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Massive Winter Storm Grayson slams into NYC on Thursday: What you need to know

Schools, subways & buses, airports, Paratransit and more

January 4, 2018 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Bone chilling. Arctic. Brutal. Intense. Nor’easter. “Bomb cyclone.”

These are some of the words forecasters are using to describe a massive winter storm — dubbed Grayson — disrupting schools, traffic and air travel in New York City today.

In a storm update around noon on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the latest forecast anticipates approximately 8 to 12 inches of snow accumulation, but locally higher amounts are possible. Gusty winds are expected to increase during Thursday, with sustained winds 30 to 45 miles per hour, and gusts up to 50. The mayor asked residents to stay off the roads so snowplows could do their job. (Here is a link to PlowNYC that you can use to check to see if your block was plowed.)

Thursday night’s low will be around 13, with wind chill values between zero and 10 degrees. The bitter cold continues on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a high near 16 degrees and wind chill values between -5 and zero on Friday and a high near 13 degrees on Saturday.

“Bombogenesis” — an area of declining low pressure – results in a bomb cyclone, triggering near-hurricane-force wind gusts. The gusts will begin later on Thursday and continue into Friday.

Snow began in Brooklyn in the wee hours of the morning and is expected continue throughout Thursday, with visibilities of a quarter mile or less and sustained winds of 20-30 miles per hour, and gusts up to 41 miles per hour. Roads may be dangerous and the winds may cause power outages.

The NYC Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated Thursday evening to coordinate the city’s response to the storm.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, in Albany on Wednesday for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State, said at a press conference, “I want all New Yorkers to be prepared. We have a serious storm coming and I want everyone to understand, this could bring some very dangerous conditions.” He added, “If you don’t need to be on the road, you shouldn’t tomorrow morning. If you can use mass transit as an alternative, that’s better.”

The strong winds may cause power outages, and the Office of Emergency Management advises residents to charge cell phones, gather supplies and turn refrigerators and freezers to a colder setting ahead of any possible outage.

Be aware that frostbite can set in very rapidly in conditions the area will be experiencing over the next three days.

What’s open, what’s closed

* The NYC Department of Education has announced that all public schools will be closed on Thursday. Student after school activities and PSAL games are canceled and all yellow bus service is suspended. (DOE central and field offices will remain open.) Schools will be open on Friday, but all yellow bus field trips will be cancelled.

* The NYC Transportation and Sanitation departments have announced that alternate side parking regulations will be suspended Thursday and Friday. Payment at parking meters will remain in effect.

* Garbage and recycling collections will be suspended once snow plowing operations begin.

* MTA subways are operating under a Cold Weather Plan. Some subway trains may be moved and stored underground to prevent them from being blocked in yards. On lines with express service, trains may operate local service only. (These include the Rockaway A and Shuttle lines, Sea Beach N line, Flushing 7 line, Brighton B and Q lines and Dyre Ave 5 line.)

* MTA buses and subways are operating with minor delays. Please check mta.info for the latest information.

* MetroNorth and LIRR are experiencing minor delays.

* PATH trains: The MTA has plow-equipped trains, liquid snow-melting agent trains and a “jet engine” plow to remove snow from PATH tracks.

* DOT’s Ferry Division: S.I. Ferry is operating on a modified schedule; NYC Ferry Service, Rockaway Ferry Service and Seastreak Ferry Service have been suspended until further notice.

 * Citi Bike service is operating as normal.

* More than 1200 Paratransit vehicles have been fitted with snow tires. On Thursday, January 4 and on Friday, January 5, trips reserved via e-hail, voucher and broker-providers will be limited after 9 p.m. Paratransit customers should expect additional travel and wait time.

* Airports: Flight operations are currently suspended at both John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. Newark airport is experiencing delays for both arrivals and departures. Travelers are asked to check with their local carriers for further information.

* A Code Blue for homeless outreach is in effect. If you see a homeless person in need of help, call 3-1-1.

* The NYC Buildings Department has issued a weather advisory reminding property owners, contractors and crane operators to take precautionary measures and secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment during high winds.

* The Parks Department warns patrons to watch out for falling tree limbs and don’t accidentally walk on obscured bodies of water in parks.

* All Brooklyn Public Library locations will be closed on Thursday. Due dates for items scheduled to be returned on January 4 have been extended to Monday, January 8.

* Most senior centers are closed Thursday. Call before heading out on Friday.

 *Highway motorists in New York can call 511, or visit www.511ny.org before traveling. The free service allows users to check road conditions and transit information. Mobile users can download the free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.

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Updated 1 p.m. Thursday.


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