Cuomo declares state of emergency; Bloomberg says to stay home during ‘dangerous’ storm (UPDATE)
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a state of emergency late this afternoon regarding Winter Storm Nemo.
“As this winter storm unfolds, bringing heavy snow and high winds to parts of the state, I strongly urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution, avoid travel, and stay indoors,” Cuomo said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned New Yorkers to stay off the streets today as Winter Storm Nemo arrives in the city.
Snow began this morning, which has since turned into heavy rain and will morph back into snow sometime between 3 and 7 p.m., he said.
The mayor advised New Yorkers to opt for a warm Friday night at home.
“Stay off the city streets,” he said.
He even had a few suggestions.
“Tonight, what’s a good idea?” he said. “Cook a meal, stay home, read a good book, watch a movie. Just take it easy.”
Bloomberg said he met with Sanitation Department officials this morning, checking equipment. Sanitation workers are on 12-hour shifts, he said, with about 1,700 snowplows and 450 salt spreaders.
“They had one plow that if we had 10 feet of snow, it would blast right through it,” he said, adding, “I don’t think we’re going to need that one.”
The FDNY also has dispatched 100 extra ambulances, he said.
“You can’t take nature too lightly,” Bloomberg said. “It’s certainly not going to be a Hurricane Sandy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get badly hurt or killed if you’re not careful.”
As for his plans? “I will be home tonight,” he confirmed, elaborating, “Will I cook or get something from the Greek diner down the corner? I haven’t thought about that yet.”
The NYPD asked New Yorkers today not to call 911 for downed trees, blocked driveways or other non-life threatening conditions, instructing instead to dial 311.
The major winter storm with dangerous winds is expected to barrel through the Northeast tonight, and could drop more than a foot of snow on the city.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for New York City, Long Island, northeast New Jersey, southern Westchester County, and large parts of New England.
Original forecasts had indicated that the city could get approximately six to eight inches of snow, but officials now say 12 to 20 inches of snow is possible for the city, with wind gusts exceeding 60 mph, according to The Wall Street Journal. More than two feet of snow is likely for much of New England.
Coastal areas of the city could see storm surges of three to five feet.
More than 2200 flights have been canceled and Amtrak has suspended some service northbound service out of New York and southbound service out of Boston, The New York Times reports.
Snow is expected to fall heaviest tonight into tomorrow morning.