NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Calling it a "storm for the ages," New York Governor Kathy Hochul has issued a statewide state of emergency as a powerful storm makes its way into Western New York this weekend.
The State of Emergency will go into effect at 6 a.m. Friday.
"We knew this weather was going to be strong, forceful ... it will be nasty. It will be brutish, and I hope to God it's short. The forecast continues to worsen," said Hochul. "I described this as a kitchen sink event. Mother Nature's going to throw everything at us and that means wind, ice, snow, freezing rain, and that's going to be extraordinary."
The governor said that if you have to be somewhere for the holidays this weekend, you should leave now for your destination.
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"New York is ready to respond, all hands on deck 24/7. Operation centers are already set up, coordinating with our local authorities," Hochul said.
The governor says 7,500 utility workers are ready statewide, up from the usual 5,000. Over 2,000 snowplows are being deployed as well.
The governor issued a commercial truck ban from exit 56 to the Pennsylvania state line beginning at 6 a.m. Friday.
She also issued what she called "soft closures," strongly recommending against travel, on state routes 219, 400, and 5 from Big Tree to the 190, as well as interstates 990, 290, and 190. She says those could change to full closures if the weather worsens.
"I want everyone to be safe. This is going to be a storm for the ages, hopefully brief in duration," Hochul said.