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Tri-State Area Braces For Significant Snow, Ice This Weekend

Winter Storm Warning In Effect Saturday A.M. Through Sunday A.M.

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A snow and ice storm headed for the Tri-State Area is expected to slow weekend travel and has utilities and airports on alert.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for 6 a.m. Saturday morning through 6 a.m. Sunday for parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

CHECK: Forecast & Alerts | Radar | Traffic & Transit | Real-Time Plow Tracker | Winter Safety Tips

Forecasters are predicting anywhere from three to five inches of snow starting around 10 a.m. Saturday in New York City and on Long Island. Areas north and west of New York City could get five to nine inches or more. CBS 2′s Lonnie Quinn said central New Jersey on up to the lower Hudson Valley is expected to see periods of sleet and freezing rain following the accumulating snow.

“This one really kicks off the season,” Quinn said Friday evening. “The key to this storm is going to be when the switch-over occurs. I feel very confident much of our area will change from snow to a rain-sleet mix. If that change takes place before sunset, overall totals will be dramatically less.”

New York City’s Department of Sanitation has issued a “snow alert” starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, meaning personnel were getting equipment and supplies ready.

All personnel are on 12-hour shifts to help clear off the city’s streets.

The sanitation department has its so-called GPS room up and running in advance of the storm, CBS 2′s Dick Brennan reported.

“We say, hey wait a minute, we’re getting a particular number of complaints in this area, whats going on? Get somebody over there get somebody to look at it,” said Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty.

The department monitors the streets with cameras on main roads and tracks their trucks on a block-by-block basis.

“I expect to have available, should I need it, up to 2,300 pieces of equipment to go out tomorrow during the day shift. If anything, I don’t expect to hit that number until later in the afternoon as the snow starts to accumulate. And then I’ll have that number for the night shift also, and hopefully by then it turns to rain and slush and we don’t have a problem,” Doherty told WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb.

New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for the Notify NYC system. It sends information through phone calls, text messages and email alerts.

New York City residents were getting ready for the storm the night before.

“This is all the provisions that we need just in case, for tomorrow’s snowstorm,” SoHo resident Millie Soto told CBS 2′s Lou Young. “We got snacks, we got the essentials, milk, the bread, the eggs.”

Con Edison said crews were preparing to respond to any outages that may occur during the storm.

It said depending on the severity of storm damage, crews will first work to provide power to most customers as quickly as possible and then restore power for smaller groups and individual customers.

The utility is also reminding customers to take safety precautions.

Stay away from downed power lines. If a power line falls on your vehicle while you’re in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.

If there’s an outage, residents should turn off or disconnect appliances. If they go on automatically when power is restored, it can overload circuits.

In New Jersey, the greatest accumulations are predicted for communities north of Interstate 78. Forecasters say six to 10 inches of snow are possible in that region.

“In this area, the trees come down because the snow is so heavy so that’s what I’m more concerned about,” Ridgewood resident Carmen Ghenta told CBS 2′s Weijia Jiang. “I’m prepared, but you can’t fight with nature, so it’s going to be tough.”

In Ridgewood, crews are getting ready to mount machines onto trucks to spray tons of salt on the roads. Officials are also bulking up on staff to expedite clean up after the storm.

“We will have 30, 35 men out plowing all weekend,” said Ridgewood Supervisor of Streets David Norcia. “Usually, a storm like this could take us 10 hours to plow.”

In Englewood, they readied the salt and brine for the roads.

“Pre-treating the roads allows the salt to actually keep the snow as a brine on the pavement. What we’re trying to prevent is ice buildup so that we always have a slushy mixture on the ground,” Englewood Public Works director Jim Koth said.

MASS TRANSIT CREWS READY EQUIPMENT

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced its snow prep plans in advance of Saturday’s storm.

Snow-blowers, de-icers, snow throwers and other winter weather equipment will be deployed underground, on the rails, on city streets and on bridges.

On New York City’s subways, all scheduled weekend work has been canceled with the following exceptions:

5 trains will bypass Pelham Parkway station in both directions due to asbestos abatement work. Free shuttle buses will operate between Pelham Parkway and Morris Park stations.

6 trains skip Middletown Road and Castle Hill Avenue in both directions due to station renewal work.

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, D trains operate in two sections between Stillwell Avenue and Bedford Park Boulevard, and between Bedford Park Blvd and 205th Street due to track maintenance north of Bedford Park Boulevard.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, G trains are suspended between Court Square and Nassau Avenue due to Sandy Recovery Work in the Greenpoint Tube. Free shuttle buses operate in two sections between Nassau Avenue and Court Square on the G Line, and between Lorimer Street L and Court Square G stations.

Due to the closure of the Montague tubes, there are no N or R trains running between Court Street in Brooklyn and Whitehall Street in Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R service are rerouted over the Manhattan Bridge.

  • No N or R trains in either direction at Jay Street-MetroTech, Court Street, Whitehall Street, Rector Street, Cortlandt Street and City Hall.
  • Late night R shuttle in Brooklyn is unaffected.

Standard buses will operate in place of 230 articulated buses. The rest of the articulated fleet will be equipped with tire chains, as will 530 standard buses.

Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road plan to operate on a normal schedule this weekend.

However, the MTA urges passengers to monitor its website and social media for any updates.

In Connecticut, Kevin Nursick, spokesman at the Department of Transportation, says a saltwater solution applied to roads before storms won’t work now because temperatures are too low and the saltwater would freeze.

However, crews have treated highways before recent snowfalls with salt, helping to keep snow from bonding. Nursick says the timing is good because fewer cars are on the roads on weekends.

In Hoboken, officials reminded drivers not to park on emergency snow routes. Violators could be towed. The city’s emergency snow routes are:

  • Washington Street (Both sides) – from Observer Highway to 15th Street
  • Willow Avenue (West side) – from Observer Highway to 11th Street
  • 3rd Street (North side) – from Jackson Street to River Street
  • 4th Street (South side) – from River Street to Jackson Street
  • 5th Street (South side) – from Clinton Street to River Street
  • 9th Street (North side) – from Jackson Street to River Street
  • 13th Street (North side) – from Washington Street to Willow Avenue
  • 17th Street (Both sides) – from Willow Avenue to Jefferson Street

A list and map of emergency snow routes is also available on the city website: www.hobokennj.org/snow.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)