Mayor Declares Weather Emergency; Storm Intensifies

NEW YORK (CBS New York) — With a significant snowstorm arriving in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared a weather emergency earlier Tuesday evening that will last well into Wednesday.

The mayor’s office is urging the public to avoid all unnecessary driving during the duration of the storm and until further directed, and to use public transportation whenever possible. If you must drive, use extreme caution.

Any vehicle found to be blocking roadways or impeding the ability to plow streets shall be subject to towing at the owner’s expense.

Effective immediately, alternate side parking, payment at parking meters and garbage collections are suspended citywide until further notice.

The Emergency Management, Fire, Police, Sanitation, and Transportation Commissioners will be taking all appropriate and necessary steps to preserve public safety and to render all required and available assistance to protect the security, well-being and health of the residents of the City.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck with Mayor Bloomberg’s storm plan

Plows and salt are the name of the game, and they’ll be needed based on the mayor’s predictions, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.

“What we sure know is that tomorrow morning’s commute is not going to be easy, and I would assume that tomorrow night’s is not going to be easy either,” Bloomberg said.

On Tuesday, the mayor apologized for the first time for the city’s dismal response to the Dec. 26 storm that dumped as much as 29 inches of snow on parts of the city.

“Keep in mind, for nine years, 70-odd snowstorms, things worked very well,” he said. “They didn’t work anywhere near what we would want [for the blizzard], and for that I apologize to the people. It was not done deliberately, and what we have to do is not look back – we have to learn and go forward, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

The mayor said he is acutely aware that the city has to do better, because he knows what New Yorkers think of the last effort.

1010 WINS’ John Montone with Dyker Heights residents

“We do know that we didn’t do the job that New Yorkers rightly expect of us in the last storm and we intend to make sure that that does not happen again,” Bloomberg said.

Mistakes have been admitted, problems identified and solutions pieced together. In a frantic effort to avoid another chaotic and dangerous situation, the mayor and top agencies released a 15-point action plan to combat future storms, including the one expected to hit Tuesday night.

The plan includes establishing a more formal process for declaring snow emergencies, equipping every sanitation truck with a two-way GPS device, sending scout teams on the roads to stream live video of trouble spots — reminiscent of CBS 2’s Mobile2 — and equipping ambulances with snow chains and sled-like devices to carry patients through the snow.

He said sanitation crews will be on 12-hour shifts and 365 salt spreaders, along with 1,700 plows, are ready to go. In addition, the city has arranged for 200 private contractors to help with the snow removal.

The sanitation equipment was also being prepositioned on designated routes to prepare for work once snow removal operations begin. Laborers who will help shovel intersections have already been hired.

Some buses have already been outfitted with chains, as have been ambulances, which haven’t used chains in years because of concern that they would damage the vehicles.

The plan comes as the city faces a $2.4 billion deficit, but on Tuesday Bloomberg sounded like a generous billionaire.

“We’re going to spend the money, and then figure out where the money comes from,” he said.

Bloomberg also announced that the city will make a decision at 5 a.m. Wednesday on whether to close city public schools.

During an intense grill session on Monday, Council members pelted the deputy mayor and commissioners for sanitation, fire and the Office of Emergency Management, making clear they felt the fallout from the last storm started at the top.

“I think you and the mayor are responsible for what happened. You and the mayor should be under investigation,” said Brooklyn Councilman Charles Barron.

“The mayor did not have the information he deserved. It was fragmented. It wasn’t distributed. It wasn’t coordinated,” Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith apologized to the city and the council for the many failures, including not briefing the mayor adequately at the start. The cleanup has damaged Bloomberg’s reputation as a no-nonsense manager.

Officials recounted an extensive list of errors, beginning when commissioners considered calling a snow emergency, but ultimately did not.

The first snowfall this winter came Dec. 26 at the tail end of a holiday weekend, dropping 29 inches of snow in Staten Island, 2 feet in Brooklyn and 20 inches in Central Park.

  • A Roberts

    no wonder they did not answer my e-mail on how to look after cleopatras needle.
    he is to busy telling kids to get up for school.

  • Amused

    Wow i cannot believe i just sat here and read all those comments. I have no life. Thanks for the laughs.

  • Bronx

    My 18 year old son is autistic, for many years he had poor attendance due to sleep issues, well for 3 1/2 years he has had 100% attendance, Because of the Mayors decision to wait until 5am my son is still awake, pacing around, Now you may ask why not just go to sleep like any other night? Simple, the first day back to school after the blizzard my son’s bus was an hour late, it wasn’t snowing, this was just what happens even days after snow, so I’m guessing even my son knows that if there is school tomorrow we will be waiting what could be hours for a bus to arrive, and make no mistake, there is a possibility they may be open, we had 26.9 in of snow in 2006, Feb and the next day when the city was still in chaos Bloomberg opened the schools,Now I’m sure Manhattan was a little more back to normal that day then the Bronx, because we didn’t even get plowed until that Monday afternoon, This guy has no regard for people, he’s all about the almighty dollar. And to everyone telling us it’s just snow, suck it up, just remember, we are over 8 million ppl in a little over 300 sq miles, this is a big deal

  • James

    So Bloomberg says it’s a matter of how much snow gets plowed in the city before he decide schools are closed. And he will get up at 5am to make that decision? Yeah ok, my kids are not going to school like this.

  • lamb

    Lamb rides behind a man on a bike!

  • Michael

    I am a teacher. Obviously if there is school tomorrow, I will be there. I will walk the three miles to get there. The mayor should have made his decision already. He didn’t and there is not much we can do about it. I personally can’t stand King Mike. What can you do? People voted him in for a third term and the City Council sold us out on the three term law we voted for. Besides, the mayor and quite a few people can’t stand teachers. We have steady jobs. The same folks that are jealous of teachers are the same ones that used to laugh at our salaries. As I said, if school is open, I will be there.

    • Paul

      You are so right. I agree with this practically verbatim (except that I will have to walk 1 1/2 miles.)

  • Alex

    This is silly :(. Sucks that he’s still considering leaving schools open. I have an hour and a half commute each way and I’ve got to walk a lot to go to schools. I’m even gonna have to wake up 45 mins earlier….. Not to mention I have midterms (worth like 15%) in my first period class and if I’m late due to trains (trains arrive above ground at my stop) that’s valuable time gone.. And if I’m unable to get to class and I miss the midterm, the highest I can get is a 70 on it… BS

  • Comparative apocalyptic studies scholar

    OK, it is apocalyptic out there. There are mysterious white objects falling out of the sky by the BILLIONS! The ground is covered and one can neither walk nor drive without treading all over them. Between the mass deaths all over the world of birds, fish and now THIS!!! Wake up people! There must be something we can do!! Samples of fish and birds were sent to federal labs for analysis. Does anyone know where I can send a sample of this stuff? Please post the address! And even if schools are open, I can’t go. I’ll be busy collecting samples for analysis.

  • Amz in Yonkaz

    Lets make it easy..Dont drive ur car in this weather stay home or go play on a hill somewhere safe End of Story=)

  • Concerned in Fl

    He already has declared a state of emergency. What’s the point in waiting till 5AM?? Does he really intents to have the schools open? That to me is depraved indiference for the safety of the children as well as the teachers.

  • gracie prophet

    Before he retired for the day, the one thing that upset the Mayor the most was the fact he has to get up so early to make the school closing decision. He had other plans for this evening that had to be canceled. You should see this man when he gets upset. He tries to be so professional in his news briefings, but behind certain closed doors his behavior is almost childlike. It was recommended he make the decision to close the schools tonight, but for reasons unknown, he would not make that decision. There is more going on here than is being reported.

  • Gaby Choco LOco

    I think that you should decide tonight kids are anxiously waiting for the answer some dont even sleep because they are waiting for bLoombergs!!!!!!!!!! descision..

  • Louis

    Nice typo in the first sentence of this article.

  • Jason

    As a student, I wish that the mayor will make the decision at around midnight or so. I don’t want to wake up and go to school just to find out that the school isn’t open. Also please have the snow clearing equipment on standby this time. I’ve also heard that the airports will be closed tomorrow. I think that I have to wait and see. God Bless New York City.

  • BF

    Who cares what he does this time. People lost their lives that last time around because of Bloombergs irresponsible behavior. Some of us will never forget even if you can see the snow from your confy city hall office.

  • Blinky Patterson

    Perhaps we get some help from that cesspool of snowplowers in New Jersey

  • FallenAnjel

    Is everyone for REAL ??? You are all that IRRISPONSIBLE that you have to wait until 5 AM to make plans??? Since when is it ANYONE ELSE’S responsibility to take care of YOU? Get off your high horses and MAKE PLANS TONIGHT ! DUUUUUUUUH!!! I can’t believe I have to actually post this, that so many people are complaining about this! I am so sick of this ‘YOU HAVE TO DO FOR ME’ world.. GROW UP PEOPLE !!!!

    • Steven Sunding

      Yea I agree, 5am is bull….

  • Herbert

    Oh…and don’t eat the yellow snow.

    • ebenezer whoopie

      But it is fun to make the yellow snow. As a young boy in the 1930’s we had so much fun in the snow, but it was different back then. Today, the young people have no appreciation for simple pleasures. They are too busy with their computer play games and crazy disco dances.

      • FallenAnjel

        There are a few of us that know about the simple pleasures! I am one of them and I’m raising my 8 yr old son to know the same. Yes he plays video games, but we also go out in the snow and have fun! I’m so glad the snow is ending early enough so the whole day isn’t wasted.

    • papa

      boo boo caca in your face fuh kyo mama

  • Tommy

    I like peanuts !!!

    • ebenezer whoopie

      I love peanuts. My very favorite snack food! Particularly Dry Roasted & Lightly Salted. CVS brand is actually pretty good – I think you would like them, Tommy.

      • Tommy

        I really like Fisher Honey Roasted Peanuts, they are of really good quality and reasonable cost. I also like Bazzini’s Peanuts at the Yankees game

      • Sporkatus

        Nah, gotta be roasted and salted. In the shell. it’s the only way!

  • I.B. Eju Kayted

    What responsible parent would wait until 5 AM to make contingency plans? This next storm has been covered in the media ad-nauseam for at least 3 days. Therefore, if you’re caught making up ‘plan B’, tomorrow morning, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

    • FallenAnjel

      Wow ! I thought I was the only one who thought this! I didn’t read every post, but skimmed through. THANK YOU !! :D

  • Ellen

    Heavy snow after 4am, wind gust 50 to 60 miles an hour, and please don’t drive the 95 route, Rhode Island is going to be a mess along with most of New England and New York.

  • sumpa

    please be to help storm people!!! mayor danger knows of ice, to plows, roads and on salt!! chance right time this too. good to be when he know help, and people get place safe in storm.

    luv to peace for all — i am sumpa orlions

    • Ad Council

      What is this? What does it say? Something is wrong when we can no longer communicate in writing.

      • sumpa

        bad english my language apology, from country learn also. best writing why is trouble. but on writing allowed that cbs for me too. still love i do for all!

        caring, i am sumpa orlions!

  • Gianna B

    Mayor Bloomberg, you should close public schools. catholic schools are already closed and now just tell us public schools are closed, i think you should say public schools are closed because of what you did to us last snow storm, made us wait up to 4 days with out our streets plowed. please close public schools. i know i want my child to go to school and learn but due to this big storm coming you should close it. coming from a parent. thanks Bloomberg.

    • I.B. Eju Kayted

      To all ‘parents’ on this site: please learn how to punctuate, and maybe Bloomberg won’t feel the need to keep the schools open.

      • Kem

        LOL….you couldn’t have said it better. LMAO.

  • Ellen

    Going to be quite a snow storm in the whole Northeast. Boston is now closing it’s schools down due to the predicted 18 inches of snow coming their way. Here outside of Boston we are predicted to get just as much if not more. Be careful everyone, and if you don’t have to go out then by all means stay home.

    • I.B. Eju Kayted

      NYC is supposed to receive up to 15″ and parts of Suffolk up to 18″. I, for one, am looking forward to the snow!

  • nathan

    There are some MAJOR losers posting on this board.

  • let it snow

    I can’t wait to make snow Angels! I’m getting up early before the arny of snowplows ruin everything. Come on people enjoy stop kretching!

  • Mr. Snowman

    Thank you Mr. Mayor for leaving nature the way it’s intended! I can hardly wait til tomorrow!

  • Yipppeee it's snowing whoohoooo!

    It’s time for hot chocolates and snowball fights!

  • Let it snow whoohooo

    Oh stop already. It’s going to snow.
    Let’s enjoy the beauty!

  • Lou Breekate

    New Yorkers better learn how to bend over more.

  • Mary

    First of all the children should be given an excused absence if they are off on a day that the snow is bad and the schools are not closed. It is very dangerous for children to walk to school when the streets are unsafe expecially on streets where there is ice under the snow. The school system is not a free babysitting service. All working parents should have a back-up plan. Just because the announcement of school closings won’t be made until 5:00 a.m. that shouldn’t keep you from making alternate plans anyway. Either you take off work and take care of your own children or you make tentative plans in case the school is closed. Your children should always come first.

    • Mr. Maurice

      Please don’t forget about school staff, many of whom commute to the city from Upstate and Long Island. We’re being bullied at our school about coming in tomorrow if schools remain open. I don’t want children to get hurt walking, and I don’t want to get into a car accident.

    • Bruno

      Thats so true.

  • Mayor Bloomberg

    Listen people, just shut up and deal with it. Don’t forget to stay off the roads, the trains and busses won’t be running but be sure to take mass transit — and YES the schools are open. I don’t want to hear your whinning about the safety of your children and teachers. Please, I have better things to do.

  • Schmellma Arss

    Has anyone ever noticed that Bloomberg looks a lot like Zeppo, the UN-talented Marx brother?

  • Lourdes Rodriguez

    Mayor Bloomberg is a moron he shouldn’t wait until 5:00 am the next morning to announce school closing he knows for a fact that thre’s going to snow a lot why wait.,,We parents should know beforehand to be able to make arrangement for daycare for our kids, What world is he living in? oh I forgot he doesn’t have small kids. he is such an ass !!

    • Lourdes Rodriguez

      I think that with all the millions you have you lack class how can you tell the people that vote for you to shut up? I am so glad I didn’t vote for you may you rot in hell when you die.

    • Ophelia Roydz

      He actually does ass, that’s why.

  • sumpa

    understand no. but if clear no snow, then no ice too? if snow and ice wait no walk on bus to train that when work. armbulences to snow fast help but ice no too. here bad but my country not in new york. not until go home dryness and rain mud that ice not real.

    happy safety days !

    luv to all, i am sumpa orlions!

  • Van

    To Riri
    You obviously have a) no kids
    b) no full time job
    c) both
    Back up plans have been used up in the last storm – Favors from neighbours or family members have been favored out.

  • The Good Samaritan

    Mayor Bloomberg is an idiot. Sure wait till 5amto announce school closings.
    Now the childrens parents cant go to work.

    Now if the parents in trouble from their boss for not going to work then Mayor Bloomberg must be sued.

    The Good Samaritan has spoken

    • riri

      School is not a free baby sitting service. All parents should have a back up plan ready in case schools are closed or their child gets sick.

      Use common sense, most teachers don’t live by the school they work in. They won’t be there. You need to USE YOUR BACK UP PLAN.

      Good Samaritan if you don’t have a back up plan for your child than your the fool. Hire a baby sitter don’t use the Bd of ED as your babysitter

      • Bridget

        @riri, you are the fool. How is your “back up plan” suppose to get to you?, or you to them if you can’t get to transportation or your neiborhood (not just street) has not been plowed. The only thing correct about your comment is that School is not a free baby sitting service. I bite the bullet and take a day if my company does not close (and it never does, not even in the last blizzard they were open).

    • Rocky

      The Mayor and MTAS cost Me 3 annual days last storm cause i could not get the bus to the subway he should be paying for all of us that had to use time to get paid for those days POS

  • Joanne

    The mayor needs to really think about school closings. School is not a daycare. It never was and never should be. That is not the purpose of schools. Sending out all of our children in bad weather is crazy. If the mayor feels that he has to open schools and provide day care service then he should really consider not providing bus service to children. If parents need to use the school as a day care then they need to make arrangements to get their children to school Do no put our children in danger of being involved in an accident or being stranded on a bus in the snow as so many other vehicles did last time. In addition, you tell people not to drive, well then why send out 100s of buses that would only cause traffic in the city. Parents also need to realize that school is not a daycare and if they need one they should pay for one. That is not the purpose of our school system!

    • Sal

      Joanne, Excellent post, I totaly agree. Traffic is at least 20% to 30% lighter
      when schools are closed between Buses and all the employees required to go to school. Leave to kids home, parents will have to make other plans if they have to go to work.

  • let it snow

    Will everyone just enjoy the snow? Stop making it such an act against humanity and just enjoy the snow. If everyone made 1 snowman the snow would get cleaned up. lol

    • dougalcandy

      It always makes me laugh when mayors say “snow emergency, stay off the roads, but NYC public schools are open”. Waiting till 5:00 am is ridiculous, gives parents no time to make contingency plans, gives those teachers who choose to risk their lives to babysit no time to make contingency plans for their own kids, who will probably be off. No job is worth risking you life for, and teachers should not be made to feel that they have to attempt to get to work in dangerous conditions when everyone else is told to stay home.

      • I.B. Eju Kayted

        What responsible parent would wait until 5 AM to make contingency plans? This next storm has been covered in the media ad-nauseam for at least 3 days. Therefore, if you’re caught making up ‘plan B’, tomorrow morning, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

  • RM`

    You can’t possibly do the same job clearing snow,picking up garbage or any thing else with less people than you had before.Bloomberg and the rest of the Politicians must stop looking to blame the men and women out in the field doing the grunt work.I don’t know for sure but I’m willing to bet there are twice as many management people with less people to manage as there was 20 years ago!

  • Michael

    Of course the Mayor’s street was plowed first. Just like the DSNY commish. It’s one of the many advantages of the job. You people are NOT as important as the Mayor. In DC, what street do you think gets plowed first? The average schmo, or the streets around the White House? Get real you whiners! You are not equal to the Mayor or other government officials.

    • Michael

      You don’t know what a “?” is, yet you’re calling me uneducated? Listen, kid… go back to whining about snow as if you’ve never seen it before. Hopefully, your 1984 Toyota Corolla won’t get buried again.



  • Michael

    LMAO @ Angel…. Irak???? Really????

  • Steve G

    Why does the WCBS storm forecast page not have forecasts for Queens County or Nassau County…..or don’t the fates of a couple of million people really matter to you?

    PS the LIRR also runs there….

    The rise in the snow gradient from West to East will happen in these two areas. I guess you all live in Manhattan, like Bloomberg.

  • Michael

    Let’s see how many whining New Yorkers come out of the woodwork to bash the Mayor and the DSNY. Maybe, just maybe, for once in your miserable lives, you could stop looking for law suits and someone to blame. Just shut your fat, out of shape faces and enjoy the snow! It has happened before, it’ll happen again. Now quick… run to Pathmark and stock up on water and canned goods. You’re going to be stuck in your houses for months and months.

    • Michael

      WOW!! You sound really tough and scary! I guess this is the part where I should be afraid of you, huh? I live on Long Island and own rental properties in Corona and Long Island City, Queens. My street on Long Island was perfectly clear the day after the blizzard, and Corona and LIC were passable the day after that. Stop trying to act tough online, quit whining and move on with your life. It’s just snow. Don’t like it? TOO BAD! The Mayor, and the gov’t in general don’t care about you, you minimum wage earning bum!

    • Paul

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Do you want some cheese with that whine? Stupid S PIC!!!!!

  • The Good Samaritan

    Tottenviller why are you being racist?

    The Good Samaritan has spoken

    • SK

      why are you bringing race in to this picture? The snowstorm had nothing to do with soemone’s race or neighborhhod. All over NYC was neglected during the snowstorm. Why when ver there is a problem it leads to race/ethnic groups?. Lets deal with the problem of the snowstorm, which effects all NYers, and not discuss race!

  • middle class going down

    Iraq is another corporate pull the wool over our eyes.We don’t need to be in Iraq or Afghanistan. We need the money here at home. Tax the wealthy, take back our country before it’s too late.

    Bloomberg is symbolic of all that is wrong in this country.

  • Tottenviller

    While I can certainly agree that poor neighborhoods are oft neglected, I can assure you that this was not the issue. I live in Tottenville as well and we didn’t see a plow for days. In fact even when the Mayor issued a statement saying that all blocks would be plowed by morning, we still werent plowed. My husband had to pay someone to help him out of the snow when he tried to get to work in a vehicle that has 4 wheel drive. Every New Yorker, rich and poor alike felt this storm.

    • Tottenviller

      And incidentally I see white drug users and dealers get locked up all the time in Tottenville. It’s all how you look at it.

  • Angel

    poor neighborhoods are not plowed,white drug users are not arrested,lets stop the double standard.Our sons and daughters are fighting for this country in Irak ect.

    • Homeskoold Cracka

      stoopid blak peeple

    • Educated Citizen

      Iraq, you mean? And I think you meant “etc.”

  • Marc

    Please do the side streets in Tottenville Staten Island this time!
    We were locked in for days and had to miss work and lose pay.

    • Mayor Bloomberg

      Staten Island? Where is that?

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