Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
#6-17

NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ISSUES HAZARDOUS TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY

Winter Storm Warning in effect Citywide on Thursday

Heavy snow will create dangerous travel conditions beginning Thursday morning; New Yorkers are urged to avoid traveling on Thursday

February 8, 2017 – The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a hazardous travel advisory for Thursday, February 9. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect Thursday from midnight through 6 p.m. This system is forecast to bring heavy snow that will create slick and hazardous travel conditions on Thursday, especially during the morning commute.

“Although the weather is warm today, winter will return quickly on Thursday with dangerous conditions for the morning commute,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “New Yorkers should be prepared for snowfall and slippery roads and plan to take mass transit where possible.”

A coastal storm will develop off the mid-Atlantic coast Wednesday night, bringing a chance for precipitation after midnight. The precipitation could start as rain or a mix of rain and snow for coastal sections, but is forecast to turn to snow early Thursday morning. Snow will continue into Thursday morning, falling heavily at times, creating reduced visibilities. Snow will taper off Thursday afternoon into the evening as the storm pushes away from the area. A total accumulation of 6 to 12 inches of snow is anticipated, but locally higher amounts are possible. New Yorkers should avoid driving during the morning hours and use mass transit where possible on Thursday.

After Wednesday’s unseasonably high temperatures, temperatures plummet Wednesday night, with lows around freezing and wind chill values between 25 and 30 degrees. Temperatures continue to drop Thursday, with highs around freezing and wind chill values in the teens. Temperatures drop to the teens Thursday night, with wind chill values as low as single digits. Temperatures return to around freezing on Friday.

Snow Preparations


DSNY


The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is pre-deploying 689 salt spreaders across the five boroughs. PlowNYC will be activated and more than 1600 plows will be dispatched when more than two inches of snow accumulates.

DSNY will assign 2,400 workers per shift. Workers will be assigned to 12 hour shifts beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

DSNY has 315,000 tons of rock salt available.

Garbage/recycling collections will be suspended once snow operations begin.

DSNY is requesting emergency snow laborers to assist with snow removal operations on Friday. For more information on how to sign up, click here.

DOT

Alternate Side Parking is suspended Thursday to facilitate snow removal operations. Parking meters are in effect.

Citi Bike service is expected to remain in service Thursday until further notice.

DOT will deploy crews to pre-treat pedestrian overpasses and step streets, and ensure that ferry terminals and municipal parking garages are pre-salted in advance of any snow.

The Staten Island Ferry is expected to run on a normal schedule, but all passengers should allow extra time should weather conditions impact the schedule.

Crews from JC Decaux Street Furniture New York will be deployed to shovel bus shelters and will follow up with preventive treatments as shelters are cleared.

Typically, during snow operations, DOT deploys over 400 personnel and more than 200 pieces of equipment, including close to 80 trucks for plowing, over several shifts.

NYC Emergency Management

NYC Emergency Management is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the storm’s track to determine the impacts to New York City.

NYCEM is hosting daily interagency conference calls with city and state agencies and public and private partners to coordinate the City’s preparations for the storm.

NYCEM’s Situation Room will be activated at midnight Thursday to coordinate the City’s response to the storm’s impacts.

DHS
 
A Code Blue Weather Emergency notice is issued when the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m., including National Weather Service calculations for wind chill values.  No one who is homeless and seeking shelter in New York City during a Code Blue will be denied. Should you see a homeless individual out in the cold, please call 311 and an outreach team will be dispatched to offer assistance. Code Blue Weather Emergencies includes the following options for the homeless:
 
  • Shelters: During a Code Blue, shelter is available system-wide to accommodate anyone who is reasonably believed to be homeless and is brought to a shelter by outreach teams or who walks-in.
  • Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24-hours per day when Code Blue procedures are in effect and will assist as many as people as possible for the duration of the emergency. Drop-in staff can also make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.
  • Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported directly to these low-threshold housing options.
  • Street homeless outreach: Teams will contact vulnerable individuals on their Code Blue Priority Lists a minimum of once every four (4) hours beginning at 8 p.m. during Code Blue Alerts and once every two (2) hours beginning at 8 p.m. for Enhanced Code Blue Alerts to encourage them to accept transport to a safe place. DHS coordinates Code Blue efforts directly with agencies such as NYPD, DSNY, and the Parks Department, at a borough level.

Travel Safety Tips


For Motorists

  • If you must drive a vehicle, monitor weather and traffic reports for the latest road conditions. Use mass transportation whenever possible.
  • Drive slowly. Posted speed limits are for ideal weather conditions. Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
  • Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.
  • Four-wheel drive vehicles may make it easier to drive on snow-covered roads, but they do not stop quicker than other vehicles.
  • Keep the name and phone number of at least one local towing service in your car in case you break down or become stuck in snow.
  • If you get stuck on the road, stay with your car and contact a towing company.
For Pedestrians
  • Exercise caution and avoid slippery surfaces; some ice may not be visible.
  • Use handrails when using stairs.  
  • Wear layers including a hat, gloves/mittens, and a scarf to stay protected from the cold. And keep clothes and shoes dry, if a layer becomes wet, remove it.
  • Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
  • Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
  • Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs.
  • Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls from icy conditions.
Check on your neighbors, friends, and relatives — especially the elderly and those with disabilities and access and functional needs. People most likely to be exposed to dangerous winter weather conditions include those who lack shelter, work outdoors, and/or live in homes with malfunctioning or inadequate heat. Seniors, infants, people with chronic cardiovascular or lung conditions, people using alcohol or drugs, and people with cognitive impairments such as dementia, serious mental illness or developmental disability, are at increased risk.

For more winter weather safety tips, visit NYC.gov/EmergencyManagement. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about winter weather conditions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit NYC.gov/notifynyc, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Silvestri/Omar Bourne (NYCEM) (718) 422-4888
STAY CONNECTED: Twitter: @NotifyNYC (emergency notifications); @nycoem (emergency preparedness info); Facebook: /NYCemergencymanagement