ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency across all 62 counties in New York – including Chautauqua County.
The declaration came Monday afternoon – ahead of the extreme winter storm that was expected to bring as much as two feet of snowfall and high winds to several regions of the state. The Governor also directed non-essential state employees impacted by the winter storm to stay home from work on Tuesday without having to charge accruals.
As a result of the declaration, all public schools and colleges in Chautauqua County are closed for Tuesday.
The governor said that New Yorkers should exercise caution, avoid unnecessary travel and pay close attention to winter storm advisories as the day progresses.
Chautauqua County remains under a Winter Storm Warning until 8 p.m. Wednesday, with 2-4 inches of snow expected for Tuesday, another 1-3 inches is expected for Tuesday night, and 1-2 inches could fall on Wednesday.
According to the National Weather Service, anywhere between 12 to 24 inches of snow is anticipated in the Western New York, Finger Lakes, and Central New York regions through Wednesday night. The heaviest snow accumulations are expected in the south and east of the Capital Region, the Mohawk Valley, and the Mid-Hudson Valley region.
The impact of the state of emergency will be felt most in the New York City metro area, where MTA express subway service will be suspended after the rush hour Tuesday. Above-ground service on the subway has already been suspended, starting at 4 a.m. Tuesday. The storm was expected to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow on the New York City metro area with wind gusts of up to 55 mph.
The storm isn’t just impacting New York State, but most of the states in the Northeast United States, where it has prompted flight cancellations, school closures and warnings to stay off the roads.
The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.
The weather service’s office near Philadelphia called the storm “life-threatening” and warned people to “shelter in place.” Coastal flood warnings were in effect from Massachusetts to Delaware.