Mayor urges caution during snowy winter storm in New York City

 

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

The winter storm will bring a hazardous combination of powdery snow, freezing temperatures and high winds — and Mayor Bill de Blasio wants New Yorkers to stay at home.

“People should stay in tonight,” de Blasio said in a briefing Tuesday. “I keep saying it and I’ll say it throughout the day: People need to stay in.”

Updated forecasts from the National Weather Service predict snow will accumulate up to a foot in the city on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Temperatures will hover near 20 degrees Tuesday afternoon, with gusts of wind from 18 to 20 mph.

Tuesday night, the low will be around 10 degrees and wind chills may reach minus 9 degrees with gusts up to 26 mph. Up to 7 inches of additional snow accumulation is possible overnight.

“If you absolutely must go out, bundle up and stay outside for the most limited time possible,” the mayor said.

Because of the snow, de Blasio urged New Yorkers to use mass transit. Updates on how the weather is affecting mass transit in the city is available at mta.info.

“It’s going to be deceptively slippery, visibility’s going to be an issue and the best thing that all motorists can do — for all of us — is stay in unless it’s an absolute emergency,” he said.

Lower temperatures mean salt will be less effective on roads, according to Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty. More than 2,000 sanitation workers are working 13-hour shifts and more than 1,700 vehicle equipped with plows will be dispatched as snow piles up.

Doherty said the department will focus on plowing overnight if temperatures drop steadily. Snow removal can be tracked online.

“It’s going to be a given thing. When people get up in the morning, they’re going to have to listen to the weather,” Doherty said.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday, which will gradually become sunny after a cloudy morning. Freezing temperatures are still expected Wednesday, with a high near 17 degrees.

Alternate side parking is suspended Tuesday and Wednesday.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, some 600 flights were canceled in the New York City area. Check with airlines for updated information.

After-school programs and PSAL games were canceled for Tuesday, but schools are still open Wednesday as of Tuesday afternoon. Updates are available at nyc.gov.

De Blasio said the snowstorm was similar to the one earlier this month. The newly elected mayor shoveled his own Park Slope stoop during that storm, but wouldn’t say whether he or his teenage son Dante had the honor this go-around.

“I’m going to say it this way: That front walk will be shoveled on time. How we work that out within our family discussions is still up in the air,” he said. “But I guarantee you, it’ll be ready.”

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders


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