Mayor de Blasio Update on Winter Storm Juno: Preparing for Worst-Case Scenario Was Right Decision
Mayor de Blasio Update on Winter Storm Juno: Preparing for Worst-Case Scenario Was Right Decision

Although New York City was spared the worst of Winter Storm Juno, Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed confidence that his decision to take extra precaution was the right thing to do.

“I’m not sure if in the history of the city, we’ve done that clearly enough,” de Blasio said. He told New Yorkers that for future storms, the city will be “very forceful in our messages,” including for any emergency evacuations.

“You can’t be Monday morning quarterback with the weather,” said the mayor, suggesting that you can’t assess the weather afterwards—and then criticize him for being overly cautious. 

The vast majority of the city got about six to eight inches of snow, far less than the two feet of snowfall that many meteorologists projected.

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But the mayor felt his decision to enact a car travel ban and close schools, as well as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s shutdown of mass transit, was justified given the forecast at the time.

“The bottom line is, we got lucky,” de Blasio said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. He added that weather is unpredictable by nature, and it was in the city’s best interest to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

He further thanked New Yorkers for heeding his warnings to clear the roads after 11 p.m., which have allowed city workers to clean up more efficiently and get the city in good shape. “People in New York City understood the threat,” he said.

NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill said there were no summonses or arrests issued last night for people who violated the travel ban.

Eastern Queens was hit the hardest by the storm, with 10 inches of accumulation. But just 18 miles further east, the town of Ronkonkoma in Long Island got 20 inches, while Suffolk County, also in Long Island, got 25 inches. The storm moved further east than projected, sparing the metropolitan area from much of the snow.

After the mayor lifted the travel ban at 7:30 a.m., the Staten Island ferry resumed normal service. The subways were re-opened on Tuesday, and will operate on a Sunday schedule. City parks and recreation centers will also re-open Tuesday.

City schools will resume classes Wednesday.

The mayor predicted that cleanup work will continue into tomorrow, but the city will mostly return to normal by then. But he cautioned that streets and roads are still slippery, and people should be careful while out and about Tuesday.

The sanitation department is deploying more staff into eastern Queens, where the snowfall was heaviest. To assist the Long Island counties hit hardest by the storm, the city’s Office of Emergency Management will be sending them extra equipment.

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