The decision was made shortly before 5 a.m. Thursday.

Updated 1/27/11 4:53 a.m.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City public schools will be closed Thursday after a fast-moving storm moved full-force into the region overnight bringing an icy mix of snow and rain.

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a winter weather emergency Wednesday and said sanitation crews were on 12-hour split shifts and as part of the city’s new 15-point snow action plan, developed earlier this month, equipment and personnel from the departments of transportation, parks and environmental protection will also be plowing streets from the outset of snow-clearing operations.

WCBS 880 Reporter Rich Lamb with Bloomberg’s reaction to our very snowy winter

In Whitestone, many residents wished the mayor had declared a full-scale snow emergency instead of the weather emergency, CBS 2’s Magee Hickey reports. “He should go all the way,” resident John Campo said. “He got burned once; he shouldn’t get burned again.”

Many in Whitestone expected the snow plows to pass them by again, like they said has happened in most snowstorms since the Lindsay administration. “I haven’t seen any plows here,” Roger Fahey said. “They forgot about us in the first snowstorm – everybody blew it.”

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READ: Town of Huntington Declares Snow Emergency

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1. The public is urged to avoid all unnecessary driving for the duration of the storm and until further directed, and to use public transportation wherever possible. If you must drive, use extreme caution. Information about any service changes to public transportation is available on the MTA website at the MTA’s Web Site.

“If you must drive during the rest of the day I strongly urge you to use extreme caution and to refrain from driving tomorrow — use mass transit instead,” Bloomberg said.

PHOTOS: Holiday Blizzard Of 2010

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

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

4. 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.

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