Democrat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in 11 counties on Thursday ahead of a heavy snowstorm to hit upstate that will carry intense lake effect snow through Sunday.
“The most significant snowfall is expected Thursday and Friday with accumulations of up to four feet of snow possible in the Buffalo area and up to two feet or more of snow possible in the Watertown area, with snowfall rates of three or more inches per hour,” NY.gov said of the announcement.
“Hazardous travel conditions and local power outages as a result of the storm are likely due to the combination of snow and wind in the forecast,” it added. “Lightning and thunder may also occur in the heavier, more intense bands.”
Hochul has called upon New Yorkers in the Buffalo and Watertown areas to avoid any unnecessary travel through Thursday night and into Friday. The following counties will be under the emergency order: Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wyoming.
In a statement, Gov. Hochul, a climate change enthusiast, called upon citizens of her state to do their “part to make sure that everyone stays safe during this winter storm.”
“My administration has been preparing around the clock for this potentially life-threatening weather event, bringing in additional safety personnel and equipment, closing down the New York State Thruway, and activating Emergency Operation Centers,” she said. “I urge all New Yorkers to stay prepared and vigilant over the next few days, making sure to look after vulnerable loved ones and neighbors.”
Likewise, Jackie Bray, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner, urged people to prepare for the “dangerous snowstorm” and “several days of heavy snow, wind, dangerous travel conditions and the potential for power outages.”
“New Yorkers are familiar with this kind of weather, but it’s our first major snowstorm of the season, so let’s please be careful, do your shopping and other errands now before the heavy snow starts falling, if you can, and touch base with friends and neighbors to make sure they are ready for the storm, too,” Bray said.
According to the Gotham Gazette website, New York under Kathy Hochul has been “pursuing an ambitious overarching climate policy, moving towards a fully green energy grid and economy, building out renewable energy infrastructure, investing in resilience against extreme weather events and in environmental justice for communities hardest hit by pollution and climate change.”