The first significant winter storm of 2017 is expected to hit the New York-New Jersey region early tomorrow morning, bringing 6 to 12 inches of heavy wet snow and high winds throughout the day. To deal with the upcoming weather event, the Port Authority has taken significant measures to ensure safe, efficient operations at its airports, tunnels, bridges and PATH system.
The National Weather Service currently forecasts the heaviest snow beginning shortly before the morning rush hour on Thursday and continuing until mid-afternoon.
In advance of the first snowflakes, the Port Authority has made extensive preparations for personnel and equipment at all of its facilities. Operations personnel will work 12-hour shifts to ensure that facilities can be operated safely. The airports, bridges, tunnels and PATH also have snow desks where key personnel analyze weather reports and deploy staff and equipment.
The Port Authority also is in contact with the states of New York and New Jersey, as well as other local and federal officials and agencies to coordinate response to the winter weather event
With a storm of this magnitude, airlines sometimes cancel flights in advance, so travelers should check with their carriers to make sure their flight will be taking off before going to the airport. If warranted, the Port Authority also has supplies of cots and other essential items ready to accommodate ticketed passengers who may become stranded at the airports.
The Port Authority also urges bus travelers to check with their carriers before going to the bus terminals since many public and private carriers may cancel or delay service if conditions warrant. The agency also may impose speed restrictions on its crossings, or close them entirely based on weather conditions.
All terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey will be closed tomorrow due to the impending weather conditions.
The Port Authority has the following winter weather equipment and supplies ready at its major transportation facilities:
Hundreds of pieces of snow equipment at its airports, including melters that can liquefy up to 500 tons of snow an hour and plows that can clear snow at 40 mph; • Dozens of pieces of snow equipment at its bridges and tunnels; • Thousands of tons of salt and sand for airport roads and parking lots, plus thousands of tons of salt for the bridges and tunnels; • Hundreds of thousands of gallons of liquid anti-icer chemicals at the airports, which prevent snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways, plus thousands of tons of solid de-icers, which break up snow and ice already on the ground; • Plow-equipped trains, liquid snow-melting agent trains and a “jet engine” plow to remove snow from PATH tracks, and snow blowers, plows and spreaders to clear station entrances, roads that serve PATH’s 13 stations, and various support facilities.
For up-to-the-minute updates on Port Authority crossings, airports and the PATH system, travelers are encouraged to sign up for Port Authority alerts at http://www.paalerts.com/. Travelers may also call 511 or visit http://511ny.org or http://511nj.org for further information on highway conditions.
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