Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for downstate New York on Thursday morning as a “bomb cyclone” snowstorm hit the region with heavy winds and rapid snowfall.
The declaration is in effect for Westchester County, New York City and Long Island, the governor said in a press conference. New York City is expected to get hit with six to 10 inches of snow by the end of the day; parts of Long Island could see upward of a foot.
“Unless it is essential for you to be out on the roads and moving around today, you should not be,” Cuomo said. “If there is something that you have to do today and you have no viable alternative, then you should know that you are putting yourself in a situation of risk, and other people in a situation of risk.”
Early morning commuters were met with snowy trips into work, but Cuomo says that conditions will rapidly deteriorate during the afternoon and evening. Officials are anticipating that roads will be particularly treacherous on Long Island this afternoon, though MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said that he does not expect service changes on the Long Island Rail Road.
“This is not a normal snowstorm,” Cuomo said. “Mother Nature can bring a severity that is beyond our control. Period.”
Stay safe out there, New Yorkers.