NEW YORK (WWTI) — New York is preparing for a severe winter storm expected to hit the region Thursday night.

On February 24, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul directed several State agencies to prepare emergency response assets ahead of a winter storm system expected to arrive around midnight across the state. Heavy rates of snow are predicted to continue through the evening hours on Friday, February 25.

Both the North Country and Capital Region are expected to be hit the worst with the highest snowfall accumulations exceeding one foot of snow.

By early Friday morning, snowfall rates of up to two inches per hour are likely near the I-90 corridor.

Severe winter storm warnings will take effect across the North Country at 1 a.m. on February 25. These warnings will remain active until 10 p.m. on Friday.

As directed by Governor Hochul, the following State agencies have begun preparing emergency assets:

  • Division of Homeland Security and Emergencuy Services
  • Department of Transportation
  • Thruway Authority
  • Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
  • Department of Public Service
  • New York State Police
  • New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

“Despite the warm weather we experienced earlier in the week, Winter is not quite ready to be over here in New York State and we are preparing for additional snow and ice expected to impact most of the State on Friday,” Governor Hochul said in a press release.  “I have directed State agencies to prepare and deploy emergency response assets to areas where the greatest impacts from this storm are expected.”

Governor Hochul also urged residents in affected areas to avoid unnecessary travel, and if commuting Friday morning, pay attention to local weather forecasts.

Below are travel tips issued by the Governor’s Office for driving in the snow:

  • Do not drive unless necessary
  • Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker
  • Drive at lower speeds when approaching patches of leaves
  • Stock vehicles with blankets, a shovel, flashlight, extra warm clothing, tire chains, battery booster cables, quick-energy foods and brightly colored ckitg
  • Keep gas tanks full to prevent gasoline freeze-ups
  • Keep cellphone batteries charged
  • Make sure someone knows your travel plan
  • While driving, keep vehicles clear of ice and snow
  • Plan stops and keep distance between cars

Check back with ABC50 throughout the winter storm for updated forecasts, all active weather alerts and any resulting closings and delays.