Rochester, New York – On Thursday, Governor Kathy Hochul declared a State of Emergency for the entire State of New York in advance of a significant winter weather system forecast to bring a mixed bag of hazards across the state beginning Thursday evening and continuing through Monday. The storm, described as the worst in decades, is expected to cause a lot of problems for Americans in several states during the Christmas weekend.
According to a FoxWeather report from this morning, more than 1 million people were already without power across 25 states as wind gusts of 40–60 mph or higher raked the eastern third of the nation. Businesses and schools in the Monroe County area announced Friday closures a day earlier as local officials advised people to stay home. Western New York is heavily hit by the winter storm and state officials even decided to expand the ban on driving commercial vehicles to all vehicles in Erie County. On Friday, Gov. Hochul held another press conference in Latham to discuss the current situation statewide.
“This is a life-threatening, dangerous event. Protect yourselves, protect your families, do not travel until the roads are re-opened and you know it’s safe.” Governor Hochul said. “I know there is a strong desire to be with loved ones at this time, but the lives of your loved ones and yourself come first.”
Drivers are urged to remain home during the weekend and restrict unnecessary travel. Those who will travel should be well prepared for winter conditions on the roads. Drivers are advised to have emergency items in their vehicles like blankets, flashlight\, first aid kits, shovel, warm clothing, gloves, food items, water, and medications.
The New York State Thruway announced that all commercial vehicles have been banned from the New York State Thruway from Exit 46 (Henrietta) to the Pennsylvania border. The ban will remain in effect until further notice.
Rochester’s mayor also declared a state of emergency early Friday morning as thousands of residents were already without power due to high winds.
We will try to provide regular updates on the situation in Rochester and Monroe County. Stay with us!