Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

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State of Emergency Remains

Written By: Tanja Rekhi
State of Emergency Remains

ELMIRA (WENY) -- The first storm of 2014 smacked the Southern Tier with single digit temperatures and at least  half a foot of snow. Crews did their best to keep the roads clear for travel.
     "None of the towns or villages reported closing any roads or having any issues," said Kristen Card-Griffin Deputy Director of Administration for the Chemung County Emergency Management Office.
     Halfway through the whiteout, Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency. One aspect of his decision required Emergency Management Offices to open up their Emergency Operations Center.
     "He was wanting state staff to be in that Emergency Operations Center," explained Card-Griffin. "If any local municipality had a problem, he would have then been able to give any asset to that local municipality and help them out."
     His declaration also closed some major highways downstate and asked people to stay off other roads if possible.
     In a phone conference yesterday, the Governor said "Just because the road isn't closed doesn't mean people should be on it. It is a serious storm. It is a serious storm in Western New York and they should take all necessary precaution."
    Kristin Card-Griffin said her office received several confused calls from people in the area, wondering if they would be arrested if they were on the roads.
     "I think the confusion came that the Governor declared a state of emergency, but just because he did that does not mean that local roads were closed or that anyone would be prohibited from traveling on the roads," said Card. "If people need to report to work they should."
     She said people should drive extra careful in these conditions, making sure to leave ample space between cars, and allot extra time to get to where they're going.