Port Authority Ready for First Major Snowstorm of 2016

Port Authority Ready for First Major Snowstorm of 2016

Please Be Advised. The National Weather Service forecasts that significant winter storm will hit the New York-New Jersey region beginning Saturday morning and continuing until Sunday afternoon. Heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions are expected. Area residents and travelers are advised that blizzard conditions may develop as the storm tracks up the East Coast, bound for New England.

The Port Authority has taken significant measures to ensure safe, efficient operations at all its facilities throughout the winter event.

Overall Operations. Port Authority personnel will work 12-hour shifts to ensure that facilities can function 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 will also activate its Ernesto L. Butcher Emergency Operations Center this weekend. The center is staffed by top agency officials who will monitor the storm and make decisions as conditions warrant in conjunction with the state governments of New York and New Jersey, federal officials, and related agencies.

Port Facilities. Anyone interested in conducting business at the Port of New York and New Jersey is advised to check the individual websites of the marine terminals you wish to visit. Please monitor the @PortNYNJ Twitter feed for up-to-the-minute Port Alerts.

Airline Passengers. Airlines sometimes cancel flights in advance of large storms. Travelers should check with their carriers to make sure their flight will take off as scheduled before going to the airport. The Port Authority will maintain supplies of cots and other essential items to accommodate ticketed passengers who may become stranded at the airports.

Bus Travelers. The Port Authority urges bus travelers to check with their carriers before going to the bus terminals. Many public and private carriers may cancel service if conditions warrant. The agency may also impose speed restrictions on its crossings, or close them entirely as weather conditions warrant.

Winter Weather Equipment. The Port Authority maintains the following winter weather equipment and supplies 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.