NEW YORK – A rapid snowstorm has arrived in the city and is expected to cause problems during the morning rush hour.
The snow is heavier and fluffier than expected and parts of the city could now see up to six inches before it subsides later this morning.
Public school buildings will be open, according to the education ministry, which added that “weather-related staff and student delays will be excused.”
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York are closed without distance learning.
In a morning press conference, Mayor Eric Adams defended his decision to keep the city’s public schools open.
“The kids have to go to school,” Adams said. “We have no more days to lose and the long term impact of leaving our children at home is going to affect us for years to come. I will not help.”
All branches of the Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library, which covers the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, and the Queens Public Library will open at noon on Friday due to inclement weather, officials said.
Forecast from NY1 says two to six inches of snow is expected to fall between 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. Friday, but officials have warned that snowfall rates could be significant during the morning commute.
“Travel conditions for Friday morning are going to be messy, and they can be dangerous,” said Christina Farrell, New York City’s first assistant commissioner for emergency management. “Your safety is our number one concern. We strongly encourage all New Yorkers to exercise caution. If you are going out, give yourself extra time. Public transport may be the best choice, but please check the timetables before leaving your home.
Farrell said the Office of Emergency Management activated its “virtual situation room” Thursday night to coordinate the city’s storm response with the Sanitation Department, the Department of Transportation, the MTA, the FDNY and the NYPD.
Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson said his department has more than 330,000 tonnes of salt and more than 700 salt spreaders as well as 1,600 plows that will be deployed to clean city streets.
Alternative side parking will be suspended Friday and Saturday, Grayson said, in anticipation of extremely cold temperatures resulting in persistent snowfall.
Despite a workforce depleted by the wave of omicron COVID-19 variants – Grayson said 22% of its workforce was absent on Thursday – the sanitation commissioner said his department’s workforce was “very, very adequate ”for the storm.
“We’re going to employ thousands of sanitation workers, who plow, salt and make sure New York City is safe,” Grayson said.
He added, however, that New Yorkers should expect a service delay in garbage collection and recycling as the department responds to the storm.
Hundreds of flights to JFK and LaGuardia were canceled Friday morning. Travelers are requested to check-in with their individual carrier before heading to the airport.
The MTA said its employees will be prepared for any weather challenges and will spread salt and clear snow surfaces throughout the system.
In a press release, the agency said that New York City Transit “has a fleet of snow and ice fighting trains designed to keep exterior tracks, switches and third rails free of snow and ice “, and that articulated buses will be equipped with chains in advance. rush hour.
The MTA shared some of its snowfighting gear in a Twitter thread on Thursday.
Metro-North will operate on a Saturday Friday schedule. The MTA also said commuters should visit new.mta.info or the MYMTA app to check for any other weather-related service changes.
As for how New Yorkers are preparing for the storm, Ovi Sajid, the manager of Artistic Pizza in the West Village, bought 25 pounds of salt in preparation for Friday’s snowfall.
He said he plans to salt the sidewalk and put up warning signs to keep his customers safe – many of whom feel like family and friends.
“We want to do what we can do,” Sajid said. “I know it’s not a lot, but I just think it’s the right thing for the people who live in the neighborhood to do to keep them safe. We have a deep bond with them because we see them every day, almost twice a week. “
Sajid says Artistic Pizza will be open Friday at regular hours, for those willing to brave the snow for a part.
He expects his regulars to be on time.