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Storm moves out of New York state, but extreme cold temperatures remain

Durrie Lawrence/WRVO File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the worst of the winter storm is now over, but New Yorkers now face another challenge -- extreme cold.

In a conference call with reporters, Cuomo says the storm, which dropped several inches of snow, is moving east and out of New York.

“Mother nature has moved on, somewhat,” Cuomo said.

And he says all roads are now open. Cuomo defended his decision to close parts of the New York State Thruway, the Long Island Expressway, and I-84 overnight.

“The conditions were extraordinarily dangerous,” Cuomo said. “We’ve seen what happens when people get stranded on the roadways.”

Even with the precautions, New York State Police reported two traffic fatalities, one on Long Island, and one on I-87.  Two Oneonta-area troopers were injured when their vehicle was struck while helping a motorist, and there were many more minor accidents across the state.

The governor says just because the roads are now all open, does not mean the conditions are back to normal, and he says driving should be restricted to only what’s absolutely necessary.

"There is still blowing snow, which is still creating dangerous conditions," said Cuomo. "So just because the roads are open, doesn't mean people should be on them. The roads are open if people need to be on the road. But if you don't need to be on the road, please stay indoors today.

The next weather problem is the bitterly cold temperatures over the next couple of days. New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah said residents should watch out for frostbite and hypothermia, saying a person doesn't have to be outside for long in this weather for either to occur.


Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.