Speed limits have been reduced on several New York highways due to a winter storm that's affecting nearly the entire state.
According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office, an advised speed limit of 45 mph is in effect for Interstate 81 from Syracuse to the Pennsylvania line, Interstate 90 from exit 36 near Syracuse to exit 24 near Albany, all state-owned parkways in the Hudson Valley, the entire length of Interstate 84, Interstate 99 and Interstate 684, Route 17 from Binghamton to I-84, Interstate 86 from the Pennsylvania line to Binghamton, Interstate 88 from Binghamton to I-90 and Interstate 87 from exit 24 to exit 15, including the Berkshire spur.
The advised speed limit on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge has been lowered to 35 mph.
In a statement, Cuomo said the state Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority recommended the lower speed limits to protect motorists traveling during the storm. Sunday was a busy travel day for millions of Americans returning home after the extended Thanksgiving weekend.
There have been crashes reported across the state. The state police have responded to more than 550 storm-related crashes and aided 252 disabled vehicles, according to Cuomo's office. No fatalities have been reported.
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"As this storm continues to move across the state, bringing with it heavy snowfall and black ice, we are continuing to take every stop possible to help ensure New Yorkers are safe on the roads," Cuomo said.
Cuomo also announced that he has directed non-essential state employees in the Capital Region not to report to work Monday. The directive covers non-essential employees in Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie and Washington counties.
Other actions have been taken to respond to the storm. Cuomo placed National Guard personnel on standby. He also activated the state's Emergency Operations Center to oversee the response statewide. Top officials from the Department of Transportation, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, state police and Thruway Authority were deployed to areas of the state most affected by the storm.
Winter storm warnings remain in effect for several New York counties, including Cayuga and Onondaga counties in central New York. Winter weather advisories are in place for western New York and parts of the North Country.