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Dutchess County Storm Update – March 14th 5pm

Published: 3/14/2017

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus
(845) 486-2000

Travel Ban to End at 4am on 3/15
State of Emergency, including parking ban, remains in effect until 4pm on 3/15. 
County Offices to remain closed on 3/15

Poughkeepsie...Dutchess County remains under Winter Storm Warning conditions, with  snowfall continuing at a steady pace and increasing wind gusts.  The Dutchess County Emergency Operation Center continues to monitor the storm and provide resources as needed.    County Executive Molinaro issued an updated State of Emergency Executive Order at 5pm today.  The order prohibiting travel on all county roadways will end at 4am tomorrow,  Wednesday, March 15th.    However, the State of Emergency will remain in effect through 4pm on Wednesday, March 15th, including the order prohibiting parking on all public roads in Dutchess County in order to ensure effective snow removal efforts.  

With all Dutchess County resources deployed for snow removal on county roadways throughout the night to ensure roads are passable in the morning, Dutchess County Government offices and facilities, including courts, parks and senior friendship centers, will remain closed on Wednesday, March 15th, with only essential county personnel reporting.    Public Works crews normally deployed to clearing county parking lots, entry ways, sidewalks and other entry points to county facilities have been diverted to clearing roadways, making county facilities inaccessible.   

Dutchess County Public Transit will be operating regular route bus service tomorrow, however users should expect service delays.     Dial-A-Ride and Flex service, however, is cancelled for Wednesday, March 15th.  

The parking ban on all public roads in Dutchess County will also continue throughout the day tomorrow, Wednesday, March 15th until 4pm.   The ban is to ensure effective snow removal efforts.  Local municipalities have the authority to move any vehicle parked on a public roadway that inhibits snow removal.     The state of emergency order is issued pursuant to Section 24 of New York State Executive Law. It is enforceable by local, county and state law enforcement agencies.

Although the travel ban will be lifted at 4am tomorrow, snow removal operations will continue well into tomorrow and road conditions will be less than optimal, with many secondary roads in poor condition due to wind gusts and snow drafts.   High snow mounds will impact visibility particularly at road intersections.   Motorist should be aware of pedestrians on roadways due to impassable sidewalks.   Travel should continue to be avoided if possible to allow for crews to address conditions.    If you must travel, please use extra caution and leave plenty of travel time.   The following are some safe winter driving tips to keep in mind:

  • The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents.
  • When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.
  • Keep vehicles clear of ice and snow, including vehicle rooftops. 
  • Do not attempt to stop a snowplow or obstruct its path. Plow trucks, when loaded with sand and salt, weigh approximately 30 tons. It is a significant load and requires all of the operator’s attention. The large trucks are not as maneuverable and agile as a passenger vehicle and require extra time and distance to stop or avoid trouble.
  • When approaching snow removal equipment from the rear, travel a minimum of 200 feet behind the equipment to avoid being hit with sand or salt, and to allow for abrupt movements and changes in direction, including unexpected backing of the plow truck.
  •  Use extreme caution when passing snow removal equipment.  The truck operator’s visibility is typically reduced due to the size and locations of various plow equipment mounted on the vehicle. It is advisable to not pass a plow truck.
  • If travel is a necessity, drivers should make sure their vehicle is stocked with survival gear such as blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods and brightly-colored cloth to use as a distress flag.
  • Vehicle gas tank should be kept full to prevent gasoline freeze-up. 
  • Drivers should be sure their cell phone battery is charged and with them whenever traveling.
  • Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
  • Listen to the local media reports and/or check for the latest road conditions.
  •  Plan stops and keep more distance between cars.  Always match speed to the road and weather conditions. 
  • Do not park or leave a vehicle unattended along the roadway during a snow or ice event. Parked vehicles are a hazard for snowplow operators, emergency responders and others.

The Dutchess County Emergency Operations Center will remain open throughout tonight and tomorrow to continue to address storm issues.

For the latest updates, please continue to follow Dutchess County Government on social media:  Facebook at  or Twitter at or on the County’s website at