear roads statewide;
1,746 operators will work on each 12-hour shift. NYSDOT will also have 100
mechanics available per shift.
· NYSDOT's salt barns are full and there is an abundance of supply to deal with
the anticipated conditions. NYSDOT has a total of 433,886 tons of salt on hand
· NYSDOT has also moved extra crews to the Hudson Valley from Long Island to
assist with the storm.
· The roadway is being pretreated from north of Interchange 15 through
Canajoharie. South of Interchange 15 the forecast is to begin as rain so
pretreatment is ineffective. West of Canajoharie sufficient salt residue
remains on the pavement from light snow the past several days so additional
pretreatment is not required.
· All equipment has been prepared for the storm including 96 7-ton snowplows,
52 front end loaders, 3 large truck mounted snow blowers and 1 large front end
loader mounted blower.
· 117, 792 tons of salt on hand
· Approximately 600 maintenance staff dedicated to snow and ice operations
· All 21 Highway Maintenance Sections will be fully staffed around the clock
for the duration of the storm.
· Thruway will be providing staff to support the activation of the State Office
of Emergency Management
· Thruway’s Emergency Operations Center will be activated at 4PM on 12/26/12
· Thruway’s Statewide Operations Center will have additional staff to handle
increased call volume typical of significant weather events.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
· Deploy extra personnel at all of its facilities and agency staff work
around-the-clock in 12-hour shifts
· Employ extensive sandbagging at PATH entrances including Hoboken, throughout
the WTC site and at our airports to protect against possible storm surges
· Additional pumps have been added at PATH stations, the World Trade Center
site and at our airports
· Pumps and generators are in place and operational at the Holland and Lincoln
· The Port Authority is prepared to deploy floodgates at Hoboken and Exchange
Place PATH stations and bring rail cars to higher ground
· The airports, bridges, tunnels and PATH have winter weather desks where key
personnel analyze weather reports and deploy staff and equipment
· As the storm approaches, the Port Authority strongly advises airline
passengers to check with their carriers on the status of their flight. In the
past, airlines have cancelled flights in advance of forecast storms. The agency
strongly urges customers not to go to the airports unless they are certain that
their flight will be departing
· Customer Care Representatives at Port Authority airports are preparing for
irregular operations through vigorous training and experience dealing with
previous storms. They are able to provide assistance with basic items (water,
diapers and baby formula) for any passengers who may be stranded. Under the
terms of the agency’s concession contracts, at least one food vendor in every
open passenger terminal must remain open 24 hours so that food is available any
time of the day or night.
In the event of a snow/ice storm, the Port Authority has at its disposal:
· more than 200 pieces of snow and ice equipment at its airports, including
melters that can liquefy up to 500 tons of snow an hour, and plows that can
clear snow at 40 mph;
· approximately 60 pieces of snow equipment at the bridges and tunnels,
including 28 trucks equipped with plows and spreaders at the George Washington
Bridge, the world’s busiest;
· more than 2,000 tons of salt and more than 1,500 tons of sand for airport
roads and parking lots, plus more than 2,000 tons of salt for the bridges and
· approximately 300,000 gallons of liquid anti-icer chemicals at the airports,
which prevents snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways, plus
approximately 1,700 tons of solid deicers, which break up ice and snow already
on the ground;
· plow-equipped trains, liquid snow-melting agent trains and a “jet engine”
plow to remove snow from tracks, and snow blowers, plows and spreaders to clear
station entrances, roads that serve PATH’s 13 stations, and various support
· approximately 1,000 staff members and contractors with years of specialized
training and professional experience in handling severe winter weather at
For more information on winter storm safety and preparedness, visit
Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov
New York State | Executive Chamber | firstname.lastname@example.org | 518.474.8418
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