Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY READY FOR FIRST MAJOR SNOWSTORM OF 2016

Date: Jan 21, 2016
Press Release Number: 7-2016

With a significant winter storm bringing heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions forecast to hit the New York-New Jersey region beginning Saturday morning and continuing until Sunday afternoon, the Port Authority today announced that it has taken significant measures to ensure safe, efficient operations at its airports, tunnels, bridges and PATH system throughout the winter event.

The National Weather Service currently forecasts the heaviest snow beginning late Saturday afternoon into early Sunday morning, when blizzard conditions may develop as the storm tracks up the East Coast into New England.

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 will activate its Ernesto L. Butcher Emergency Operations Center this weekend, which is staffed with top agency officials who will monitor the storm and make decisions as conditions warrant.

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 discuss regional preparations for the upcoming winter storm.

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. The Port Authority also will have 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 service if conditions warrant. The agency also may impose speed restrictions on its crossings, or close them entirely, if weather conditions warrant.

The Port Authority has the following winter weather equipment and supplies ready at its major transportation facilities:

  • More than 200 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;
  • More than 60 pieces of snow equipment at its bridges and tunnels, including nearly two dozen plows and spreaders at the George Washington Bridge, the world’s busiest vehicular crossing;
  • 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 511NY.org or 511NJ.org for further information on highway conditions.

CONTACT:
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
212-435-7777

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.


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