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Winter Storm Brings More Than 4" Of Snow, Limited Power Outages To Parts Of City

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TWC News: Winter Storm Brings More Than 4" Of Snow, Limited Power Outages To Parts Of City
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A winter storm dropped up to 4.5 inches of snow on parts of New York City Friday night, but NY1's John Davitt said early Saturday morning that the snowfall was in the process of tapering off.

Another 2-3 inches was expected to accumulate by daybreak Saturday.

The heavy snow and winds downed power lines in several neighborhoods, leaving more than 800 ConEd customers without power on Staten Island, more than 200 customers in the dark in Brooklyn, and nearly 200 without service in Manhattan.

Speaking to reporters at the city's emergency operations center Friday, Mayor Bloomberg said that while the storm wasn't expected to bring about major damage, it still posed a danger to residents.

"Staying off the streets will make it easier for city workers to clear the streets of snow so that emergency vehicles can use them and any vehicles found to be blocking roadways or impeding the flow of traffic will be subject to the owner's expense," Bloomberg said.

As of 11 p.m. Friday, Central Park reported 4.3 inches of snowfall, while Brooklyn and Queens registered about 3 inches of snow.

A coastal flood watch was also in effect Friday night for those living along the shorelines of the Bronx and northern Queens. State officials say those who live by the coast should have their own evacuation plans in place, in case flood waters are headed to their homes, and should prepare a "go bag" with emergency supplies like prescription drugs and flashlights.

Waves were expected to be as high as 25 feet as a result of the storm, with a storm surge of 3 to 5 feet.

Department of Sanitation workers were on extended shifts Friday night as the storm makes its way in, with the city deploying 450 salt spreaders to clear the roads. There were 1,700 snow plows on standby, and the Department of Transportation dispatched 17 de-icing vehicles to clear area bridges.

Additional highway patrol units were also brought into service, and the fire department had 100 extra ambulances equipped with snow chains.

Residents can track the progress of snow plows on the city's website, nyc.gov.

In a press briefing Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for New York State to give the state and local governments more flexibility in dealing with the storm.

Nevertheless, state officials said the snow storm would be far less severe compared to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

"This is a serious, severe storm, a winter storm, but we just went through some really terrible storms with Hurricane Sandy," Cuomo said. "We are not anticipating anything like that."

At least one gas station on Staten Island was reported to be running out of fuel late Friday, but Bloomberg said the storm will not cause a shortage or disrupt the distribution chain.

Transit & Travel Updates

Metro-North service was suspended at 10 p.m. Friday on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines as a result of the storm, as was service out of the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Service on the Bx16, Bx40 and Bx42 lines was suspended late Friday due to icy conditions, according to the MTA.

Amtrak ended its northbound train service from Penn Station at 12:30 p.m. Friday, in addition to its Acela Express service.

Thomas Prendergast, the interim executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said at a press briefing Friday that the MTA was suspending all weekend subway work and making plans to store trains underground to keep them out of the weather. The result would be some service changes, particularly along the number 7 line.

For the latest updates, visit mta.info.

Meanwhile, airlines cancelled thousands of flights at area airports.

Most airlines at JFK Airport shut down service at 6:30 p.m. Friday, while most airlines shut down service at LaGuardia and Newark Airports at 4 p.m. Friday.

Most air carriers say customers can re-book without paying any fees.

Alternate-side parking rules will be suspended citywide through Sunday, though meters will still be in effect.

National Grid Provides Extra Help Ahead Of Storm

The beleaguered Long Island Power Authority is getting a helping hand from National Grid ahead of the storm.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has told the upstate power utility to prepare to bolster LIPA, which was slammed by Albany for it's response to Hurricane Sandy.

National Grid is securing hundreds of extra crews and restoration equipment on Long Island, and is working with local officials to plan for emergencies that may arise.

LIPA serves Queens customers in the Rockaways, as well as the suburban counties to the east.

Consolidated Edison says its crews were also ready for possible power outages brought on by the storm.

Utility spokesman Michael Clendenin said Friday that crews are on hand all over the city to respond to reports of outages and says the top priority will be to get customers' power back on safely.

"All those wet power lines and moisture will probably build up. It could freeze making the lines heavy and then you have snow on top of that, so we're certainly anticipating a fair number of outages," Clendenin said.

To report an outage, call 1-800-75-CONED or visit their website.

So far this winter, the city has received 7 inches of snow, 4.7 inches of which came in a storm in November, one week after Sandy.

For more information on storm safety, visit redcross.org.

Web Extra: Sanitation Department Overnight Update


TWC News: Winter Storm Brings More Than 4" Of Snow, Limited Power Outages To Parts Of City
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Storm-Related Closures

Schools, Colleges, Universities
• All weekend classes at St. Joseph's College are canceled for Saturday, February 9.
• Helene Fuld College of Nursing will close at 2 p.m. Friday
• Pace University (all campuses) are closed until 12 p.m. Saturday
• All CUNY classes canceled Friday night
• Queensborough Community College, Hostos Community College, Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn College, City College, The College of Staten Island, CUNY Graduate School and University Center, New York City College of Technology and John Jay College of Criminal Justice are all closed Saturday.
• All NYC Dept. of Education classes and activities canceled Saturday


Other
• The Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo will close at 1 p.m. Friday
• State and city civil service exams scheduled for Saturday are canceled

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