Video, B-Roll, Audio, Photos & Rush Transript: Governor Cuomo Warns of Continuous Snowfall Over Several Days Across Upstate and Announces State Assets Ready to Deploy to Affected Regions

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Video, B-Roll, Audio, Photos & Rush...

Total Snow Accumulations of Up to 20 Inches Possible in Western New York and the North Country

Heavy Snow Bands and Blowing Snow Could Cause Hazardous Travel Conditions

State Stands Ready to Deploy Additional Assets to Affected Regions as Needed, Including Equipment and New York National Guard Personnel

Governor Cuomo today warned New Yorkers to take precautions ahead of several days of continuous snowfall expected upstate, and delivered an update on the state's preparations for the winter weather system. Throughout the next 24 hours, the majority of upstate will experience strong winds and anywhere between two and seven inches of snow, with the possibility of up to 20 inches of snow in portions of Western New York and the North Country due to the lake effect. Due to these conditions, New Yorkers should travel with caution over the next 24 hours as driving conditions may grow difficult due to snow covered roads, blowing snow and limited visibility. The State stands ready to deploy assets to affected regions of the state as needed, including equipment and New York National Guard personnel. Nearly 550 State Troopers and 90 supervisors are currently deployed in the affected areas. More information is available here.

VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

B-ROLL of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the event is available here.

PHOTOS of the event will be available on the Governor's Flickr page.

A rush transcript of Governor Cuomo's remarks is available below:

Let me introduce who we have with us today. To my left, I have Michael Kopy who is from the Governor's Office of Emergency Management. To my right, Kevin Wisely, who is from the Office of Emergency Services also. State Police, we have Captain Teppo. We have Sam Zhou from the Department of Transportation, he's the Assistant Commissioner. Pat Barnes, who is the Capital Regional DOT Director. We also have Chris DeBolt, who is the Washington County Administrator. Susanna Slater from DOT and Megan Baker from DOT and we have a number of other DOT professionals who are with us today. We're here to talk about a snow event. Snow is nothing new in the north Country, as we know. This snow event is going to be a little different. The duration of the snow event is going to be longer than usual and could make situations more complicated. We're looking at about three days of significant and steady snowfall in the North Country over the three days we're looking for lake effect that could drop approximately 20 inches of snow. That's a significant amount of snow.

The good news is, it's over three days, so if we keep up with it, it should be manageable, but 20 inches of snow is nothing to be underestimated. We're looking at about the same in the Chautauqua Ridge area. Syracuse—over three days—we're looking at about eight inches and that will be manageable again if we stay on top of it. Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, also about eight inches of snow. So, as you can see from the forecast, it's a wide geographic area that we have to cover. You have the Tug Hill Plateau, obviously, which is going to be a special concern, but then it is an incident that will cover the entire North Country, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, et cetera. So it is going to be challenging.

We've already had 81 automobile accidents since the snow started. Luckily, none of them serious, but people who are getting in their cars should exercise caution. I know everyone's familiar with the snow in this part of the state, but again, the snow, the icing, it's going to be cold, it's a dangerous combination. We have other equipment that we are ready to deploy to these areas if we need to. We have equipment on standby from other parts of the state—Capital Region south, we're not expecting significant snowfall. New York City area, Long Island, and what we have worked very hard at doing over the years is having a more mobile response capacity.

In the old days, the North Country had the number of trucks they had, whatever happened, that's what you had. We've changed that method of operation. Where we've added equipment across the state and we've made the equipment more mobile so we can adjust with the weather patterns as they develop. So that equipment is on standby. Drivers are on standby. We've asked the National Guard to be on the ready if things get worse than expected. We could also deploy National Guard personnel. These are projections of snowfall. As we know, sometimes the reality is different than the projections.

I made a terrible mistake once. One of the terrible mistakes I've made while I've been governor, where I suggested that the weather forecast was wrong. I was barraged by weather people from all across the United States for suggesting that the weather forecast was wrong. I will not make that mistake again. But let me say this: these projections are estimates and the weather forecasters do the best they can with the estimates. However, weather patterns change and if a weather pattern changes, then the reality changes. We're talking about three days. That's a relatively long period of time. You can see a change in the weather. And then 20 inches of snow, which is serious in and of itself, could become more. And we've seen that many more times than I care to remember. We've seen he projections much different from the reality. So our motto is prepare for the worst, hope for the best. That's exactly what we're doing.

I'd also like the officials in local governments—you know what roads are problematic, you know what drainage areas are problematic, you know what streams are problematic. If you're going to need help, please tell us sooner rather than later. It gets frustrating when you get into the heart of a storm and then the phone starts to ring and local officials say, I need help here or I need help there. So for local officials, act sooner rather than later. If you need help tell us now before we have a really significant snow fall. We have the resources. We can get you the resources. We can get you the help get you the help you need, but we need to know sooner.

And again, everybody has a responsibility in these situations. Drivers have a responsibility. If you see the snow is getting heavy play it safe don't go out. If you go out and you get stuck, you just make more work for everyone and then we have to send emergency personnel out to put themselves in a dangerous situation to help motorists. So this team of professionals I believe is the best in the country. They're trained, they're more experienced than they care to remember. They have the right equipment, but we don't want to put them in a situation where they have to endanger themselves. Same with the New York State police. We have 550 troopers on duty. They stand ready to help, but again let us help emergency responders do their job. If you don't need to be on the road and the snow is heavy, please don't. If you're a local official, you think you're going to need help, let us meet today before the snowfall really starts.

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