Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a radio interview Monday that he was driving into New York City despite calling on New Yorkers to stay off the roads during a massive winter snowstorm affecting the area.
Cuomo declared a state of emergency as New York City and surrounding areas braced for snowfall of up to two inches per hour. In a lengthy statement, Cuomo warned of significant delays and potential travel bans on major roads during the blizzard.
“When snow is falling that quickly, it makes it very difficult for plows to keep up with it,” Cuomo said. “I want New Yorkers to hear me loud and clear – stay home and off the roads and if you must travel, get where you’re going before noon, and expect to remain home for some time. We’ve been through this before and we will get through it again.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced restrictions on all non-essential travel beginning at 6 a.m. ET on Monday. Local forecasts called for up to two feet of snow in the New York City area.
Despite the declarations, Cuomo revealed during an interview with WINS radio in New York that he was “personally driving into New York City” as the storm intensified.
At one point in the interview, WINS reporter Juliet Papa asked Cuomo if it was “a great idea” for him to be driving given the dangerous road conditions.
“Life is options, Juliet. Right?” Cuomo said in response. “The airports are closing as we speak and for me, it’s walking or driving and for me, I’ll take driving. We have a lot of emergency workers that are doing great work today.”
Cuomo explained that he felt a responsibility to carry out his duties since he had activated emergency workers in advance of the storm.
“If I call them out, I’m not calling anyone into a situation I wouldn’t go into myself,” Cuomo said.