NEW YORK—There was a flurry of activity on Thursday as New York City braced itself for the impending snowstorm, named Nemo, expected to hit the city Friday evening.
The NOAA issued a blizzard warning Thursday afternoon sending iPhones around the city shrieking with the warning. “Blizzard warning this area from 6 a.m. Friday until 1 p.m. Saturday. Prepare. Avoid Travel. Check Media.”
New York City is expected to receive 12 to 20 inches of snow between Friday and Saturday, with winds reaching as high as 60 mph, said Jerry Hauer, commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES).
“This is a very dangerous storm,” he said. “We are taking this storm very serious, and you should take it very seriously.”
Hauer said during the height of the storm, likely Friday after rush hour, the city could see snow falling up to 3 to 4 inches per hour.
Hauer recommended if people did not have to go to work on Friday, they should stay in to avoid getting stranded.
Coastal areas such as Sea Gate and Breezy Point, which have still not recovered from Hurricane Sandy, will be on heightened alert. Tidal surges of three to five feet above normal are expected to roll in, possibly flooding the areas. Hauer said the flooding will be nothing like during Hurricane Sandy, where the surge was 13 feet.
Travel from Friday night into Saturday will be “almost impossible” according to Haur, and people are being asked to stay inside and avoid all travel.
· Never follow a snowplow too closely or attempt to pass one. Remember that the highway ahead of the plow is usually snow-covered;
· Adjust speed for road conditions and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles;
· Schedule extra time for winter travel and be patient during ice and snow removal operations;
· Assume that bridge surfaces are slippery, as they freeze more quickly than road surfaces;
· Watch for black ice, which can be difficult to see but makes conditions slippery when pavement temperatures are below freezing;
· Have a cell phone handy, if possible, but do not text while driving; distracted driving is illegal and becomes even more dangerous during storm events;
· Never venture from your vehicle if snowbound;
· Equip your car with emergency supplies including sand, shovel, flares, booster cables, rope, ice scraper, portable radio, flashlight, blankets and extra warm clothes;
· Inform a responsible person of your destination, intended route, and estimated time of arrival; and
· Keep calm and do not panic in case of a vehicle breakdown, accident, or if you become snowbound.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers to closely watch local news reports for weather updates. “Adjust [your] travel plans accordingly, including avoiding non-essential travel during and directly after the storm since roads will be icy with blizzard conditions in some places, ” Cuomo said in a statement.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released a statement that said: “The agency is deploying extra staff and assembling snow-fighting equipment to handle whatever wintry conditions may develop at its airports, seaports, tunnels, bridges and PATH system.”
The MTA has not ordered a shut down of the system as it did with Hurricane Sandy, however it will be storing trains underground instead of in outdoor rail yards following the Friday rush. They will deploy their fleet of snow and ice-busting equipment designed to keep outdoor tracks and the third rail clear of snow and ice during harsh winter weather.
Schools Chancellor Walcott said at this stage there will be school as usual on Friday.
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