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Winter snowstorms blow through state budget

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Gov. Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for nearly all of Eastern New York including New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley into Albany, as another winter storm hits the region.

The governor says the frequency of storms this winter has depleted the state’s budget for plowing, sanding and salting, but he says his budget staff will find the money from other parts of the budget to deal with the storm and potential future storms this year.

Cuomo says the bad weather has caused a salt shortage “through much of the Eastern part of the country”. But he says the state right now has adequate reserves. His operations director, Howard Glazer, says the state has 291,000 tons of salt on hand.

“Everything is fine on the salt front,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo says anyone who does not have to drive or go out, should stay home as the forecasted two or more inches per hour snowfall at the height of the storm in some areas will make it “impossible” for snow plows to keep up.

“We have snow, we have sleet, we have rain, we have ice,” Cuomo said.

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.