De Blasio declares state of emergency for NYC for snowstorm

Penni Schewe

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York City is digging out of a deep blanket of snow following a powerful snowstorm that prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to issue a state of emergency, pause in-person learning at schools and reschedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments.


The emergency declaration restricted non-essential travel on city streets and highways between 6 a.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday.

During his daily briefing Tuesday morning, de Blasio said New Yorkers heeded the call to stay off the roads during the storm to help sanitation crews clear the streets of snow.

“We got more to do, this ballgame ain’t over,” de Blasio said. “There’s still some snow coming, a small amount… it will certainly end up being one of the bigger snowstorms we had recently, but thank God the vast majority is over now.”

The National Weather Service said the winter storm dumped more than 16 inches of snow in Central Park.

There was no in-person learning at city public schools for a second day Tuesday, with students pivoting to all-remote. In-person instruction will resume Wednesday,

The Learning Bridges childcare program was also canceled Monday and Tuesday.

Alternate side parking rules are suspended through Saturday to facilitate snow removal operations. Any vehicle found to be blocking roadways or impeding plowing efforts will be subject to towing.

Payment at parking meters will remain in effect.

Open Restaurants will resume at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Open Streets will resume Wednesday.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Monday and Tuesday are being rescheduled. Vaccination sites across the city will resume operations Wednesday.

All branches of The Brooklyn Public Library, The New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library closed Monday and Tuesday.

The city saw blizzard-like conditions with 2 to 4 inches of snowfall per hour during the height of the storm Monday, with sustained winds of 20-30 miles per hour, with gusts up to 40-50 miles per hour.

City Sanitation Commissioner Ed Grayson said the clean up from the big storm is already underway.

“We’ve gone a really good job throughout this event, we’ll be out all day,” Grayson told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott. “It’s a lot of work still left to be done, but we’re making some really good progress.”

The department had 270,000 tons of salt, 2,000 spreaders and 3,000 plow vehicles on hand for the storm and over 500 miles of roadway pre-treated, some with more than two passes, ahead of the storm.

While the ban on nonessential travel is no longer in place, Grayson is encouraging New Yorkers to stay off the roads if possible.

“If you don’t have to go out today, we’d like to continue that message: if you don’t need to travel, please don’t. If you do have to travel, please plan for extra time. There’s still plowing that we need to do, there’s still roadway conditions and there’s still some active precipitation, although it’s very light,” Grayson said.

Garbage and recycling collection has been delayed in the city as the department focuses on snow removal.

For more severe weather information, visit

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