In case you haven't had a chance to look outside recently, it's sleet/rain/snowing as we type! The not-quite-as-powerful-as-it-was-once-believed-to-be nor'easter has arrived, and all city parks, playgrounds and beaches are closed. And we're sure Mayor Bloomberg will have more to add to that list once he gives his update on the storm and ongoing Sandy recovery at a 3 p.m. press conference coming up soon. Watch below, and we'll update with details afterwards.
Update: Hey! Someone at City Hall finally figured out that Bloomberg NEVER starts these pressers on time, and decided that instead of dead silence (or a low-level mic check humming), they should make pay attention to those of us glued to the stream in some way. And so, to that end, you may notice that they're playing NYC Radio over the feed.
Update: Bloomberg started things off by finally asking everyone's favorite sign language translator, Lydia Calis, whether she got to see Saturday Night Live this weekend. "Thought so," he replied after she said yes. The bulk of the presser focused on the nor'easter we're currently experiencing. Bloomberg wasn't too worried about it though: "We think we're ready for everything," he said of the "relatively minor" storm, though he was quick to note "we’ll have unseasonably cold temps tonight: mid-30s, and the high winds will make it feel as if it’s in the mid-20s."
Bloomberg said there had been no reports of flooding yet today through the "first and worst cycle of the high tide." The next high tide will happen around 1 a.m.; there will be a high wind warning (25-40 MPH) through 4 a.m. tomorrow. The city is due to get 2-4 inches, and Bloomberg warned that "streets are going to be slick and sloppy" with bad visibility, so "don't drive if you can avoid it, use mass transit instead."
There's still no mandatory evacuation, but Bloomberg advised that residents of Hamilton Beach, Gerritsen Beach and Breezy Point should consider going somewhere safer tonight. He said the NYPD will conduct patrols around there to watch out for would-be burglars. He added that he was worried about having too many evacuations, because it could lure people into false sense of security, which could lead them to assume the cite was crying wolf next time there's a serious evacuation.
So to summarize Bloomberg: this storm isn't as bad as Sandy, but everyone should still take precautions. Other things Bloomberg touched on: 66K customers in NYC still don't have power, but that's down from 91K at this time yesterday. The city has distributed more than 1.6 million prepared meals, 400,000 bottles of water, 86,000 blankets and other supplies over the last six days. But the city is still "looking into every option" searching for places and ways of housing all those still without heat and power.
Bloomberg mentioned Airbnb, a new platform for displaced NYers to find free places to stay with locals. He had a particularly harsh rant about the Board of Elections and his "nightmare" time trying to vote. He also begrudgingly commented on the presidential election after some prodding from reporters: "You'll have to ask the administration whether they think my endorsement was important. Both were decent men...I got [Obama] one vote."