With all of the rain that fell on the Southern Tier on Tuesday, most people figured that New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, would issue a  State of Emergency and he did. Governor Cuomo visited Vestal yesterday to assess the situation and determined that it warranted additional support and so a State of Emergency was issued and will remain in effect through August 21st, 2018.

The State of Emergency issued by the governor covers the counties of  Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schulyer, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Wayne, and Yates.

When the governor declares a State of Emergency, it means that he believes a disaster has occurred or may be imminent and that the situation is severe enough to require state aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering.

According to the Office of the Governor, the New York National Guard will sending 50 additional soldiers with ten vehicles to Binghamton, 25 soldiers with five vehicles to Horseheads, 50 soldiers with ten vehicles to Auburn, and 25 soldiers with five vehicles to Walton.

A representative at the office of Broome County Executive Jason Garnar reminds people that an emergency "no unnecessary travel advisory" has been issued for Broome County and is still in effect. This means that if you don't need to be on the roads, you should avoid traveling. The reason for wanting as few vehicles on the road as possible is because the less congested the roads are, the more efficiently and safely, and quickly crews can tackle cleanups and repairs.

  • Does a State of Emergency Mean I Have to Do Anything in Particular?

    No. A lot of people panic when they hear a State of Emergency declared, but  in reality, the declaration of a State of Emergency is really put in place to allow the Department of Emergency Management to act on behalf of the governor and to use the resources and assets of state agencies to provide immediate assistance to localities. Typically, the State Police, National Guard, and departments of Transportation and Health are placed on call to help if needed.

  • Does a State of Emergency Mean I Can’t Drive or Go Anywhere?

    No. Even though a State of Emergency has been declared for several Southern Tier counties as well as an emergency order of "no unnecessary travel in Broome County" by Broome County Executive Jason Garnar,  you're still okay to travel on area roads unless a full ban is put into effect (or a road is flooded, barricaded or completely closed- definitely don't try to travel on roads like that). The only time you should plan on staying put is if a full travel BAN is put in place. When authorities ask that there to be no unnecessary travel, it means that if you have to go out, you should be especially careful.

  • How Long Will the State of Emergency Remain in Effect?

    Basically as long as the governor has decided that it’s no longer necessary to call on the troops to provide necessary support to localities or until the threat of impending danger from the event has passed. In this case, the governor expects that everything will be under control by Wednesday, August 22nd. However, the governor can extend the State of Emergency if it becomes apparent that additional help and time is needed.

  • Does a State of Emergency Mean Schools Automatically Close?

    Unless the governor mandates that schools must close, the New York State Education Department states, "A declaration of a State of Emergency by the Governor due to adverse weather conditions does not authorize the school districts affected to operate an annual session of less than 180 days." In other words, a state of emergency does not automatically mean that schools have to close. Each district is given the power to make their own decision whether to stay open or closed based on the conditions in their area.