Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mayor de Blasio Preps for His First Big Snowstorm, and It's a Doozy

Mayor Bill de Blasio met with his city commissioners on Thursday to discuss winter storm Hercules, the first snow storm of 2014. Photo: NYC

Winter storm Hercules is shaping up to be quite a storm. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has issued a Hazardous Travel Advisory from 6 p.m. Thursday through 1 p.m. Friday for snow and low temperatures. Gov. Cuomo has declared a state of emergency statewide.

People are strongly advised to stay off the roads. (The Long Island Expressway in Nassau and Suffolk Counties closes at midnight.) There will be no express MTA subway service after 5:45 p.m. today. See for details.

The city has not yet advised parents on whether there is school on Friday or not, which must be very inconvenient for people trying to make plans. An announcement will be made Friday morning. (If you have to drive or if your child takes the bus, please try to take the subway instead, if it's running.)

Airports are still open but hundreds of flights have been canceled. Airport personnel are preparing cots, blankets and other essentials to be used if necessary. Check with your carrier before traveling to the airport.

According to the National Weather Service:

Winter Storm Warning now in effect until 1 pm Friday.

Locations: New York City, Northeast New Jersey and Southern Westchester County.
Hazard types: snow and blowing snow.
Accumulations: snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches.
Winds: north 15 to 25 mph with occasional gusts up to 35 mph.
Wind chills, zero to 10 below zero late tonight and Friday.
Visibilities: one quarter mile or less at times.
Temperatures: falling through the 20s tonight and into the teens late tonight into Friday.
Timing: occasional light snow, becoming a steady wind driven heavy snowfall tonight into Friday morning.
Impacts: heavy snowfall, and blowing and drifting of powdery snow tonight into Friday will create dangerous travel conditions and could impact Snow Plowing operations. Wind chills below zero could lead to frostbite or hypothermia for anyone exposed to the cold.

NOAA adds:
Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

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