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Winter Storm Live Updates: Flight canceled as Nor’Easter hits east coast

Credit...Justin Lane / EPA, via Shutterstock

New York City was preparing for strong winds and up to a foot of snow that could create dangerous conditions late Friday and into Saturday. And the city's new mayor, Eric Adams, said he was ready for the challenge.

Mr. Adams wore a hat and parka from the sanitation department to a press conference Friday afternoon, where he warned drivers to stay off the roads. When trucks stood ready, he said the city's Covid test and vaccine sites would be closed on Saturday and outdoor dining would be suspended. But he quickly added that restaurants could stay open for indoor dining.

"One of the best ways to navigate the snow is to go inside and spend some money for our restaurants," said Mr. Adams.

Christina Farrell, the acting commissioner for the city's Office of Emergency Management, urged residents to quickly convene reports of felled trees or hot and hot water outages, and to sign up for the city's Notify NYC SMS service for weather-related updates. She noted that temperatures were expected to drop sharply, with wind cold near zero on Saturday night.

Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in the southern part of the state, including New York City, effective at 6 p.m. 20.00 Friday.

Long Island was expected to receive more snow than the city, with accumulations of 10 to 16 inches possible, and a snowstorm warning was issued for Suffolk County. Long Island Rail Road said it would suspend service at all branches on Saturday. In a statement, Ms. Hochul said the wind could exceed 50 miles per hour and urged New Yorkers to avoid unnecessary travel.

The State Department of Transportation warned motorists not to exceed 45 miles per hour on the Long Island Expressway and state park roads on Long Island during the storm. Tractors were located in Syosset, Riverhead, Medford, Hampton Bays, Central Islip, Melville and North Merrick to help clear state roads.

At the city's news conference, Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson said more than 700 salt spreaders had already hit the streets by Friday afternoon, and about 1,800 would be deployed in total. Fine, powdery snow and strong winds can create "white conditions" during the storm, especially overnight, he warned.

Mr. Grayson said his department had applied a "liquid brine pre-treatment" of more than 700 miles of city roads before the first snow began to fall, and had plenty of salt on hand.

"Every block in New York City is on one route, and we intend to complete all routes," he said. The department's workforce was in "mandatory staffing" with less than 10 percent of employees out, a lower absenteeism rate than previously in the pandemic, he said.

Mr. Adams said he wanted to "be visible" and would visit areas of the city such as Brownsville, East New York and Staten Island to monitor the storm.

"Generals do not lead their troops from behind," he said.

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