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Mid-March Nor'easter to hit CNY, New York declares state of emergency

A city street is covered in snow.
Isaiah Vazquez
Snow blankets a city street in downtown Syracuse, Feb. 24, 2023.

New York is declaring a state of emergency ahead of a Nor’easter that’s set to start rolling in Monday evening. Nearly the entire state is under a winter storm warning or watch through Wednesday morning.

Winter storm alerts warn up to 18 inches and gusts up to 40 miles per hour could hit the Onondaga County and Syracuse area through Wednesday morning, but the National Weather Services notes it's possible the hills south of the city could see more than 20 inches. The North Country, Mohawk Valley and Capital Region are also bracing for large snow tallies.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said officials are expecting the strong winds and heavy, dense snow to cause significant losses of power.

“It's going to take down the wires, there's no way around it when you have snow that's 50% heavier than normal," Hochul said. "This is not the light, fluffy, pretty Christmas snow; this is going to come down like a brick.”

The National Guard and thousands of utility workers are ready to respond, including some who came from as far away as Canada, Hochul said during a Monday news briefing. She said people should prepare ahead of time to have supplies to stay home Tuesday.

The state is sending help from the Buffalo region to support snow removal in the affected areas.

New York State Thruway Authority's interim executive director Frank Hoare said people should avoid unnecessary travel because officials are expecting 1 to 3 inches of snow could fall per hour.

“That means the roads will be hazardous and we urge you to stay off stay off those roads," Hoare said. "Again, we'd ask you to be mindful of our crews that are out there: out snowplowing crews, our emergency response vehicles and our partners at state police and DOT—please be mindful of them. Let them do their work.”

The authority is banning tandem and empty trailers for sections of the thruway 8 p.m. Monday. The state of emergency is also set to begin at that time.

Tarryn Mento is an award-winning digital, audio and video journalist with experience reporting from Arizona, Southern California, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Tarryn produces in-depth and investigative content for WAER while overseeing the station's student reporter experience. She is also an adjunct professor at Syracuse University.
Andrew MacBeath is a digital content editor at WAER.