Gov. Andrew Cuomo today employed one of his favorite weather-related phrases, “the new normal,” to connect the endless series of winter flurries blanketing the Empire State to the broader impacts of climate change.
Speaking with reporters on a conference call this morning, Mr. Cuomo announced that he had just declared a state of emergency and cited a salt shortage as one of the complicating factors in mitigating the storm. But, he stressed, government agencies will need to fundamentally adjust in order to deal with these kinds of challenges.
“When you talk about the ‘new normal’ right, we talk about extreme weather. This is another example of that: Hurricane Sandy, Storm Irene, Storm Lee,” said Mr. Cuomo, marveling at new cold-weather terminology like “polar vortex” and “thunder snow.”
“They were talking about ‘thunder snow’ this morning. The ‘polar vortex’ a couple weeks ago. This is a pattern of extreme weather that is posing challenges that we haven’t had to deal with before,” he said.
Mr. Cuomo nevertheless said today’s storm–which dropped three-to-five inches of snow on the city–will be “manageable.”
“This specific [one] I believe is going to be manageable,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy. We need people to cooperate. We need prudence and diligence on behalf of the citizens of the state. But this is just another example of extreme weather. And it’s going to be, I believe, one of the most significant challenges that we face going forward.”
“We have to be prepared for it,” he added. “We have to be trained for it. We have to be equipped for it. And we have to take into consideration how we build and manage our infrastructure.”