Safety & Compliance

New York Activates Plow Fleet for Lake Effect Snowstorms

January 13, 2016

Photo courtesy of NYSDOT.
Photo courtesy of NYSDOT.

New York has begun shifting resources, including its fleet of plow trucks, to the central and western regions of the state in the face of "lake effect" snowstorms that are expected to hit hard.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also activated the state's Emergency Operations Center to deal with bands of heavy snow that create hazardous road conditions and high winds, the governor's office announced.

The state has also restricted long tandem tractor trailers on sections of Interstate 90.

The New York State Thruway Authority has been deploying extra personnel and equipment to the area from its Albany and New York Divisions.

The Thruway's 390 plow operators and supervisors manage winter weather in the Syracuse and Buffalo regions with 210 large and medium plow trucks, 32 front-end loaders, 17 large snow blowers and 72,000 tons of salt. These numbers also include supplemental resources assisting on the Thruway.

The New York State Department of Transportation has sent at least six tow plows to Southern Erie, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties. These can clear two lanes of roadway. The tow plow hydraulically shifts to the right while in motion and can also dump salt, reported WRGZ.

NYSDOT now counts 1,700 operators and supervisors in impacted regions that can respond with 652 large plow dump trucks, 72 medium plow dump trucks, 150 loaders, 32 truck loader mounted snow blowers, 32 tow plows, nine pickup trucks with plows and additional resources. The agency has more than 202,000 tons of road salt on hand.

The Thruway Authority began restricting long tandem tractor trailers along I-90 in both directions from Exit 31 (Utica – NY Routes 8 and 12 – I-790) to Exit 42 (Geneva – Lyons – NY Route 14).

This restriction is in effect from 7 p.m. Jan. 12 through noon on Jan. 13. Tandems should utilize the Thruway’s tandem parking areas to break up tandem combinations prior to reaching the restricted section of I-90.

Albany receives an average of 45 inches of snow per year, while the Buffalo and Syracuse areas receive an average of 90 inches and 120 inches, respectively.

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