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Winter Storm Stella: Are New York City schools closed?

Snow day called for second time this winter, as city braces for up to 20 inches.
Students get a second snow day in 2017. Eden, Janine and Jim/Creative Commons

UPDATED March 14, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.New York City schools will reopen Wednesday, March 15.

For the second time this winter, a school snow day has been declared in New York City.

With Winter Storm Stella expected to dump 16 to 20 inches of snow, New York City public schools will be closed on Tuesday.

"This is a "very serious blizzard, one that everyone should take seriously," de Blasio said at a noon announcement on Monday. The mayor said he made the "unusually early call" because the combined snowfall expectations with strong winds were likely to create severe travel difficulties.

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This is the second time this winter the mayor called for schools to close. The first time he made the decision was early in the evening on Feb. 8, ahead of a snowstorm that brought 10 inches.

RELATED: March blizzard watch: Winter Storm Stella to bring 16to 20 inches of snow to NYC

De Blasio had previously been criticized for his decision to keep schools open for a snowstorm in February 2014, but New York City mayors in the past have generally been loathe to close schools, a move that creates a headache for working parents.

The last time a mayor cancelled classes twice in one winter was in 2010, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the call before two February storms.

On Monday, the mayor said the Sanitation Department has 2,400 workers per shift with 689 salt spreaders at the ready. Snow is predictedto accumulate at a rapid rate, of 2 to 4 inches per hour starting Tuesday, at 6 a.m. Meteorologists said that snowfall could continue at a slower rateinto the afternoon and evening.

The city's afterschool programs, adult education, Young Adult Borough Centers and Public School Athletic League activities are also cancelled.

 
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