2:14 pm Feb. 8, 2013
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging New Yorkers to stay off the streets and "take it easy" this evening, as the blizzard that the Weather Channel has unilaterally dubbed "Nemo" passes through New York City.
"Tonight, what's a good idea? Cook a meal, stay home, read a good book, watch a movie, just take it easy," said Bloomberg, wearing a sporty red sweater, speaking from Office of Emergency Management headquarters in Brooklyn.
Bloomberg's not sure what he'll be doing tonight, dinner-wise, but he did say: "I plan to catch up on my sleep. Next thing I'm gonna do is also run on the running machine."
The snow is expected to begin falling fast and heavy between 3 and 7 p.m. and continue through the night, with accumulations of between 10 and 14 inches citywide.
There will also be some coastal flooding in many of the same neighborhoods hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy.
"The tide should be a foot or two above, but nothing like what happened with Sandy," said the mayor.
Winds will blow between 10 and 30 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 40 or 50.
But all of that is just a forecast.
"This is a reasonably unpredictable storm," said Bloomberg.
The snow is expected to topple trees and power lines and Bloomberg, who got scathing reviews for his management in the aftermath of the 2010 blizzard, and better ones after subsequent snowstorms, sought to make clear that the city is prepared this time around.
Homeless-service staff have been doubling their outreach efforts, the sanitation department is fully mobilized with snowplows and frontend loaders and salt spreaders, and New Yorkers can even track the plow progress on their neighborhood streets at NYC.gov, which will be updated on a half-hourly basis.
The fire department has positioned waterborne rescue units in low-lying areas and will field additional ambulances complete with snow tires, homebound senior citizens will get extra food deliveries so they can make it through the weekend, and the buildings department has asked contractors to secure their construction sites.
Parking meter regulations will be suspended tomorrow, and alternate side of the street parking is suspended today and tomorrow.
The mayor once again urged New Yorkers to leave early today.
Mass transit is expected to run normally through rush hour, after which a lot of lines will be running local, said the mayor.
Buses are expected to be operating at less-than-normal capacity, and northbound Amtrak service has been canceled.
"My biggest concern is that people go out, and walk, slip, fall into traffic, with low visibility and high winds, that somebody turns a corner in their car and doesn't see a pedestrian," said the mayor on Friday, adding, "You can't take nature too lightly. Hopefully it won't be anything drastic and certainly it's not going to be a Hurricane Sandy, but that doesn't mean you can't get badly hurt or killed if you're not careful. And help others."
More by this author:
- A new (non-smoking) champion for marijuana legalization in New York
- Andrew Cuomo has no Lopez-related thoughts about Sheldon Silver