Tag Archives: storm

Queens commuters and business owners unhappy over shutdown of city’s mass transit during storm


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ERIC JANKIEWICZ

The city’s subways and buses are back on track after this week’s snowstorm, but frustration over the mass transit shutdown is lingering on like piles of dirty snow left over from the blizzard.

Many Queens residents are still furious over Gov. Cuomo’s  decision Monday to shut down the city’s subway and bus system for the first time ever for a snowstorm as a precaution against the possibility of having buses and trains loaded with passengers stuck in snow.

The storm was large and real as expected, but moved eastward, hitting Long Island a lot harder, Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed out. After suspending transit overnight, the MTA slowly resumed subway and bus service at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and was running on a Sunday schedule by noon, which is about 60 percent of weekday service.

“The last time the city was put on lockdown like that was during Sandy. And that made me think that this was going to be the blizzard of the century or something,” Elvir Beharous said. A resident of Bayside, Beharous commutes by bus from his neighborhood to Flushing during weekdays for work.

After announcing a state of emergency and travel ban on all state and local roads for 13 New York counties starting at 11 p.m. Monday for all non-emergency vehicles, Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted the ban in most of those counties, including all the five boroughs, as of 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

But Beharous couldn’t make it to work on Tuesday since buses were running erratically. As a wage worker he couldn’t afford to take the loss of a day’s work.

“So I just shoveled for people all day in Bayside to make up the money,” he said on Wednesday as he waited for the now-running Q12 to take him back home from work in Flushing.

Full MTA weekday service was back on Wednesday, allowing Beharous to go back to work, even if he did have a cold from being out all day in the snow on Tuesday.

Wing Hangsong, a GED-student, didn’t mind having the day off of school, but that evening he couldn’t go to his job as a bus boy at a restaurant in downtown Flushing with buses down.

“It was necessary to close down the roads, but they could’ve at least given us some kind of emergency service,” said Hangsong, who lives on the southern edge of Flushing near Kissena Park.

Commuters weren’t the only ones affected by the shutdown.

The storm, known as Juno, took a chunk out of businesses in the downtown Flushing area, according to Dian Yu, head of the area’s business improvement district.

“It definitely wasn’t business as usual on Tuesday,” he said. “There were less people shopping in the area and most businesses took a loss.”

Thankfully, Yu said, celebrations for the Chinese New Year are still going strong and he is confident that the next two weeks of increased holiday-related business will make up for the loss.

“In a way, we’re very  lucky that this happened now,” Yu said.

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PHOTOS: January 2015 snowstorm


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by The Queens  Courier Staff

The season’s first snowstorm may not have been the record-breaker that some were predicting, but it still covered the borough in an impressive amount of the white stuff.

Take a look at our gallery of photos taken during the storm dubbed Juno, including pics of plows clearing the streets, dogs braving the blizzard and pedestrians fighting the windy conditions.

IMG_9503

Photo by Bradley Hawks

If you want The Queens Courier to include your storm photos in our gallery, let us know by tweeting them to @queenscourier, posting them on our Facebook page or emailing them to editorial@queenscourier.com (subject: snow pics).


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Queens only gets about a foot of snow after massive blizzard predicted for city


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Updated 3:22 p.m. 

Public transit service has resumed and streets are open to normal traffic again after a storm that was expected to bring a substantial amount of snow to New York City turned out to be far less impactful than predicted.

“Put simply, we got about half as much as what a lot of the projections had been, or even under half as much.” Mayor de Blasio said at a storm briefing Tuesday.

The storm was as large and real as expected, but moved eastward, hitting Long Island a lot harder, the mayor emphasized.

“Things turned out a lot better than we feared, but we were prepared,” he said, defending the city’s snow preparations, including shutting down mass transit and banning non-emergency vehicles from local streets.

Snow totals for the city were forecast as high as 30 inches at times, but as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, totals in Queens reached a foot at the most, according to local weather reports.

After announcing a state of emergency and travel ban on all state and local roads for 13 New York counties starting at 11 p.m. Monday for all non-emergency vehicles, Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted the ban in most of those counties, including all the five boroughs, as of 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

While passable, the roads are not clear, Cuomo stressed during a storm briefing that morning.

“If [travel is] nonessential we wouldn’t recommend it,” he said.

The vehicle ban included New York City streets, and De Blasio also cautioned motorists to be careful, especially in eastern Queens, which experienced the brunt of the storm.

The storm, known as Juno, also prompted the MTA to shut down its entire subway, bus and commuter rail systems at 11 p.m. Monday. It was reportedly the first time the transit agency has suspended service for snow.

After suspending transit overnight, the MTA resumed subway and bus service at 9 a.m. and was running on a Sunday schedule by noon, which is about 60 percent of weekday service. The Long Island Rail Road started operating on its electrified branches around 12 p.m. with a weekend schedule. 

Full MTA weekday service is expected to be back on Wednesday.

Life in the city also started to return to normal Tuesday morning when its parks reopened after closing the previous evening because of fears over falling branches.

The city’s public schools, however, were closed on Tuesday. They will be open on Wednesday.

Alternate side parking is suspended on Tuesday and Wednesday to help with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect. Garbage and recycling collection is also suspended on those days, but it’s not clear yet when it will resume.

The Department of Sanitation continued to clear the city’s 6,000 miles of streets as the storm headed out Tuesday, with personnel on 12-hour shifts and 2,300 pieces of equipment deployed.

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

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‘Potentially historic’ blizzard targets NYC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated Monday, Jan. 26, 6:55 p.m.

A crippling storm that could be one of the largest blizzards New York City has ever experienced is shutting down public transit, closing schools and restricting travel on roadways as it’s expected to bring two feet or more of snow.

After declaring a state of emergency for all New York counties south of Sullivan, including the entire five boroughs, earlier in the day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a travel ban on all state and local roads in those areas starting at 11 p.m. Monday. Only authorized emergency vehicles will be allowed on those roads, and a violation of the travel ban is punishable as a misdemeanor that includes fines of up to $300.

“This blizzard is forecasted to be one of the worst this region has seen, and we must put safety first and take all necessary precautions,” Cuomo said. “Commuters and drivers need to get home as quickly as possible before the storm completely cripples our transit networks and roads.”

The governor also said the MTA and Port Authority public transit systems will be suspending service beginning at 11 p.m. Monday.

Only 1 to 3 inches was forecasted for the day Monday, but heavier snowfall is expected Monday evening and during the day Tuesday before tapering off that night, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). A blizzard waring is in effect until midnight Tuesday, with snowfall estimates at 20 to 30 inches and gusts as high as 50 mph, which will likely create whiteout conditions.

There is also a coastal flood warning for northern Queens from 3 to 7 a.m. Tuesday, and a warning for southern Queens from midnight through 5 a.m. Tuesday

‘“You can’t underestimate this storm,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a weather briefing Monday afternoon.

“People cannot be caught off guard,” he added.

De Blasio urged New Yorkers to remain inside if possible, telling them to stay off the roads and even to keep walking to a minimum because of slippery conditions.

The mayor also asked people to stay out of city parks because of the potential for falling branches, saying they will be closed as of 6 p.m.

The city’s public schools remained open on Monday, but will be closed on Tuesday. All Monday school trips, after-school programs, PSAL and evening adult education programs were also canceled.

Ahead of the storm, the Department of Sanitation issued a “snow alert” starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday and will be deploying its snow fighting equipment as needed. According to the mayor, there will be 2,400 workers per shift on 12-hour shifts and 2,300 vehicles with snow-plowing ability, plus 250 more pieces of equipment coming from other agencies this evening.

Alternate side parking will be suspended Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to help with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect. Garbage and recycling collection will also be suspended.

By the time the sun returns on Wednesday, the storm could be one for the record books, according to the NWS, which called the blizzard “potentially historic.”

De Blasio was confident at a Sunday storm briefing that the snowfall would be among one of the largest to hit the city, citing records that date back to the late 19th century.

“This literally could be one of the top two or three largest storms in the history of this city,” he said.

The current record holder is a February 2006 storm, when 26.9 inches of snow fell in Central Park over a 16-hour period.

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Snow threatens Thanksgiving travel


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated 5:01 p.m.

A winter storm is set to arrive just in time for the Thanksgiving rush.

The storm could bring 3 to 5 inches of snow to the city and is expected to impact holiday travel, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter storm advisory is in effect for the city from 7 a.m. Wednesday until 1 a.m. Thursday. The city’s Department of Sanitation has issued a snow alert for Wednesday, starting at 7 a.m. To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management also issued a hazardous travel advisory for Wednesday.

After a spring-like Monday, Wednesday daytime temperatures will be in the 30s and rain starting that morning will change to snow.

A mixture of rain and snow will begin about 10 a.m. Wednesday and transition to only snow by the early afternoon. The snow will continue falling, along with the temperatures, until Wednesday night. Winds will be breezy at up to 22 mph.

By Thanksgiving, the snow will be gone, but cold temperatures will impact Black Friday shoppers on Thursday night and the following day, with lows around 30 and highs in the mid 30s.

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NYC recovers from another storm; more snow in forecast


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Victor G. Mimoni

Updated 6:50 p.m.

The borough was once again buried in almost a foot of snow after the sixth storm of the season struck the city Thursday, and even more flakes could fall this weekend.

Snowfall totals around Queens varied, but Bayside reported as much as 11.8 inches, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

For the second day in a row, residents faced a less-than-perfect morning commute with a hazardous travel advisory still in effect through Friday morning.

The MTA said service should be close to normal on subways, buses and Long Island Rail Road for the evening commute.

The situation for commuters Friday was much better than yesterday morning when heavy snow coated the roads.

Despite those dangerous conditions the city’s public schools were open Thursday.

Parents, students, teachers and even famed weatherman Al Roker blasted Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to keep the schools open.

De Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, however, defended the move.

“Based on our knowledge, we were convinced kids could get to schools this morning,” de Blasio said Thursday. “So many families depend on their schools as a place for their kids to be during the day.”

The total attendance at city schools was only 44.65 percent yesterday, according to a preliminary report from the Department of Education (DOE) released Thursday afternoon.

Public schools were again open Friday and all field trips, after-school programs and PSAL activities are operating normally, the DOE said.

“We understand that weather conditions may be challenging for families. As always, parents should exercise their own judgment with regard to their children. Safety is a top priority for the Department, and we make these decisions only after careful consideration. We want to thank parents, students, and educators for your cooperation during this very difficult winter,” Fariña said.

Alternate side parking regulations, and garbage and recycling pick-up are suspended through Saturday.

The Department of Sanitation will likely be spending the weekend clearing snow off the streets.

The city agency has issued a “snow alert” starting at 8 a.m. Saturday.

About 2 to 4 inches of snow could fall during the day tomorrow, starting in the early morning, according to NWS.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Partly cloudy. High around 40. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph. Friday Night: Partly cloudy early followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low 28F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Twelfth Night

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PHOTOS: Feb. 13 winter storm


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Victor G. Mimoni

A snowstorm that first hit overnight created a messy commute Thursday morning as New Yorkers dealt with more ugly winter weather.

Here’s a look, through photos, of conditions in Queens.

If you want The Queens Courier to include your snow photos in our gallery, let us know by tweeting them to@queenscourier or by posting them on our Facebook page.

 

Snow again: Winter storm to strike city Thursday


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Updated 6:10 p.m.

Get ready for some more snow.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasted 8 to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow through Friday morning. A Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from midnight tonight until 6 a.m. Friday.

Wednesday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed state agencies to prepare for the impending Nor’easter winter storm.

This one will bring a mix of snow, sleet and rain as well as windy conditions, according to the NWS.

““I have again directed state agencies to prepare and coordinate resources for the Nor’easter that is forecasted for late tonight and into Thursday,” Cuomo said. “As we have done in previous storms this season, the State is directing necessary resources to the areas in greatest need, and we will be flexible in our ability to redirect equipment and personnel as the storm reaches the state.”

Snow will develop around 3 a.m., and continue throughout the day before tapering off about 24 hours later. During the day, with temperatures hovering around the mid-30s, there will be a mixture of snow, sleet and rain, according to the NWS. Winds will be 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph during the storm.

Subways plan to operate on normal weekday schedule during the morning rush hour. The LIRR is developing service plans for the coming storm, and may offer extra afternoon service. To track developments, click here.

Buses may reduce service by up to 20 percent if conditions warrant. Alternate side parking regulations are suspended through Saturday, but meters remain in effect.

In preparation of the inclement weather, the city’s Department of Sanitation has issued a “snow alert,” starting at 1 a.m. Thursday. It said its plows and spreader will be ready, but trash and recycling pickups will need to be delayed during its snow operations.

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

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 29. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Some clouds. Low 18. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.

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Another round of snow, plus sleet, freezing rain target city


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Updated 3:35 p.m.

For the second time this week, the city is experiencing a bout of nasty winter weather.

After a Monday storm dropped eight inches of flakes in the borough, a system that hit late Tuesday night brought snow as well as sleet and freezing rain.

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Wednesday morning, saying that localities in New York City and on Long Island have reported salt shortages. He said that 3,500 tons of the state’s supply of salt will be sent to those communities.

To expedite the salt deliveries, Cuomo said the DOT has waived federal restrictions on hours for salt truck drivers, and the MTA has waived weight restrictions on bridges.

At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, however, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city has the salt resources for this storm and for the next storm as it is projected.

De Blasio said the city is experiencing a blood shortage and encouraged New Yorkers to donate by calling 800-933-Blood or visiting www.nybloodcenter.org. He said he is planning to donate blood.

At the press conference he applauded city agencies’ response to the recent winter storms as well as New Yorkers’ toughness.

“This is a city that is no stranger to adversary,” the mayor said.

“Nobody likes days like today, but nobody handles days like today better than New Yorkers,” he added.

winter storm warning is in effect through 6 p.m. Wednesday, with three to five inches of snow predicted as well as about one quarter of an inch of ice, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The snow, which started Tuesday night, changed over to a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain by early Wednesday morning and eventually to just freezing rain. NWS reported 4 inches of snow in Central Park by 5 a.m. and 2.4 inches at LaGuardia Airport by 7:00 a.m.

The precipitation should taper off by tonight. Highs Wednesday will be in the low 30s.

Alternate side parking is suspended on Wednesday and Thursday to facilitate snow removal, but meters will still be in effect. Gar

The Department of Sanitation issued a ‘snow alert’ starting at 10 p.m. Tuesday and will be deploying its snow fighting equipment as needed.

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

Garbage and recycling collection is canceled Wednesday, but should begin tomorrow.

A “hazardous travel advisory” is also in effect for the area Wednesday, the New York City Office of Emergency Management said.

At 8 a.m. Cuomo announced a ban on both commercial and passenger vehicles on Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders, but lifted it by 2:20 p.m.

The mayor warned urged city residents Wednesday to use mass transit when possible and to leave extra travel time.

During the evening rush hour, the city’s subways and Long Island Rail Road will operate on normal schedules, the MTA said.

Buses will run at 85 to 90 percent capacity, but some detours, delays and suspensions are possible on a route-by-route basis.

As the rush hour winds down, subways will be stored underground on express tracks, and, as a result, express service on portions of some lines will be curtailed after rush hour, the MTA said. Subway customers should anticipate some weather-related delays

Fastrack maintenance has been canceled on the A and C lines in Brooklyn for the rest of the week.

The Metro-North Railroad will operate 75 percent of its normal evening rush hour schedule across all lines, and some local and express trains will be combined and will make additional stops, the MTA said.

Beginning at 9 p.m., Metro-North will go to hourly service for the remainder of the day.  On Thursday morning, it should operate at normal AM peak service.

The storm is causing few disruptions for the city’s public schools. Chancellor Carmen Farina announced early this morning that schools are open Wednesday. All field trips are canceled, but after-school activities and PSAL activties are continuing as scheduled.

Farina said, as of about 11:30 a.m., schools were reporting 60 percent attendance.

“We knew today that we could operate them safely and effectively,” de Blasio said about the decision to keep schools open.

But students could get another chance for a snow day on Monday. More snow is expected on Sunday.

Despite the constant storms, however, not everyone is tired of the weather.

“This is how winter weather is supposed to be. For me, it beats the heat and humidity, Jackson Heights resident Kimberly Rene Oser said.

I love this year’s weather. It’s winter, said Monika Slominska. “The only minus is, I have no driveway, therefore it’s difficult to find a parking spot with all the snow around.

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PHOTOS: Jan. 21 snow storm


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER

A late January storm left the city once again digging out from almost a foot of snow. Check out our photo gallery showing its aftermath.

 

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Storm slams city, dumps almost a foot of snow


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

The second major storm of the month hit the city Tuesday leaving almost a foot of snow and bringing a blast of bitter cold that will last for several days.

Snowfall escalated around rush hour Tuesday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, but “the men and women of sanitation who work for this city intensified their efforts” to clear the streets.

“This storm was challenging in its size and intensity but the people who work for the City of New York rose to the occasion,” he said as he updated the city Wednesday morning.

In some areas of the city, snow accumulated to 11.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Although the snow has tapered, freezing temperatures are still expected throughout the night. Temperature highs will remain in the teens, but feel as low as below zero with the wind chill.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) issued a hazardous travel advisory for Wednesday and warned 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.

Alternate side parking is suspended Wednesday and Thursday to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect. To track the progress of Department of Sanitation clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

Trash and recycling pickups are also suspended for Wednesday.

Express subway service was restored Wednesday morning and buses were running at 80 to 90 percent of normal levels, de Blasio said. Those levels, he said, would increase throughout the day.

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.

On Wednesday, Metro-North is operating at 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 is operating on a weekend schedule.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Morning clouds will give way to afternoon sunshine. High 16. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 mph. Wednesday night: A few passing clouds. Low near 5. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

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Major snowfall, freezing temps target NYC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

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.