As we prepare for one of the most travel heavy weekends of the year, a complicated weather forecast that is legitimately changing by the hour has caused Governor Hochul to declare a statewide State of Emergency, effective now through Monday.

Several New York State vehicle bans have been put in place ahead of heavy rain, snow, strong winds, coastal and lakeshore flooding, flash freezing and more 

Governor Hochul Declares Statewide State of Emergency Through Monday December 26th

As the holiday weekend is upon us, and many within the area prepare to travel or welcome guests, Governor Hochul is urging those who did not already travel to their destinations to wait until Sunday, as conditions statewide will be dangerous for travel on both Friday and Saturday, December 23rd and 24th.

Our agencies are well prepared, coordinated and ready to deploy assets and equipment if needed to respond to the storm. We want all New Yorkers to get where they need to go safely to celebrate the holidays with loved ones.

New York Governor Hochul Discusses Monkeypox Breakout
Getty Images

Though the Hudson Valley woke up to unseasonably warm temperatures on Friday morning, that warmup came after a night full of strong winds, heavy rains, sleet and snow across the area.  Friday into Saturday, it has been reported that many across New York State will see strong winds and rapidly dropping temps, some regions even by more than 35 degrees.  This rapid drop will cause flash freezing, below zero wind chills and icy road conditions.

Power outages have already been reported in the Hudson Valley, with community reports of downed trees and power lines.  Given the strong winds in the forecast, this trend may continue through Saturday.

Storm Preparations From The State

With the announcement of the State of Emergency, the Governor also shared that NY has several thousand external workers on standby, and more than 7,000 workers statewide for storm response and restoration.  The State Department of Transportation has also made preparations for their response fleet and extra officers from the New York State Police will be on patrol.

Blizzard Barrels Into Northeastern U.S.
Getty Images

In addition, the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services have begun preparations, and the NY State Emergency Operations Center was opened on Friday morning.

Motorists are encouraged to download the Thruway Authority mobile app to stay in the loop with real-time updates and traffic conditions.

10 Important Items to Prepare for Another Hudson Valley Winter

Orange County Emergency Management - NY is encouraging residents to begin preparing for winter, which officially begins on December 21st. Residents should always have the following items available:

77" In 48 Hours - A Look At WNY's Record Breaking Lake Effect Snowstorm

The wet and heavy lake effect snowstorm pelted the area, making traveling impossible. Flights were canceled at Buffalo-Niagara Airport, causing headaches for travelers heading into the Thanksgiving holiday week. Driving bans are in effect in multiple WNY counties, making it illegal for employers to require their workers to commute.

Here’s some snapshots of what it looks like on the ground: