|Vehicle run slowly on snow-coated street in New York City, the United States, Feb. 5, 2014. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday declared a state of emergency for all of New York State, effective immediately as a winter storm continues to bring heavy snow, ice, and freezing rain to communities in both the upstate and downstate regions. (Xinhua/Gao Li)|
NEW YORK, Feb. 5 -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday declared a state of emergency for all of New York State, effective immediately as a winter storm continues to bring heavy snow, ice, and freezing rain to communities in both the upstate and downstate regions.
"This is a significant winter storm impacting all regions of the state and we are taking all necessary steps to keep New Yorkers safe," Cuomo said.
"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," added him.
Under a state of emergency, critical resources that are normally restricted to State use are mobilized to assist local governments and laws and regulations that would otherwise impede their rapid response are suspended.
Hundreds of mass transit commuters were left stranded early Wednesday after the winter storm that dumped snow and ice across the New York area has caused icy conditions, signal problems and other issues in the state.
More than 1,000 flights at the three major airports in the New York area have also been cancelled due to the heavy snow.
The flight-tracking website FlightAware reported that by 12:00 p.m., 457 flights have been canceled at LaGuardia Airport, 286 canceled at John F. Kennedy International (JFK) Airport, and 521 canceled at Newark Liberty International Airport.
New York city Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that plows and salt spreaders have been out in force since snow began to fall.
He said the city's primary roads are now "in good shape," but he's still urging people to stay off the streets.
This is the second major winter blast in three days that hit a large swath of the country hard, creating treacherous driving conditions from the Midwest to the Northeast.