ALBANY, N.Y. — There were 600 car crashes and two people died as a major winter snow storm swept through New York overnight, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
States of emergency were declared in 18 counties across the Empire State as significant amounts of snow buried upstate cities from Binghamton to Albany.
Cuomo, who posted a photo of himself gassing up his Ford Bronco on Twitter, encouraged New Yorkers to stay off the roads and allow plows to do their work.
“Please do not travel today,” the governor said during an appearance in Kingston, which is about 60 miles from the Governor’s Mansion in Albany. “I’m telling you it is not safe and you shouldn’t be out there if you don’t have to be out there.
“There are a lot of issues slowing down the plows, slowing down the personnel,” he added.
Cuomo did not provide details about the two deaths associated with the storm.
While the city was spared the highest snow predictions forecast for the five boroughs, much of the Hudson Valley and Capital Region recorded more than a foot and a half of flakes.
Binghamton, in the Southern Tier along the Pennsylvania border, set a new record with more than three feet of snow.
At 6:40 a.m., the Binghamton Airport reported 39.1 inches of snow and another area in the city of 44,000 reported 41 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
In Albany, the National Weather Service reported total snowfall of 22.7 inches by 11 a.m. at the Albany Airport as the storm was expected to linger over the region until the afternoon.
The nor’easter, dubbed Winter Storm Gail, also brought gusty winds and knocked out power for about 9,500 households across the state.