Earlier this morning, Governor Kathy Hochul was a guest on News12 Westchester/Hudson Valley to provide an update on the ongoing winter storm.
AUDIO of the event is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:
Tara Joyce: Joining us right now on the phone is the governor of the state of New York. Kathy Hochul is with us and Governor, we thank you for your time.
Governor Hochul: Good morning. What a rough morning out there. That’s for sure.
Tara Joyce: Thus far, indeed. Governor, listening to your storm briefings this season thus far, and there have been several because we’ve had an interesting ride, even just kicking off this year, knowing your background as well, I would imagine snow, while you want to be prepared for it, doesn’t really scare you. But a day like today, I imagine that conjures up some different feelings, yes?
Governor Hochul: It’s certainly you can always shovel snow and plow it out of the way, but when there’s ice involved, that is where it gets really treacherous. The roads are slippery, they’re ripe for disaster. If people are out there traveling, we’re absolutely encouraging people to stay off the roads as long as you can today. If you don’t have to go into work, please don’t or start your weekend a little bit early. We benefited last weekend when there was a major storm that hit on a Saturday, this one was just a little bit earlier than that. And so, we’re dealing with it during commuting time, which is really rough out there.
Our crews have been out there, but I have to tell you, because there was rain involved, the fact that we salted early and primed the roads, we were prepared, the rain washed it off, that’s why it’s made it more difficult than last weekend when we were just dealing with snow and ice.
So, that’s a different dynamic, but we’re encouraging people to stay home. We have a significant number of power outages. So, people need to be safe and staying warm in their homes, hopefully. We hope to get them restored later today. We’ve got 36,000 statewide and actually 24,000 in Ulster County alone, where I’ll be heading this morning. I’ll be in Kingston in a couple of hours to give a report on what we’re seeing there.
But our teams have been on the ground. We’re plowing, we’re providing assistance to any of the local governments, in constant communication with them, but it’s up to individuals and how they handle this and the roads are unpredictable right now. So, the safest place really is at home.
Tara Joyce: I think the other thing that is raising some red flags for our storm team here at News12 is the duration of this and that timeline has shifted because we are seeing temperatures to a deep plummet in some areas. This is going to look like extend beyond just the morning commute, so we also don’t want people to get confident that just because the morning rush is over, this is better out there.
Governor Hochul: Very sound advice. I reiterate the same thing. This is going to go on throughout the day, we don’t know what time it’s going to abate, but it is shifting dramatically from what we had been told initially and so we have to prepare for that. I would say the Hudson Valley is really the epicenter of this right now.
North of Rockland and Westchester, it is very much a major ice event. South of there, it is some ice, but mostly rain, which is a different dynamic, but this is a very serious storm. And it’s throwing everything at us – parts of the state have heavy snow, we’ve got, accumulations of ice, which are really making it difficult, especially scraping your cars.Not everybody’s as experienced scraping ice as I am coming from Buffalo, but it is not fun. So, the whole dynamic is stay home.
But also, wires, it’s dangerous and trees that are getting caked with ice can come down even when you’re driving. That as a dangerous situation. You’re on the roads and the limbs start falling down because of the weight of the ice. And that’s what’s driving our power outages, but it also, I have seen circumstances where people thought they were safe driving in a car and a tree limb comes down right on top of them. So, these are all the dynamics. I have a lot of experience with coming from Western New York, but it is still, I would say, my characterization, the ice is treacherous and we need to be prepared.
A lot of schools are closed, which is good. If you can work remotely, please do. But if you have to be out there, you have to go much slower than normal. Also our plows are out there doing the best they can. So, let’s give them plenty of room so they can make the roads safe for all of us.
Tara Joyce: The Hudson Valley saw the aftermath of this ice event not too long ago. So,let’s not forget where we were then and where we don’t want to be again today.
Governor Kathy Hochul, we thank you for the time.
Governor Hochul: All right. Thank you very much. Bye bye.