New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has declared a state of emergency as Winter Storm Nemo makes its way northward along the east coast of the United States.
The state of emergency was announced as heavy snow and winds began battering parts of New York state late Friday afternoon. A disaster declaration was also issued for for the following counties: Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester.
In a press release, Gov. Cuomo stated:
“As this winter storm unfolds, bringing heavy snow and high winds to parts of the state, I strongly urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution, avoid travel, and stay indoors. To ensure an effective and rapid response to this winter storm, I am declaring a state of emergency for counties in the lower Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island so resources can get to communities where they are needed as quickly as possible.”
Nemo is expected to bring anywhere between 10-20 inches of snow in various parts of the state. Approximately 470,000 tons of salt is on hand across the state and was being used to pre-treat roads. More than 1,770 plow trucks were also on standby and ready to respond once the snow began to fall. Interstate 84 from the Pennsylvania state line to the Connecticut state line is closed to commercial truck traffic. Although the MTA system remains open, officials have warned storm conditions could require a suspension of service for some portions of the bus, subway and commuter train routes.
Airports in New York City are experiencing numerous flight cancellations, with Flightaware saying LaGuardia (KLGA), John F Kennedy International (KJFK) and Newark Liberty International experiencing mass cancellations due to a blizzard.
Govenors in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island also declared state of emergencies due to the blizzard conditions associated with Nemo. As reported by Digital Journal earlier on Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ordered non-emergency state workers to stay home Friday and urged private employers to do the same, saying "extremely dangerous conditions" were expected as snowfall of up to 2-3 inches per hour was expected.
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy told residents to stay off the roads and warned that roadways in the state were subject to closure beginning at noon on Friday. He went on to say:
As the weather gets worse over the next few hours, we need to keep the roads clear so that emergency-related personnel and utility crews can reach those that may need our help,” Malloy said in a statement. “By traveling in these conditions, you are not only putting yourself in danger, but you are potentially risking the lives of first responders, utility workers and other residents. Please be safe.