Winter Storm Toby packs a punch

Schools, libraries closed as city bears down

March 21, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Milestone Park, on 18th Avenue and 81st Street in Bensonhurst, looked like a Winter Wonderland at noon on Wednesday. Eagle photos by Paula Katinas
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New York City officials didn’t waste any time preparing for Winter Storm Toby, making a decision to close public schools even before the first snowflakes fell.

Toby is the fourth nor’easter to hit the East Coast this month.

On Tuesday, a day before the nor’easter was scheduled to hit Brooklyn and the rest of New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all public schools would be closed on Wednesday, a move that undoubtedly delighted children all over the city.

Alternate side of the street parking regulations were suspended on Wednesday to allow Department of Sanitation crews to devote their energies to snow removal.

As of Wednesday morning, the forecast called for Winter Storm Toby to dump between 6 and 10 inches of snow on Brooklyn.

Here’s a roundup of closures and postponements caused by the nor’easter:

All branches of the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) were closed on Wednesday. “All checked-out materials with due dates of Wednesday March 21 and Thursday March 22 have been extended to Friday, March 23, 2018,” BPL officials told the Brooklyn Eagle in an email.

The March meeting of the Community Education Council (CEC) of School District 20, which was originally scheduled to be held Wednesday night, has been re-scheduled.

CEC officials said the meeting will now take place on Monday, March 26, at P.S. 164, 4211 14th Ave. in Borough Park.

The CEC of School District 20 represents schools in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Bensonhurst, Borough Park and Sunset Park.

Winter Storm Toby also forced the cancellation of the 68th Precinct Community Council in Bay Ridge. A new date was not immediately announced.

Also in Bay Ridge, a blood drive in memory of Mathiew Johnson, a school custodian at P.S. 102 who died of a heart attack, had been canceled, according to officials at Community Board 10.

A new date had not been announced at press time.

The blood drive was to have been held at P.S. 102, at 211 72nd St., where Johnson worked.

Board 10 officials said they would announce a new date for the blood drive as soon as they received the information from the sponsors. 

Bay Ridge Historical Society President Thomas McCarthy announced that the group’s March 21 meeting was cancelled.

“Due to the forecast of inclement weather tomorrow, March 21, we will be canceling the meeting of the Bay Ridge Historical Society.  We are working to reschedule our speaker to a future planned meeting,” McCarthy wrote in an email.

The mayor declared a snow emergency on Tuesday night.

“Whereas, the public safety is imperiled by a severe snow storm that is expected to interrupt the flow of traffic, restrict the operation of emergency vehicles and impede the delivery of essential goods and services,” the emergency declaration reads in part.

The mayor urged New Yorkers to avoid driving and to use public transportation between 8 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, many New Yorkers, aware that Winter Storm Toby was the fourth nor’easter of the month, might have been wondering exactly what a nor’easter is.

According to the Weather Channel, a nor’easter is a storm that usually features winds coming from the northeast off the Atlantic Ocean.

Here’s another interesting tidbit, courtesy of the Weather Channel: While a nor’easter typically takes place in cold weather, snow is not a requirement.


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