Cuomo Declares State of Emergency on Long Island

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday morning declared a state of emergency for Long Island and the entire state amid another winter storm pounding the region.

The declaration gives officials more flexibility in dealing with the storm, and allows the government to waive regulations that will expedite salt delivery, Cuomo said.

Several municipalities across Long Island have depleted their salt supply and were forced to request additional supply from the state, officials said.

The governor said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday that “there’s more than enough of a supply now to help localities that have a dire situation,” singling out Long Island and New York City.

The “shortage of salt is a complicating factor,” he added.

The state has made available 400 tons of salt for areas of LI in short supply.

Cuomo also advised drivers to avoid traveling and to use “obvious diligence.”

The biggest factor complicating travel on LI is a mixture of freezing rain and sleet that started falling around 6:30 a.m. The dangerous combination followed several hours of moderate snowfall.

The storm has also knocked out power to more than 5,000 PSEG Long Island customers, with the towns of Oyster Bay, Hempstead and North Hempstead experiencing the most outages.

“The bad news is there’s snow and ice,” Cuomo said, “the good news is that we’ve been dealing with so many storms with such frequency that we’ve developed quite the expertise in storm management.”

Mother Nature’s repeated visits this winter has been more costly than anticipated, Cuomo admitted.

But he described the situation as “manageable” despite spending more on equipment and overtime than expected.