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Dutchess County Braces for Significant Winter Storm

Published: 12/16/2020

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, Communications Director


Poughkeepsie… The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning effective now through 1pm on Thursday, December 17th. Snowfall is expected to arrive late this afternoon into the evening, continuing through tomorrow morning, possibly into early afternoon. Prediction models vary widely for this nor'easter storm with heavy snow fall expected tonight through the overnight. Snowfall is predicted to be 1-2 or more inches per hour with 12-18 inches of accumulation expected, with some models showing projections up to 27 inches. The Thursday morning commute is expected to be impacted significantly and motorists are reminded to allow extra time and exercise caution on the roadways.

County highway crews are prepared to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible, however, County Executive Marc Molinaro asks all residents for their patience and understanding as this will be a significant storm and response efforts are complicated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused staffing shortages and continued safety concerns.

County Executive Molinaro said, “This first storm of the season looks to be a significant event. The forecast of rapid accumulation of snow, combined with ongoing concerns for the safety and shortage of staff because of the pandemic will make this storm very difficult.  We urge all residents to be extremely cautious, avoid travel if possible. If you must travel, leave plenty of extra time for safety. Importantly, please be patient as it will take crews added time to clear roadways for safe travel.”

Dutchess County Emergency Response has increased staffing at the 9-1-1 Center and the Emergency Operations Center has been activated with representatives from County DPW, State DOT, New York State Police, County Sheriff, County Health, Central Hudson, NYSEG, and Red Cross for the duration of the storm.

Dutchess County Public Works highway crews have loaded trucks with materials, salt will be applied to County roadways as the storm begins, and crews will be out through the duration of the storm to clear roadways.

Dutchess County Public Transit will suspend service beginning at 7pm today. Bus passengers can check for delays or schedule changes at, on the DCPT mobile app, or call 845.473.8424, TDD/TTY: 711.

Dutchess County Office for the Aging staff and volunteers have delivered extra meals to Home Delivered Meals recipients.    

Dutchess County Government offices will open at noon on Thursday. Individuals who have DMV appointments in Poughkeepsie and Wappinger from 9am to 12pm will be rescheduled for the same appointment time on Friday, December 18th.

Residents can stay up to date on the County’s storm response online at or on the County’s social media pages on Facebook or Twitter.