NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Just moments after midnight, the cleanup began in Times Square following one of the coldest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the city’s history.
Hours and hours of manpower with crews working by hand and with the help of machines cleaning up those final traces of the one-and-a-half tons of confetti.
The Department of Sanitation lead the brigade in and around Times Square.
“Sanitation workers, 46 officers. Talking equipment, 45 reloader collection trucks, 30 mechanical brooms, 58 personnel backpack blowers and 58 with actual hand brooms,” said Sanitation Deputy Chief Jeff Pitts.
Pitts says the moment the ball dropped, their teams were already assembled waiting to move in. But it’s not just the initial cleanup that sanitation crews have to worry about. The wind adds to their job difficulty as well.
“We get gusts of wind that blow residual confetti from the roof so we have to constantly keep recapping the area,” Pitts said.
It was only 10 degrees in the city, and the celebration was less crowded than other years. Some of the metal pens, usually packed with people, were only partially full. Bundled up in hats, gloves, face masks and numerous layers of clothing, partygoers danced and hugged and kissed as the ball dropped.
“It’s a bucket list item and who needs all your toes?” one reveler said.
“I’m freezing,” another said. “Frozen frozen to the bone.”
Revelers were frozen but safe with tight security tighter than ever before. Garages in the area were sealed off. Detectives were stationed at area hotels working with security officials to prevent sniper attacks.
Thousands of uniformed officers lined the streets. Concrete blocks and sanitation trucks blocked vehicles from entering the secure area where spectators gathered. Partygoers passed through one of a dozen checkpoints where they were screened and then screened again as they made their way to the main event.
And as the crowds celebrated, the city welcomed the first babies of the new year.
Just a minute after midnight, a little girl was born to mom Tania Shirin at Flushing Hospital. She weighed four pounds, 11 and a half ounces. No name for her yet.
About 20 minutes later, Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx and then Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn welcomed two baby boys.
The frostiest ball drop on record was 1 degree in 1907. In 1962 it was just 11 degrees outside, and in 1939 and 2008 it was 18 degrees.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)