"This gives the state more flexibility and the counties more flexibility in dealing with this situation" the Governor said in an afternoon news conference.
This action was taken as the state is hit by two separate winter storm systems. A Nor'Easter storm, nicknamed "Nemo" by the Weather Channel, hit the NY City area and Long Island earlier today bringing with it high winds, damp snow and a 3-5 foot coastal storm surge.
Nemo is predicted to move northeast into New England tonight and continue into tomorrow. Boston may receive up to three feet of snow in some places.
Also today, another winter storm came blowing into New York from the West. This storm is dumping more than one foot of snow across the North Country.
So far, 2,300 flights have been canceled and the state's airports are expected to close early. Regional transportation is still running and is expected to continue throughout the night.
"The surface low responsible for the overall snowfall thus far was located over Lake Erie" National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Whitier reported today. "This was and will be the focus for snowfall across northern sections through tonight."
As to whether the snowfall will dissipate this evening, Whitier replied "in fact, there's been a recent resurgence of the activity with snowfall rates possibly increasing to 1 to 2 inches per hour from portions of northern NY across northwest Vermont through the evening commute."
According to the written State of Disaster Emergency, it is only for Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester counties. The declared state of emergency qualifies the state and counties to apply for state and federal disaster aid. Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency for Hurricane Sandy, but only for those counties directly affected by the storm.
The Governor retains the flexibility to expand the state of emergency depending on the effects of both storms.
The rapidly intensifying coastal Nor'easter, Nemo will be the dominant storm tonight and into Saturday morning. Snows from this system will move into southern Vermont later this afternoon and evening with snow heavy at times through daybreak Saturday before dissipating.
In New York not being impacted by Nemo will see 6 to 12 inches of snow with the higher amounts in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties.
Both storms should begin dissipating late tomorrow morning and into tomorrow afternoon.
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