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Public Schools Closed Friday Due to Snow

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TWC News: First Snowstorm of 2014 Hits Five Boroughs on New Year's Second Day
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New York City pubic schools are closed on Friday due to snow, Department of Education officials announced early Friday morning.

The city is under a winter storm warning until 1 p.m. Friday.

Student after-school programs and PSAL games are also cancelled on Friday, according to the DOE announcement.

According to the National Weather Service, around 2 inches of snow had fallen in the city as of Thursday night.

In the Kew Gardens section of Queens, 2.6 inches of snow was measured as of 10 p.m. Thursday, and in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, 2.2 inches of snow was measured.

Another 2 to 4 inches of snow were expected by morning.

Steady snows and strong winds were expected during the overnight hours, with possible whiteout conditions at times.

Snow was expected to ease by 9 a.m. Friday and to stop falling altogether by noon Friday.

A winter storm warning is in effect for the five boroughs through 1 p.m. Friday.

Temperatures were expected to drop below 20 degrees in some areas during the overnight hours.

Temperatures are projected to be in the teens for most of the day Friday before falling to as low as 8 degrees Friday night into Saturday morning.

The city's Department of Sanitation said it loaded salt spreaders and attached plows and tire chains to its trucks ahead of the storm in anticipation of slick roads.

Officials asked New Yorkers to be patient as they clear the 6,000 miles of city streets.

"The wind is going to be blowing. There's going to be high gusts. We're going to be plowing streets, and no sooner we go through in some areas, snow is going to back over on them because it's going to be a very dry snow," said Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty. "So it's going to take us a while to get this done."

The Department of Transportation announced that alternate side parking is suspended on Thursday and will be suspended on Friday as well. Meters will remain in effect on Friday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said in his Thursday evening briefing that parents should assume that school is open Friday. The mayor said that a decision on whether or not to close schools will be made in the early morning hours Friday.

The Department of Education did announce Thursday evening that all student after-school programs, field trips and PSAL games are canceled Friday.

Wind chills could reach as low as 10 degrees below zero on Friday, and de Blasio warned New Yorkers not to use ovens or stovetops for heat, and to be careful with how space heaters are used.

"We understand why people may be tempted to these for help, but the problem is, these are choices that could lead to much greater problems," de Blasio said. "Another problem is, these specific options could lead to a greater chance of fire, could lead to a greater chance of carbon monoxide poisoning. So we want to make sure that people understand that if you don't have enough heat, please, again, reach out to your building owner or to 311.

The city is trying to make sure that vulnerable New Yorkers are safe during the storm.

Seniors using programs for home-delivered food have received enough food to last them through Monday, and the Department of Homeless Services is guaranteeing housing while the temperature is below freezing.

Heated buses will also ride around looking for people left outside.

De Blasio urged all people to think of others in need of extra attention.

"If you have neighbors who might have specials needs, might be disabled, might be seniors who you think might be a little vulnerable, please reach out to them, check in," he said. "Make sure that they're safe. Make sure that they're warm. Make sure they have enough food to eat."

The storm meant a late night for workers like Susan Loo-Lee, a patient manager at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

In the borough of Queens alone, the Visiting Nurse Association of New York serves 20,000 patients that rely on home health care visits.

"Even in the severe snowstorm that is coming up, we will see the patients that needs critical care, talking about patients that may need wound care, who may need insulin injection and/or patients who ran out of medications," Loo-Lee said.

If you see someone in need and want to help, call 311, and use 911 only in life-threatening situations.

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a statewide state of emergency ahead of the storm.

He has ordered that several roads be closed.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Interstate 84 was closed, and the Long Island Expressway was closed at midnight Thursday between Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The governor said that he hoped that the roads would reopen by 5 a.m. Friday, but that is subject to change.

"I think New Yorkers have learned the hard way that we take Mother Nature very seriously, and this is one of those storms that we should take with the severity that is forecast," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said that drivers should stay off the snow-covered roads in general.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was in full storm preparation mode, getting heavy equipment ready to keep tracks, switches and third rails at outdoor stations from getting covered in snow.

To keep trains from getting snowed in at rail yards, the MTA says it's storing some underground, which could affect lines with express service.

All lines were running local as of late Thursday evening, and straphangers can expect slight delays.

On Friday, Metro-North will operate on a Saturday schedule, and the Long Island Rail Road will operate a weekend schedule.

To check on the latest subway and bus service, go to

For storm-related city services, go to

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