Hazardous Travel Advisory

Published on January 31, 2021, 4:38 pm
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The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a hazardous travel advisory for Monday, February 01, 2021, and Tuesday, February 02, 2021.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for New York City in effect from 07:00 p.m. tonight through 06:00 a.m. Tuesday.

According to the latest forecast, a winter storm is expected to bring snow to the area beginning Sunday night through Tuesday. Steady to light moderate snow will develop as early as Sunday evening, intensifying overnight through the Monday morning rush. The heaviest period of snow is forecast mid-morning Monday into the evening, with the potential for snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour. Snow is expected to taper off after midnight Tuesday, but intermittent light to moderate snow could linger into Tuesday before the system moves out of the area. A total of 14 to 18 inches of snow is expected, with locally higher amounts possible.

Gusty winds are also in the forecast for Monday, with sustained winds 20 mph to 30 mph, and gusts up to 45 mph.

The combination of heavy snow and gusty wind conditions could cause blizzard conditions. Temperatures below freezing are expected on Monday and Tuesday, which will result in the potential for continued dangerous road conditions after the snow has ended.

A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for areas in northern Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx from 09 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. Monday, then 08:00 p.m. Monday through 04:00 a.m. Tuesday. A Coastal Flood Advisory is also in effect for Brooklyn and Staten Island from 09:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday, then 08:00 p.m. Monday to 01:00 a.m. Tuesday. A Coastal Flood Advisory means that conditions favorable for flooding are expected to develop. This could result in shallow flooding of some roads and low-lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns, and homes or businesses near the waterfront. Coastal residents should be alert for later statements or warnings and take action to protect property.

A Coastal Flood Warning is also in effect for southern Queens from 09:00 a.m. to 03:00 p.m. Monday, then 08:00 p.m. Monday through 03:00 a.m. Tuesday. This could result in road closures, along with widespread moderate flooding of low-lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns, and homes or businesses near the waterfront. Coastal residents should be alert for later statements or warnings and take action to protect property. If travel is required, do not drive through flooded streets.

New Yorkers are advised to work remotely and refrain from unnecessary travel. If travel is necessary, use mass transit where possible, wear a face covering, and adhere to social distancing guidelines. If you must drive, allow for extra travel time, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency, and exercise extreme caution.

“The City is leaning forward aggressively to prepare for the impending storm, and we also encourage New Yorkers to prepare,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell. “We advise you to avoid any unnecessary travel. We will continue to work closely with our partners to prepare for and respond to any impacts from the inclement weather.”

“Forecasts indicate this will be a challenging, potentially dangerous snow event. We ask all New Yorkers to stay off the streets as much as possible during this storm as we work with our partner agencies to make them safe and passable again,” said Edward Grayson, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation.

NYC Emergency Management is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the storm’s track to determine the impacts to New York City. The agency will activate the City’s virtual Emergency Operations Center (EOC at 8 p.m. Sunday with City, state, and private partners to coordinate the response to the storm. The City’s Sanitation department is pre-deploying 715 salt spreaders and 30 brine vehicles before the first snowflake, will activate PlowNYC to monitor plowing progress, and will dispatch 1,300 plows when more than two inches of snow accumulates, with additional plows available if necessary. DSNY will assign 2,000 workers per shift. Workers were assigned to 12-hour shifts.

For additional DSNY updates, along with agency updates New Yorkers should visit here.

Winter Storm Safety Tips

  • Stay off the roads as much as possible. If you must travel, use mass transit, and check mta.info for scheduling. Remember to wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • If you must drive, drive slowly. Allow for extra travel time, and exercise caution when traveling. Use major streets or highways for travel whenever 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.
  • Take care when walking on snow and ice, especially if you are an older adult. Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls.
  • Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
  • If you have to go outdoors, wear dry, warm clothing and cover exposed skin. Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered. Wear a hat, hood, scarf, and gloves. Stay alert for signs of hypothermia, like intense shivering or dizziness, and anyone who experiences these symptoms should seek medical attention or call 911.
  • Be careful when shoveling snow. Follow your doctor’s advice if you have heart disease or high blood pressure. Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who may need help in cold weather — especially older adults or people with disabilities — to make sure they are safe inside and have heat.
  • Immediately tell your building superintendent, property manager or owner if you do not have heat. Call 311 if the problem is not fixed quickly and go to a warm place, such as a friend’s or family member’s home (while maintaining proper physical distance and wearing a face mask). If you stay at home, wear layers of clothing.
  • Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.  Do not heat your home with a gas stove or oven, charcoal grill, or kerosene, propane, or oil-burning heaters.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area, keep materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber on hand to help protect your home. 
  • When outside, avoid walking and driving through flooded areas. As few as six inches of moving water can knock a person over. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. One or two feet of water can carry away a vehicle.

Power Outages

  • Charge cell phone batteries.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.
  • If you lose power & have a disability/access and functional needs or use Life Sustaining Equipment (LSE) & need immediate assistance, dial 911.
  • Stay informed. Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels, including Notify NYC. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency communications program. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

For additional safety tips, please visit here and the Health Department’s online infographic here.

Open Restaurants:

While the Sanitation Department has trained to remove snow on streets with Open Restaurant structures, restaurateurs must also take steps to protect their patrons, staff and property:

  • Use snow sticks to increase visibility.
  • Regularly remove snow and ice from sidewalks; clear a path to the crosswalk, if applicable.
  • Do not to block fire hydrants.
  • It is illegal to push snow into the street. Snow may be placed at the curb line, against the building, or on private property.

Guidance for Open Restaurants

Open Restaurants roadway dining is SUSPENDED all day Monday, February 1 until further notice. Additionally, restaurants should remove or secure furniture, and remove electric heaters. Remove the tops of structures if possible or regularly clear snow off of structures to prevent damage. The City will notify restaurants when they may reopen roadway seating for outdoor dining. Based on the current forecast, the City estimates that roadway dining may resume Tuesday, but this may change based on actual accumulations and roadway conditions.

Restaurant owners may find additional information to prepare their spaces for snow at https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/pedestrians/openrestaurants.shtml

Trash/Recycling Collection

The Sanitation Workers who collect trash and recycling are the same Sanitation Workers who plow and salt the streets, therefore trash and recycling collection will be delayed during snow operations. While residents may put material out at the curb following their normal schedule, snow operations take priority and delays are to be expected.

New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency communications program, for the latest information and updates on this storm and emergency events in NYC. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

For more severe weather information, visit NYC.gov/SevereWeather.

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Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | Bronx.com - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.