ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Saturday urged New Yorkers to prepare for a new weather system this weekend that will bring extremely strong winds that could result in property damage and power outages.

Winds are expected to gust at or above 45 mph much of Sunday night and Monday over the vast majority of the state, with gusts approaching 75 mph at times in Western New York and western portions of the North Country. Strong winds will continue across much of the state on Monday, with gusts continuing to range between 45 to 55 mph.

In advance of this weather system, the governor has directed multiple state agencies to pre-deploy response equipment throughout the state and ensure that utility companies are prepared to respond as well. New Yorkers should pay close attention to their local weather reports throughout the weekend, as well as take the steps necessary to ensure their families are protected in the event of a power outage.

Additionally, Cuomo has directed the Department of Transportation and the Thruway Authority to ban empty tractor trailers and empty tandems from portions of the New York State Thruway and some interstate highways in the Western New York, Central New York and Finger Lakes Regions due to high wind warnings and high wind watches. The ban will take effect beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, February 24.

"New York is preparing to endure yet another extreme weather event that could bring strong winds resulting in significant power outages," Cuomo said. "I want to make it abundantly clear that utilities are expected to be prepared with response plans to deal with emergencies and quickly restore power to residents following any storm-related outages. We expect that utilities will be working aggressively and around-the-clock to fully restore power to all New Yorkers affected by this storm. The state is monitoring the situation closely and is prepared to assist localities quickly as needed."

Empty tractor trailers and tandems will be banned from the following interstate highways:

· I-390 from Dansville to Rt 104

· I-490 from I-90 exit 45 to I-90 exit 47

· I-590 (full extent) and stretches of the New York State Throughway

Gusts will increase across Western New York beginning Sunday morning, before spreading throughout the Finger Lakes, Central New York and North Country Regions as the day progresses. Wind gusts will rapidly increase up to 75 mph across Chautauqua county, the northern Niagara Frontier, Rochester and in Jefferson County behind the front.

Current forecasts are projecting that maximum wind gusts will reach 45 mph in New York City and on Long Island; 50 mph in the Mid-Hudson, Capital, Mohawk Valley, Central New York and Southern Tier Regions; 70 mph across the North Country; and 75 mph in the Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions.

The National Weather Service has already posted High Wind Watches and Warnings for the majority of the state.