Governor Andrew Cuomo's office has declared a state of emergency for all of New York State as a winter storm continues to bring heavy snow, ice, and freezing rain to communities in both the upstate and downstate regions.
Cuomo says the state has deployed more than 2,000 plows and other pieces of heavy equipment to keep roads clear during a storm that has forced the closure of one major highway and hundreds of schools upstate.
Cuomo and other authorities are advising against any unnecessary travel Wednesday because of hazardous driving conditions from a storm that has dumped up to a foot of snow on some upstate areas.
??This is a significant winter storm impacting all regions of the state and we are taking all necessary steps to keep New Yorkers safe,?? said Cuomo in a news release. ??I have declared a state of emergency for all counties so that we can continue our effective and quick response in communities that have been hit the hardest. New Yorkers in affected regions should stay off the roads, check on their neighbors and loved ones, and stay inside their homes until the worst of the storm has passed.??
Schools from the Finger Lakes to the Adirondacks and the Hudson Valley have called off classes, while a few others are delaying their start by two hours.
Snow-covered roads and highways greeted morning commuters, and Cuomo says the 65-mile stretch of Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders is closed to all vehicles.
Forecasters say the storm could drop up to 16 inches of snow in some places.
(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)