Major snowfall, freezing temps target NYC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/File photo
THE COURIER/File photo

For the second time this January, a major snow storm is impacting New York City.

Updated 11:40 p.m.

New York City was set for its second significant storm of the month Tuesday, with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures predicted.

This storm is on pace to be larger than the previous storm, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press briefing Tuesday night.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a winter storm warning from 12 p.m. Tuesday until 6 a.m. Wednesday. The snow, however, was already falling by the morning commute.

By the evening, the storm had intensified and 10 to 14 inches of flakes are now expected in the city, the mayor said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday afternoon declared a State of Emergency for New York City as well as Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties.

De Blasio said he wanted  “New Yorkers to stay in to the maximum amount possible this evening” so the sanitation department can do its work.

“The safest thing to do tonight is stay home,” he said.

The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) issued a snow alert, starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

More than 2,000 sanitation are out now, working 12-hour shifts, and 450 salt spreaders have already been deployed, the mayor said. There are also more than 1,700 vehicles with snow plows that are being deployed as the snow accumulates.

To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

Alternate side parking is suspended Wednesday to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect

Trash and recycling pickups are also suspended for Wednesday.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is warning motorists to drive slowly, monitor weather and traffic, use major streets or highways, and have the name and number of at least one local towing service. A hazardous travel advisory is in effect for Wednesday.

For anyone traveling on public transportation, the MTA has plans in place to deal with any adverse weather conditions.

After express subway service was “curtailed” after the evening rush hour Tuesday, the MTA said service should be near normal Wednesday, with express service restored during the morning rush hour. Buses will operate at 80 to 90 percent of normal levels depending on customer demand, and service will be subject to delays based on local road conditions.

Fastrack work on the E,F,M,R Queens Blvd. Line has been canceled for the remainder of the week to free up personnel for snow fighting and cleanup after the storm.

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) reduced service after 8 p.m. Tuesday on a branch-by-branch basis. After 8 p.m., service was also reduced on the Metro-North.

On Wednesday, Metro-North will operate 80 to 85 percent of its normal weekday service, with some trains combined and some delays possible based on the condition of track and power systems. The LIRR will operate on a weekend schedule.

For more information, or to see any additional MTA service changes, click here.

The snow is not expected to taper off until 3 or 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The city’s public schools, however, will be open tomorrow, Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced late Tuesday night.

The mayor cautioned New Yorkers about the bitter cold that is accompanying the snow. Temperatures will be very low and wind chills will make it worse, he said.

The low Tuesday night will be around 19,  but with gusts as high as 33 mph, wind chill values will be low as -11, according to NWS.

Though the snow will end by Wednesday, highs will remain in the high teens and lows in the single digits and teens for the next few days, with wind chill factors below zero.