The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a travel advisory for Thursday, December 13, 2018. According to the latest National Weather Service (NWS) forecast, a wintry mix of snow and rain could affect New York City Thursday morning through the evening commute. Scattered snow flurries could begin around 6 a.m. Thursday, continuing through the morning commute, before changing over to rain around noon. The rain will taper off around 6 p.m. Thursday. A dusting to an inch of snow accumulation is in the forecast, with a slight chance for locally higher amounts of 1 to 3 inches possible in northern parts of Queens, Manhattan, and The Bronx. Temperatures Thursday will be in the 40s, with wind chill values making it feel like as low as the mid-20s. NYC Emergency Management will continue to work closely with NWS to monitor the weather, and will activate the City’s situation room beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday to coordinate any response to potential impacts associated with the wintry mix.
New Yorkers should prepare for slippery road conditions, and exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking. The Department of Transportation has designated Thursday a Gridlock Alert Day. Whether traveling for work, errands or recreation, please consider taking public transportation whenever possible. For more information on Gridlock Alert Days, click here.
“We are expecting a wintry mix that can cause slippery conditions during Thursday’s morning and evening commutes, and we advise you to take caution and allow for extra travel time,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “It’s also a Gridlock Alert Day, so please leave your cars at home and take mass transit whenever possible.”
- Drive slowly. Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
- Four-wheel drive vehicles may make it easier to drive on snow-covered roads, but they stop less quickly than other vehicles.
- Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.
- Know your vehicle’s braking system. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes require a different braking technique than vehicles without anti-lock brakes in snowy conditions.
- If you are driving and begin to skid, ease your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. Straighten the wheel when the car moves in the desired direction. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump the brakes on an ABS equipped vehicle.
- Try to keep your vehicle’s gas tank as full as possible.
- Pedestrians should exercise caution and avoid slippery surfaces; some ice may not be visible. Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs.
- Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls.
- Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
Department of Sanitation
- The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is readying 695 salt spreaders across the five boroughs. DSNY will activate PlowNYC and will dispatch plows if more than two inches of snow accumulates on roadways.
- Garbage/recycling collections are planned to be on normal schedules on Thursday.
Department of Transportation
- DOT’s Bridges Division will pre-deploy crews to East River Bridges.
- Crews will pre-salt and monitor Municipal Parking lots, and will address conditions as needed.
- DOT’s Arterial, Parking and Citywide Concrete Units, will pre-salt and monitor pedestrian overpasses, muni lots and step streets.
- DOT’s Ferry Division will pre-salt and clear walkways at the ferry terminal. Ferry vessels are currently expected to operate on a normal weekday schedule, but passengers are advised to allow extra time for travel.
- DOT will monitor conditions on the citywide Transportation network at the Joint Transportation Management Center with State DOT and NYPD, and coordinate efforts to address any issues.
- December 13 and 14 are designated Gridlock Alert Days. Travelers are asked to consider taking public transportation whenever possible.
Department of Education
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- NYC public schools will be open Thursday, December 13, and all after-school activities will continue as scheduled. Bus routes may experience delays. For any questions about busing, please contact the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT): 718-392-8855. The OPT call center will open at 5 a.m. and DOE will be in close communication with NYPD, DOT, and NYC Emergency Management for any early indicators of potential issues.
- NYC Parks will have 1,300 forestry and maintenance and operations staff on duty at 6 a.m. Thursday to address any related issues.
- Parks has more than 2,000 miles of pathways across the city and will deploy 132 plow vehicles, 167 salt spreaders, and 257 snow blowers and brushes for snow removal in priority areas like park perimeters and commuter hubs. Parks staff will clear interior pathways after clearing perimeter sidewalks.
- NYPD has more than 50 authorized tow crews available to assist with any towing needs.
A Code Blue Weather Emergency notice is issued when the temperature is forecast to drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m., including National Weather Service calculations for wind chill values. No one who is homeless and seeking shelter in New York City during a Code Blue will be denied. Should you see an individual who appears to be homeless and in need out in the cold, please call 311 and an outreach team will be dispatched to offer assistance. During Code Blue Weather emergencies, experienced outreach teams work to connect homeless New Yorkers with the following resources:
- Shelters: During a Code Blue, shelter is available system-wide to accommodate anyone who is reasonably believed to be homeless and is brought to a shelter by outreach teams. Accommodations are also available for walk-ins.
- Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24-hours per day, including when Code Blue procedures are in effect, and will assist as many people as possible for the duration of the emergency. Drop-in staff and the dedicated outreach teams they work closely with each day can also make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.
- Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported directly to these low-threshold housing programs.
- Street homeless outreach: Teams will contact vulnerable individuals on their Code Blue Priority Lists a minimum of once every four (4) hours beginning at 8 p.m. during Code Blue Alerts and once every two (2) hours beginning at 8 p.m. for Enhanced Code Blue Alerts to encourage them to accept services, including transportation to a shelter placement. DSS coordinates borough-level Code Blue efforts directly with partner City agencies, including but not limited to NYPD, DSNY, and the Parks Department.
For more safety tips, visit NYC.gov/EmergencyManagement. New Yorkers are also encouraged to download the Notify NYC mobile application, which is available for free download from iTunes or Google Play. Notify NYC is the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can also receive phone calls, text messages, and/or email alerts about weather conditions and other emergencies. To learn more about the Notify NYC program or to sign up, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC or call 311. You can also follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.