Blizzard Watch 2015 is here, and officials are warning of “record-setting” snow accumulation — so it may be time to start wrapping things up at work. Here are the latest weather and city updates that you need to know to keep you and your family safe.
A citywide Blizzard Warning will go into effect at 1pm until 12am/midnight Wednesday morning, January 28. The current forecast predicts between 12-30 inches of snow in the five boroughs, Long Island, and parts of northern New Jersey, with locally higher amounts possible and snowfall rates of up to 2-4 inches per hour late Monday night into Tuesday morning.
Aside from the snow, the strong wind gusts will generate some serious wave action for those of us living close to the water. The National Weather Service issued an alert warning of moderate coastal flooding overnight, from Monday into Tuesday, with waves between six and nine feet battering our shores. There’s some potential for flooding of roads along the shoreline, including on parts of the Belt Parkway. Stay out of the water, stay off the roads, and if you own property that abuts the water, batten down the hatches.
Northern winds of 30-40mph are forecast, with gusts of up to 65mph possible. Temperatures in the lower 20s are expected, with visibilities of one quarter mile or less at times. For more information visit www.weather.gov/nyc.
Alternate side parking rules have been suspended through tomorrow/Tuesday, January 27. Parking meters remain in effect (although no word on whether ticket agents will actually be going around in the blizzard to ticket you; better safe than sorry, I guess).
A parking tip from I Quant NY: Try to park your car on the left side of the street since snow plows shovel to the right. Also, take your ice picker/snow brush out of the car now so that you can use it when the car is buried.
Garbage, recycling and organics collections have been suspended to allow for sanitation trucks and drivers to be utilized for snow removal.
Public schools may be open today, but after school activities have been canceled. Professional development day for teachers has also been canceled.
Paradoxically, Regents exams are still scheduled for this afternoon, meaning student exam-takers still must stay until 5:30-6pm.
However, schools may be closed Tuesday, so we’ll update you on this.
A quick reminder about what a bunch of snow means you’ve got to do:
- 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. It’s sad that this needs to be pointed out, but many people just snicker and go on their way.
- 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, snap a photo and send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org.