New York Daily News: MANHATTAN, NY – New Yorkers are in for a winter wallop on Monday as the city is expected to get hammered with its worst snowstorm in five years.
As much as 18 inches of powder could fall on the five boroughs between Sunday night and Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. That would be the highest total since January 2016 when Winter Storm Jonas hit the city with a record-high 27 inches.
“This is not a storm to underestimate,” Mayor de Blasio said Sunday. “Take it seriously. This is a dangerous storm. Tomorrow is going to be a very tough day. If you do not need to be out and about on Monday, stay home.”
Snow is expected to hit the city around 7 p.m. Sunday, dumping two to five inches by the time Monday morning rush hour picks up at 7 a.m., according to National Weather Service meteorologist Jay Engle.
But that will be just the start of the whiteout.
“It will pick up in the morning into the early afternoon,” said Engle. “Towards evening there’s some uncertainty as to whether the snow could lighten or actually mix in with a little sleet or rain.”
The NWS projects at least 12 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 50 mph in the city — but city officials are preparing for the potential full 18-inch whammy.
Snow plows were already out on Sunday coating city streets with a salt brine to prevent icing, Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson said.
Grayson was appointed head of sanitation in late December, a week after he managed the response to a nor’easter that dumped up to 11 inches on parts of the city. He was already working with fewer resources than his predecessors due to pandemic-related budget cuts that slashed 397 snow removal jobs from the city’s payroll.
“This snow response will clearly be a very slow and very methodical response as there will be a sustained period of active snowfall,” Grayson said. “The residents should know that they will not see blacktop immediately at all on Monday.”
The furious flurries prompted de Blasio to close all in-person learning for Monday, moving all students to remote learning for the day.
The storm will also cause major hiccups in the city’s effort to distribute COVID-19 vaccinations, which has already been hampered by a national shortage of inoculations.
New Yorkers who have a vaccination appointment for Monday will be forced to reschedule, de Blasio said.
All restaurants in the city that have opened outdoor dining areas on streets will have to close, and alternate side parking will suspended, officials said.
MTA chief operating officer Mario Peloquin said he’d keep a close eye on the storm as it hits and would close above-ground subway service if elevated tracks become dangerous or unpassable.
Express service may be suspended on some subway lines during the storm if transit officials need to use express tracks to store trains, said Demetrius Crichlow, acting vice president of subways at NYC Transit.
The MTA took all of its 60-foot articulated buses off the road and will only be operating its fleet of roughly 3,000 40-foot buses on Monday. The shorter buses will be equipped with snow chains to push through the storm — but the shrunken fleet will result in longer waits for buses, said MTA bus chief Craig Cipriano.
Empty tractor-trailers will be banned on the MTA’s seven bridges and two tunnels starting 6 a.m. Monday morning, officials said.
“The safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority,” Peloquin said. “We want to make sure that essential workers are able to get to where they need to be throughout this storm.”\
- Top Feature Photo: A MTA plower is loaded with salt at a MTA garage. MTA chief operating officer Mario Peloquin said he’d keep a close eye on the storm as it hits, and would close above-ground subway service if elevated tracks become dangerous or unpassable – MTA Handout