More than 2,000 New York City workers were mobilized to work through the night to clear 6,200 miles of streets, and officials hoped to have major thoroughfares passable in time for Wednesday’s morning rush hour, officials said.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency in which subway, railroad and bus service can be suspended or curtailed if snowfall accumulation reaches at least 10 inches. New York City Transit planned during the night to suspend express subway service so express tracks could be used to store trains usually kept in outdoor yards.
Crews from the City’s Sanitation Department on 12- and 13-hour shifts fanned out in 1,700 vehicles and more than 450 salt-spreaders. But salting was likely going to ineffective overnight, when temperatures were forecast to dip into the single digits, officials said.
Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said salting crews would then switch to full-time plowing. “People have to adjust to the conditions,” he said.
De Blasio said that vehicles from the city’s Parks and Transportation departments would supplementing Sanitation’s nighttime plowing efforts.
The mayor appealed to New Yorkers to stay inside during the worst of the storm and keep off the roads to give the plows a clear path.
He said at midday yesterday that he expected the city’s public schools to open today, but conditions would be watched. Alternate-side-of-the-street parking rules and trash and recycling collections were suspended through at least today.
De Blasio urged New Yorkers to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbors and to report the locations of homeless people on the street to the city’s 311 hotline so they could be urged to accept free shelter.