Friday, September 19, 2014

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Deep Freeze Sets in After Winter Storm Coats Five Boroughs

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TWC News: Deep Freeze Sets in After Winter Storm Coats Five Boroughs
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City public schools were closed Friday as New Yorkers, including the new mayor himself, dug out from a blustery winter storm that left behind more than half a foot of snowfall.

In all, Central Park reported about 6.5 inches.

The Bronx and Brooklyn received between nine and 10 inches.

Queens residents saw the worst of it with up to 11.5 inches in spots, while Staten Island varied between seven and 9.5 inches.

During a late morning briefing, Mayor Bill de Blasio gave city workers an "A", saying 100 percent of primary roads have been plowed.

"I think the key when you look at how we responded, the city responded to the storm is always was the emergency vehicles able to get to where they needed to get to and they did that," De Blasio said.

The mayor is urging New Yorkers to stay off the roads while crews work to clear secondary streets.

While the worst of the precipitation is over, the cold is not. De Blasio says icing is going to be a major issue in the coming days as temperatures plummet into the single digits.

The plummeting temperatures can be life threatening for infants, the elderly and the homeless.

The mayor is urging vulnerable residents to avoid driving and stay indoors.

"It is deceptively cold. It is the coldest it's been all year. And people sometimes think it doesn't feel so bad but if you stay out there too long it will feel bad and will be dangerous particularly to folks who are vulnerable," De Blasio added.

By law, residential buildings in the city must be kept at temperatures of at least 68 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night.

De Blasio is reminding tenants who believe their building is not being properly heated to call 311.

Across the city, the Department of Homeless Services estimates there are about 3,200 homeless people living on the streets and in public places.

As a result, the city has implemented what it calls a "Code Blue."

Residents who see a homeless person on the street who needs help are urged to call 311 and ask for the Mobile Outreach Response Team.

The Department of Homeless Services will send someone to the location to help.

Meanwhile, alternate side parking rules will remain suspended through Saturday.

Meters are still in effect.

As for mass transit, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has placed subway cars in protected positions underground.


That means express service on some lines may be suspended.

Some bus routes are facing weather related delays and service changes.

The Long Island Rail Road is running on a weekend schedule, while Metro-North is running on a Saturday schedule.

Amtrak is running on a modified schedule.

The Port Authority says PATH service could see delays of about 15 minutes systemwide because of the snow.

New Jersey Transit is running on an enhanced weekend schedule and is cross-honoring tickets throughout the system today.

The Sanitation Department is out in full force to deal with the storm.

About 1,700 snow plows are making their way around city streets.

The city is urging New Yorkers to keep the streets clear so they can get through.

The snow plows are equipped with GPS so they can be tracked online.

To see when your street is going to be plowed, log on to maps.nyc.gov/snow.

The Port Authority says JFK Airport has reopened.

LaGuardia and Newark Liberty Airports are also open with arrival and departure delays of 15 minutes or less.

Airlines canceled more than 2,300 flights nationwide yesterday in anticipation of the storm.

Travelers are advised to contact their individual airlines for flight information.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office says all road restrictions around the state have been lifted.

That means all commercial and passenger vehicles are allowed again on the Long Island Expressway in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and on Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders.

Both roads were closed to traffic at midnight.

Commercial vehicles are also allowed again on the Thruway south of Albany.

A passenger vehicle ban on the Thruway was lifted at 5 a.m.

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