WESTCHESTER, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Friday in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.
"As we prepare for the possibility of Hurricane Sandy hitting New York State, I am activating all levels of state government to prepare for any potential impacts," Cuomo said. "We are working with federal and local partners to follow storm developments and organize a coordinated response plan.
"With unpredictable weather conditions, we are taking the greatest precautions — especially after our experience from last year's storms. I urge New Yorkers to plan for hurricane conditions and follow news reports to stay updated on the storm's progress."
Westchester County may see heavy rains that could cause flooding and high winds starting Saturday and continuing into Tuesday, the National Weather Service predicts.
Cuomo has asked President Barack Obama for a pre-landfall disaster declaration, which would allow for state access to funds and FEMA resources to prepare.
The governor's conference on emergency preparedness scheduled for Monday in Albany is postponed.
The storm could make it unsafe to operate subway, buses and railroad lines. The MTA Hurricane Plan calls for an orderly shutdown of transit and train services before the arrival of sustained winds of 39 mph or higher. No decision has been made whether to suspend some or all service in advance of the storm, but ample notice will be provided of any suspension, the MTA said.
Customers should monitor the mta.info website, which is updated with service information as it becomes available. MTA customers can also call 511 for information.
The National Weather Service is predicting heavy rainfall and significant urban, small stream and river flooding as well as high winds capable of downing trees and power lines in the coming storm.
Sandy was moving northward through the Bahamas as of Friday afternoon, bringing tropical storm conditions to the east coast of Florida. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Carolinas on Saturday. Sandy is expected to turn toward the Northeast on Saturday, followed by a turn to the northwest early next week, with direct impacts expected for the northeast United States.
Rain will begin Saturday evening with heavy showers beginning Sunday evening along with increasing winds. Rain will continue through Monday and Tuesday and could be heavy at times before tapering off Tuesday night.