Last weekend's snow storm missed us, but meteorologists say the NYC region will get walloped tomorrow with a big snowfall, prompting city officials to call it a snow day in advance. AccuWeather says, "The nor'easter is destined to be the biggest storm of the new year so far for New York City to Boston. Unlike the last storm, this one will 'not' miss these areas... The blowing snow will create near-zero visibility at times."
The Department of Sanitation is on stand-by and even the USPS sent out a notice saying that pick-up of mail would conclude by noon in all five boroughs! As for accumulation, one guess is that NYC could see between eight and 14 inches; WCBS 2's John Elliott said, "The six to ten inches in the Big Apple could easily be 10 to 18 inches in parts of the Garden State... It's going to be a big deal. It's going to be an all day thing. You'll be able to get here just fine, if you head out early enough, but the problem will be getting home."
Speaking of getting around, the MTA wants customers to check the MTA.info website for the latest information as its various divisions work to prepare for the storm. Here are details from the MTA's press release:
Tomorrow morning, rush-hour service on subways and buses, the Long Island Rail Road, and bridges and tunnels is expected to remain normal. Metro-North Railroad will operate on a reduced schedule, with about 70% of inbound morning rush-hour trains running. As the day progresses, service on Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road will differ from a normal weekday schedule, with more trains being added between noon and 4 p.m., and fewer trains operating during the usual height of the evening rush hour. Customers should visit MTA.info to find schedules for tomorrow’s trains.
Subway service should remain on or close to regular service levels during rush hours and middays, but delays and disruptions are possible as snow accumulates on tracks and streets, and express subway service may be reduced or eliminated on some routes during evening and overnight hours as underground express tracks are put to use for train storage.
The steps that the MTA agencies will take to ensure continued operations throughout and immediately after the storm include the following:
· MTA New York City Transit, MTA Long Island Rail Road and MTA Metro-North Railroad maintain fleets of snow and ice-busting equipment designed to keep outdoor tracks, third rails and overhead wires clear of snow and ice. The fleet includes super-powered snow throwers, jet-powered snow-blowers, de-icing cars, and pilot trains equipped with plows, all designed to keep service moving. This equipment provides the ability to run trains more often, which also serves as a way to keep tracks clear of snow.
· MTA New York City Transit protects its subway trains from snow, ice and sub-freezing temperatures by moving them from outside yards into storage on the express tracks in tunnels. This causes a reduction of express service during evenings and overnight hours, with more limited impact during middays and rush-hours.
· Track switches will be treated with anti-freeze, and switch heaters will be turned on during the storm to keep switches moving freely so we can continue to route trains from one track to another.
· Crews will shovel and salt outdoor platforms and steps at all subway and commuter rail stations.
· MTA Bridges and Tunnels has 7,000 tons of deicer available to be applied at roadways and toll plazas at its seven bridges and two tunnels, plus nearly 100 pieces of snow-removal equipment including plows that will be deployed as needed.
· MTA New York City Transit will deploy 31 salt-spreading trucks along its highest priority bus routes beginning this evening, particularly those with hills.
· The MTA’s bus operations will place chains on the tires of 700 to 800 buses to ensure they have better traction in snow, slush and ice. The first buses to receive those chains are those that operate on overnight routes.