Tuesday’s winter storm hit harder than expected in some areas of New York, including in parts of the Hudson Valley. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo added various travel bans throughout the day.
By 1 o’clock, Governor Cuomo had declared a full travel ban on I-84, one hour after Metro-North Railroad suspended service. Cuomo says starting at 6 p.m., Metro-North was resuming limited hourly service until 11 p.m. on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines. During a briefing earlier today, Cuomo underscored the importance of staying put.
“People are staying off the roads, which is smart and which I encourage. Stay inside. View this from, through the window. It looks beautiful through the window. If you step outside it is not as beautiful, Trust me, I’ve been there,” Cuomo said. So the lower volume will allow us to do our job today so the morning commute we’re in better shape.”
Plus, he said:
“Mother Nature can be an unpredictable lady and she was once again today. The forecast for the storm were that New York City and Long Island would bear the brunt of it. That’s what they had been saying for the past couple of days,” Cuomo said. “We then deploy our resources depending on the forecast so we deployed very heavily in the New York City and Long Island area.”
However, the storm tracked further west, impacting the mid-Hudson Valley and Capital District worse than anticipated. Cuomo said the Southern Tier and Central New York were hardest hit, and he redeployed resources from New York City and Long Island to these regions further west. Here’s Ulster County Executive Mike Hein.
“The reality is this is going to be a multi-day cleanup. And this is a huge storm,” Hein says. “And, again, we hope that everyone shelters in place and stays safe through this process. That’s the most important thing of all.”
Hein says his county’s state of emergency remains in effect until 8:30 p.m.
“What we’re seeing now shows the storm ending relatively close to the end of the state of emergency,” says Hein. “And so what we are likely to be able to do is really play this by ear, but we’re making huge strides in spite of the fact that there is enormous blowing and drifting snow really that’s impacting virtually every road.”
Ulster and Dutchess Counties have been some of the hardest hit within the Hudson Valley, with the bulk of power outages in Ulster. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has not said when he will lift the county’s state of emergency. Molinaro midday added a parking ban on public roads. Despite the enormity of Winter Storm Stella, Molinaro believes the storm will not negatively impact his budget.
“Budgetarily, we’ve been within budget. The winter hasn’t been overwhelming,” says Molinaro. “But obviously this puts some stress on the county Public Works Department. But we’ll work it out. We’ll accommodate. And we feel pretty confident that we’ll not only certainly be within budget but that we’ll be able to handle the cleanup of this particular storm.”
Dutchess and other areas could be under some 30 inches of snow when the storm departs.