NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
As the snow came down on the streets of Manhattan, it was still a typical Saturday night. Shoppers, bicyclists and winter weather enthusiasts weren’t letting Mother Nature interrupt, CBS2’s Erin Logan reported.
“The first snowfall is fantastic. I couldn’t go in my apartment all day today, I had to play in the show,” a man said. “It’s just great.”
One little boy was on the same page.
“It’s a day that the snow is crumbly and we can make a snowman,” he said.
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Some living in the city felt lucky, saying they had no reason to buy salt, shovels or snowblowers.
“We’re in an apartment building. The super does it all for us,” a woman said. “No car to worry about either.”
But many spent Friday and Saturday preparing for at least four to six inches of snow.
Even before the first flake fell Saturday morning around 8 a.m., the New York City Department of Sanitation was working around the clock to keep the streets and sidewalks ready for the first snowfall of the season.
Hundreds of sanitation trucks were on standby, ready to keep the streets safe for New Yorkers and tourists in town for the holidays.
“Six hundred and 93 speaders will be pre-positioned, and then we anticipate having up to another 2,000 plows available,” Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said on Friday.
The department was taking no chances in the early morning hours, prepping plows and salt trucks in force as workers got ready to face the first storm of the season head on.
“Once we have over two inches we will begin plowing,” said Garcia. “Plowing will start in all sectors of the city at the same time.”
Ruba was in town from Tampa, and told 1010 WINS’ Andrew Falzon the chilly weather was a nice change of pace.
Pete, from across the pond in England, is used to plenty of precipitation. It just rarely gets cold enough for the white powdery stuff.
“Yeah, we were kind of hoping for snow so hopefully we can enjoy it,” he said.
One family 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr spoke with in Mount Vernon said they were split over the snow.
The father said he finds it annoying.
“The cold, the snow, the slush, the sleet — it’s just aggravating,” he said.
His 11-year-old son would like to see a little more snow next time.
“I like to play in the snow, but if it’s like — but I like to wait until it gets a little bit more cold, so you can make a snowman,” he said.
“I love the snow,” his 6-year-old brother said. “I made a snowman.”
In Bergen County, New Jersey, Logan spotted more spreaders on the highways and drivers heeding the warnings to take their time, plus snow plows clearing parking lots.
“The night’s progressing now. It’s getting a lot lighter, a little easier,” a man said. “It’s Saturday. It this were a weekday it would be a different story.”
While some had the job of removing the snow, others just had fun.
Fortunately, the storm did not bring any major problems to the area, with no reported power outages or significant issues on the roads and rails.
On Long Island, 9-year-old Matisse Byrnes made his first snow angel of the season. He’s told CBS2’s Jessica Borg he’s been waiting for enough to snow to accumulate so he could leave his mark outside his Port Washington home.
“I love when it snows, because you can make snow angels, you can have snow wars and mostly sledding,” he said.
He also lobbed a few snowballs at his dad.
“We live for the snow. I love the cold, I’ll never move to Florida,” said Jim Byrnes. “Winter is what this part of the country is all about.”
This was their puppy’s first snowfall. The family said the conditions were a good sign of things to come.
“We want a white Christmas. We had the Bing Crosby White Christmas song on today. So singing it today, bringing in the spirit,” Jim said. “Willing it to happen.”
Folks in nearby Roslyn also took advantage of the first layer of snow.
“Having fun with my kids, you know, that’s what we’re doing — just having fun, enjoying the day,” Alfredo Campos said.
Although visibility while driving wasn’t great, watching the snowflakes blanket the trees was a bright spot for many.
“Mother Nature at its best,” one man said.
“It’s really nice to see the snow on the trees,” said one woman.
“It’s beautiful in certain areas where there are tunnels — it looks like the trees are tunnels and it’s all covered — it’s really pretty,” another added. “But it’s cold.”
People across the Tri-State were also doing their part ahead of time, hitting stores for the necessary supplies.
“I bought a snowblower and I’m waiting for it to be delivered on Monday between nine and 11,” Crown Heights resident Keith Lawrence said. “I’m too old to shovel snow.”
“Make sure you get fresh gas for the snowblower,” Little Ferry resident Tom Visaggio said. “Turn it on, check it out, run it.”
While it’s a big stress for many, it’s also a welcomed boost for business ahead of the holidays.
“They’re expecting people to come to the house and they want to make sure everything is nice and clean,” Little Ferry hardware store owner John Sedr said.
“The hottest items were de-icers, snow plows, and ice picks to get the snow of their windshield,” said a Home Depot employee who just finished a busy shift in Lodi. “Everything went fast today.”
While the weather outside may be frightful, it was a different story altogether inside Freehold Raceway Mall with bargains to be had for shoppers like Francesca.
“Good sales that are going on, so you have to take advantage of it,” she told WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron. “Plus, my husband is at home with the kids. I have to come, it’s the only time we get to go out.”
Cheryl Feld owns Impulse boutique on Main Street in Port Washington, where they quickly dressed the mannequins in the front window in more seasonal attire.
“It’s like everybody’s coming out of the woodwork. They’re trying to get out of the house,” she told Borg. “Everybody is coming to get the gifts, they’re picking up a dress, they’re getting a tux, something great — velvet — all the great trends for the holidays. So it’s just a terrific day for us.”
The snow meant some delays and cancellations at local airports. At LaGuardia Airport, the storm hit just as a half dozen airlines move to new terminals.
“So far, so good,” a man named Lou told WCBS 880’s Ethan Harp on his way to California.
Giant highway signs in front of the airport alert travelers to the changes.
A woman named Gabrielle from Manhattan said she flies out of LaGuardia a couple times a year and was surprised she didn’t experience any issues Saturday.
“Hopefully once they complete it, it will be much more efficient. Because remember when our Vice President said it was more like a third world country airport than a New York airport?” she said.
The snow did stop some flights, though. Harp reported seeing about one-in-seven trips scrapped on the departure board. But even that didn’t get flyers feeling like they were left in the cold.
“Yeah, they cancelled our first one, so we just bought a new ticket with American. But they were helpful, they moved our flight up for us,” said a woman from Brooklyn.
Commissioner Garcia took the chance to remind the city of the rules ahead of the storm’s arrival.
“You’re required, if you are a property owner, to shovel and salt your sidewalks,” she said.
Officials also recommend avoiding the roads if possible. If you can’t, authorities say it’s important to go gas up and go slowly while sticking to the major roadways.
For those walking around, they suggest wearing sturdy boots and keeping a closer eye on moving vehicles — especially at intersections.
Sanitation workers headed out around 7 a.m., and are expected to work 12 hour shifts if needed with a fully staffed command center.