De Blasio, Cuomo Declare States Of Emergency; Above-Ground MTA Subways, Schools Shut Down For Snowstorm

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency for the city effective at midnight Monday night, as a massive and dangerous snowstorm bore down on the area.

“We’re going to be hit with a tremendous challenge in the coming hours,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio said the city expects the worst of the situation to be in the early morning hours. Snow is expected to begin between midnight and 1 a.m., with the most intensive accumulation beginning between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., and continuing at a very high level for hours thereafter.

“We expect this storm overall to be in the range of 16 inches to 20 inches of snow,” with a high end of up to 24 inches, de Blasio said.

All above-ground Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway service will be shut down beginning at 4 a.m. Tuesday as a dangerous snowstorm blows into the area.

Trains underground are still scheduled to run. A decision will be made later on for the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad.

De Blasio said it is too early to tell if there will be other changes to mass-transit schedules.

New York City public schools will also be closed Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. A powerful nor’easter that could bring blizzard conditions and more than a foot of snow moves in.

“This is an unusually early call, but we’re seeing this snowstorm hitting exactly at the time when parents will be trying to move around with their children,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio said giving an early heads up will give parents time to find appropriate child care. But for some, it is a snow day for parent and child.

“I was excited,” said mother Robin Morris. “I was like yes no work no school tomorrow it was a blessing.”

“I was like yeah, because I’m going to sit on my couch and play Xbox 1,” said Eliza Morris, who added that she was not interested in playing in the snow.

The City University of New York announced on Twitter that its colleges and university offices will be closed.

At Columbia University, most university events were expected to be canceled due to the storm. Butler Library will be open only as study space, and Dodge Fitness Center will be open along with JJ’s Place at John Jay Dining Hall.

The NYU campus will be closed – and all day and evening classes will be called off Tuesday unless specifically communicated otherwise.

A blizzard warning is in effect for the lower Mid-Hudson Valley, New York City, western Long Island, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut from late Monday night through Tuesday night.

Beginning at midnight, the state of New York will also be under a state of emergency issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. A state of emergency has also been declared for New Jersey by Gov. Chris Christie.

Monday evening will be calm and quiet. But snow will begin falling after midnight and conditions will begin turning gusty. By 7 a.m., 2 to 5 inches of snow will likely be on the ground.

On Tuesday morning, there will be heavy, blowing snow, gusty winds and coastal flooding, with 8 to 12 inches of accumulation, Winds could gust up to 40 to 50 degrees and possibly even 60 to 70 degrees, CBS2’s Lonnie Quinn reported.

By late in the day, 12 to 18 inches of snow could be on the ground if not more. The biggest snow totals are expected to be seen north and west of the city, while the highest winds will be seen to the south and east.

One model, the RPM, forecasts 15.3 inches of snow for the city, 21.8 inches for Montgomery, 22.7 inches for Monticello, and 24.1 inches for Sparta.

While no road travel ban has been issued, de Blasio advised advised to stay off the roads and keep them clear for emergency vehicles.

Light snow is expected to begin late Monday night and intensify overnight into early Tuesday morning. The heaviest snowfall is expected Tuesday morning through the afternoon, with snowfall rates of as much as 2 to 4 inches per hour.

“This kind of snow coming down this intensely, it’s going to be dangerous,” de Blasio said.

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, Mayor de Blasio said because there have not been too many winter weather days this season, there is quite a bit of rock salt ready for the storm. About 283,000 tons are on hand.

“It’s a very important point – for your own safety, given the frigid temperatures; the huge amount of snow in a short period of time; the wind… stay off the streets,” de Blasio said.

Beginning Monday night, Department of Sanitation teams will start 12-hour split shifts beginning at 7 p.m. there will be 2,400 sanitation workers per shift.

A total of 689 salt spreaders have been pre-deployed.

As soon as 2 inches of snow are on the ground, 1,600 plows will go into action – and the Department of Sanitation will add an additional 80 plows to that.

Once the snow accumulates, plows will be out constantly – but that doesn’t mean they can make the situation normal.

“Because of the intensive accumulation, do not expect to see blacktop for quite a while as we go through the day tomorrow,” de Blasio said.

The Sanitation Department said the garbage and recycling collections will be suspended once the snow begins. Alternate-side parking for Tuesday and Wednesday have also been canceled.

Residents were crowding local grocery stores like Trader Joe’s on Broadway off 72nd Street on the Upper West Side, scrambling to pick up last-minute items.

“I got water, and salad — and tater tots,” one woman told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “Which is a full meal if you ask me.”

Monday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center and said he has directed state agencies “to continue proactively preparing communities and roadways for this major storm.”

“We remain in constant contact with local officials in every region, as New York prepares to aggressively clear roads, provide personnel and storm equipment as needed, and offer immediate assistance to communities across the state,” he said in a statement. “I strongly urge everyone to limit unnecessary travel on Tuesday, and if you must drive, please plan ahead, be careful and stay safe.”

If you have got a heat and hot water problem, you are asked to call 311 and take care of it on Tuesday.

There will also be a Code Blue effort to get people off the streets, out of the cold, and into shelters.

The Department of Buildings is also advising property owners, contractors, and crane operators to take precautionary measures and said all cranes must be secured Monday.

The Citi Bike system will also shut down effective at 11 p.m. Monday in advance of the snow.

Forecasters say there also could be minor to moderate coastal flooding on Tuesday.

Winter’s big return arrives just a week after the region saw temperatures climb in the 60s.

Nor'easter to shut down travel, unleash blizzard conditions in at least 8 states

A major nor'easter threatens to shut down travel due to heavy snow and strong winds from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston early this week. Blizzard conditions will develop in part of the northeastern United States.

A storm will first continue to bring snow and travel problems in the Midwest through Monday.

A new storm will strengthen rapidly and hug the east coast of the U.S. early this week.

Snow will then rapidly spread northward spanning Monday night to Tuesday night.

For many areas in the Northeast, this will likely be the biggest and most impactful storm of the winter.

Heavy snow over such a broad, heavily populated area could bring travel to a standstill. Snow and snow drifts will clog streets and highways. Heavy snow and wind will cause airline delays and flight cancellations. Some flights have already been canceled ahead of the storm.

For thousands of miles of roads in the region, this will be an unusually cold storm for the middle of March. Much of the snow that falls will rapidly accumulate on the roads across the interior of the mid-Atlantic and New England. Some people could become stranded on area highways.

"Residents should prepare for school closures and potential cancellations of sporting events due to hazardous travel for players and fans," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

In some areas where a change to sleet and rain does not occur or is delayed, blizzard conditions will develop. This is most likely in portions of New England, southeastern New York state, northern New jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

However, extensive blowing and drifting snow will also occur as far west as western Maryland and eastern West Virginia.

At this time, it appears that areas from eastern West Virginia and northern Virginia to northern Maryland, central and eastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, central and southeastern New York state and a large part of New England will be shoveling 6 inches or more of snow from the storm.

Snowfall could rival that of March 1993 blizzard
The heaviest snow is likely to fall near the I-81 corridor of Pennsylvania and along part of the New York Thruway in the Hudson Valley of New York, I-91 in northern Connecticut and Massachusetts and I-93 in New Hampshire. In this zone, from 1 to 2 feet of snow can pile up with locally higher amounts possible. Drifts up to several feet are likely.

"In some locations in Pennsylvania, New York state and New England, snowfall from this storm could be the biggest March snowstorm since that of the 1993 March blizzard," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

Thunder and lightning can accompany the snow in some locations.

In Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, enough snow to shovel and plow is in store with a much heavier and more disruptive snowfall for commuters to the northwest.

A widespread zone of around a foot or more of snow is expected from the northern and western suburbs of Philadelphia to New York City, Boston and Portland, Maine.


NEW YORK (WABC) -- States of emergency have been declared in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut ahead of a "life-threatening" nor'easter that is poised to bring blizzard conditions and a blanket of heavy snow.

Travel was sure to be dismal: thousands of flights were already canceled as of late Monday afternoon, Amtrak canceled and modified service up and down the Northeast Corridor and motorists were urged to stay off the roads.

In New York City, the above-ground portions of the subway system were being shut down from 4 a.m. Tuesday. Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy imposed a statewide travel ban beginning at 5 a.m.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel and help keep the roads clear. "We're preparing for a significant storm on Tuesday, and New Yorkers should also prepare for snow and dangerous road conditions," de Blasio said.


Mayor de Blasio also announced that all New York City schools are closed Tuesday ahead of the storm.

The New York City Department of Sanitation has issued a "Snow Alert" for Monday starting at 11 p.m. in advance of the storm.

Calling a Snow Alert allows DSNY to begin to prepare for a response by loading salt spreaders, attaching plows, preparing tire chains and notifying other city agencies and supplementary personnel as needed.

DSNY coordinates with the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Transportation on snow clearing protocol in accordance with each agency's written snow plan.

Nearly 700 salt spreaders and 1,600 snow plows will be deployed across the five boroughs.

All winter weather information and information about the City's response to the storm can be found by visiting the city's Severe Weather website or by calling 311.

Con Edison issued an advisory that the combination of snow and gusting winds could knock trees into power lines, causing customers to lose power and creating a safety hazard.

Customers can report downed power lines, outages and check service restoration status by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).


On Long Island, areas along the South Shore may see coastal flooding Tuesday morning, with high tides that could run 2 to 3 feet above normal.

Road crews in Nassau and Suffolk counties have been out since Sunday, pre-treating the roads.

"We do expect that this will be a major, significant weather event that will be a potentially dangerous storm and that is exactly what we are preparing for right now," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone at a news conference Monday morning.

Nassau County officials also held a news conference, saying their teams are ready to go and urged citizens to stay off the road given the potential for blizzard conditions.


In New Jersey, a coastal flood warning was issued for Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex, Atlantic, Cape May, Burlington and Cumberland counties.

Gov. Chris Christie said that public and private snow removal trucks are getting ready for the storm. He says that the state's salt supply is at 75 percent of its capacity because of the mild winter.

PSE&G advised customers that the snow and high winds may bring down trees and power lines, and the utility said it has extra personnel on hand to respond to emergencies.

Crews in Rockland County are preparing to keep main roads, like Route 59, open during Tuesday's blizzard. Clarktown's Highway Department spent the day Monday filling salt trucks and preparing equipment for snow removal.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Emergency Operations Center will be activated Monday evening, with stockpiles of sandbags, generators and pumps at the ready.

Cuomo urged commuters to drive with caution for the Tuesday morning and afternoon commutes, and to avoid unnecessary travel. Motorists, especially tractor trailers, should be prepared for road closures across the state.

"We are closely monitoring this storm as it develops and I am directing all state agencies to be on alert and ready to respond as the weather develops," said Cuomo.


Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy imposed a statewide travel ban beginning at 5 a.m.

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