There’s a potential blizzard headed our way on Saturday and Mayor de Blasio has issued a Hazardous Travel Advisory, so grab a good book or binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix this weekend instead of heading out into the cold.
If you must go out, we’ve gathered the updates that you need to know to keep you and your family safe.
A Blizzard Watch is in effect from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon for the entire city, Northeast New Jersey, and Long Island. The National Weather Service predicts heavy snow along with potentially damaging winds. The current forecast calls for 8 to 12 inches of snow and winds of 25 to 35mph with gusts up to 50mph. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 30s, with visibility as low as a quarter mile or less at times.
For more information visit www.weather.gov/nyc.
City Snow Preparation
Ahead of the storm, the Department of Sanitation is pre-deploying 579 salt spreaders Friday evening. PlowNYC will be activated and 1,650 plows will be dispatched when more than two inches of snow accumulates. 135 other plows from DEP, DOT, and Parks will assist DSNY snow clearing operations. The Department of Transportation will deploy crews to pre-treat pedestrian overpasses and step streets.
Councilman Chaim Deutsch has a number of recommendations for how to prepare your household for the storm.
- Ensure that you have any snow removal equipment necessary.
- Fill your car with gas, and ensure you have working windshield wipers and wiper fluid.
- Prepare an emergency supply kit with batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food, phone chargers, water, and any specialty items needed for children or seniors.
- Check in on elderly relatives and neighbors who may need assistance preparing for and during a snowstorm.
- Let faucets drip a little to prevent freezing.
- Stock up on groceries to last through the storm, and for a couple of days further, in case of difficulties in traveling.
- Keep apprised of changing weather conditions.
Business owners should also take heed of these tips from NYC.gov:
- Snow and ice must be removed within 4 hours after the snow has stopped falling or by 11 a.m. if the snow has not stopped falling after 9 p.m. the previous evening.
- Snow must NOT be thrown into the street.
- If the snow or ice becomes frozen so hard that it cannot be removed, the sidewalk can be strewn with ashes, sand, sawdust, or similar suitable material within the same time limits.
- The sidewalk must be thoroughly cleaned as soon as the weather permits.
- If there are high winds, please take in all loose standing objects that may become dislodged and harm pedestrians.
- All ground level commercial/business owners should clear the snow/ice from their awnings as soon as the weather permits to prevent structural collapse. If you have a retractable awning or shade, please close these devices.
- One-story commercial property owners/lessees should clear the snow/ice from their rooftops as soon as the weather permits to prevent possible collapse (a professional should perform this task).
- Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any lot or building must clean snow and or ice from the sidewalk.
- Cleaning must be done within 4 hours after the snow has stopped falling.
- If snow stops falling after 9pm, it must be cleared by 11am the following morning.
- Snow may not be thrown into the street.
- If snow becomes frozen or is too hard to remove, residents can uses ashes, sand, sawdust or similar materials within the same time limits.
- The sidewalk must be cleaned as soon as the weather permits.
The fine for violating any of these rules is between $100 and $150 for the first offense, and as high as $350 for subsequent offenses, according to city notices.
- During heavy snowfall, clear your sidewalk before the snow stops falling. It’s courteous to neighbors who may still have to get around, and it will make the job easier for yourself at the end of the day.
- Check on your neighbors. If you live next to an elderly or disabled person, lend a hand and shovel for them. Hey, they may make you an apple pie.
- Avoid using salt unless absolutely necessary. It can damage the sidewalk, leading to costly repairs for you down the road. Use kitty litter or sand instead.
- If someone does slip and fall, go and see if they’re okay.
- Cleaning up your dog’s poop is still legally required, even if it’s sitting in some snow. Don’t be a jerk.
Want to see if the roads you need to travel on have been cleared? Check out the city’s Plow Tracker.
Finally, if trees fall or cars get stuck or anything interesting or pretty happens on your block, let us know and send photos and info our way at email@example.com.
With additional reporting by Heather Chin.