At least one dead after crashes involving as many as 50 cars on Ohio Turnpike, officials say

A man wades through floodwaters to try to retrieve his truck along the Hudson River in Piermont, New York, on Dec. 23. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul warned residents this weekend about the “epic statewide peril” of winter weather.

“I called it a sink storm because it throws everything at us except the sink,” Hochul said at a news conference Friday afternoon. “We’ve had ice, flooding, snow, sub-zero temperatures and anything Mother Nature can throw at us this weekend.”

Strong winds and rain have already been reported in the state, and now officials are bracing for heavy snow and record-breaking winds, the state’s transportation commissioner said at the news conference.

There have been more than 100,000 power outages in the state, with about 27,000 in Erie County and 15,000 in Monroe County, Hochul said.

“When you go out, it gets dangerously cold,” said Jackie Bray, the state’s homeland security and emergency services commissioner. Bray told residents experiencing power cuts to seek warming shelters offered by some counties.

“Please don’t assume you can get through this cold at night without heat,” she said. “Maybe you can’t.”

Consequences per region: “We’re seeing incredibly dangerous, dangerous, life-threatening high winds, blinding blizzards, in real time Western New Yorksaid Hochul, explaining that the region has been hit by both the national storm and a lake-effect storm.

She said winds around the Buffalo Skyway were approaching 80 mph — higher than those in the 1977 blizzard.

Parts of Long Island and the city of New York have seen coastal flooding of up to 3 feet, which is starting to ease, though more rain is expected in the area, Hochul said.

Bray said the main danger in the city is low temperatures, windy conditions and ice, with a sudden freeze later in the day.

Hochul said the Hudson Valley, Capital Region, North country and Southern layer have seen rain and strong winds, with snow also reported in the latter two regions, but no major problems have been reported.

Transport Effects: A sudden freeze has already hit the western part of the state and is expected to hit eastern areas as well, leading to widespread travel restrictions, Hochul said.

“The roads become like an ice rink and your tires can’t handle this,” she said.

Hochul said that in some areas, such as Erie County, commercial vehicle driving bans have been extended to all roads and certain roads have hard closures.

“We really want everyone to stay off the roads,” said Bray. “The roads will be icy statewide. That will be over at least until tomorrow before it wears off.’

Some roads and rail lines that were closed Friday due to flooding have reopened as water recedes, officials said. Bray urged travelers to take public transportation instead of driving, saying weather shouldn’t further disrupt those transportation options.

Hochul said she doesn’t expect airport closures in New York City, though high winds could potentially change that.

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