Blizzard Nemo is not a cute cartoon character. It is a strong, deadly blizzard that is expected to dump 14 inches of snow onto New York City. Mayor Bloomberg said Sanitation crews are ready for the snowstorm that has started hitting the city this evening, and other emergency crews are positioned to help New Yorkers in need.The Staten Island Advance reports that the latest National Weather Service forecast still calls for 10-14 inches of snow, though some forecasters, including AccuWeather, predict about half as much. The mayor's message: Be ready for the worst, and stay home tonight.
"The rain that's falling as of early afternoon is set to switch over to snow by mid-afternoon and persist with high winds that could create blizzard-like conditions Friday night," adds The Advance.
"Once this transition occurs, snow will accumulate fairly rapidly on all surfaces," according to the National Weather Service's latest bulletin. "This will make for slippery and hazardous conditions in time for the evening rush hour. Drivers should exercise extreme caution or avoid travel if possible."
"The best thing New Yorkers can do to keep the streets clear and ease the snow-removal process is to stay off those streets," Bloomberg said. "That's for your own protection" during potentially hazardous conditions," he said to New York City in a press conference. "We don't want cars getting stuck in the middle of the road. Get your car off the street or the side of the road, and that will help everybody."
Read a good book or watch a movie at home
For those stuck at home, he advised reading a book, watching a movie and generally just taking it easy for the night. (He avoided the suggestion of taking in a Broadway play, which gave him endless grief when he made it in the wake of the massive post-Christmas 2010 storm.)
The Fire Department and NYPD have also bolstered their forces to prepare for any storm response, especially in areas that are prone to flooding, added The Advance.
"Bloomberg warned New Yorkers to call 911 only in the event of a life-threatening emergency. Those who encounter downed power lines are urged to stay away from them and report them to 311. Only call 911 if the line is sparking," added The Advance.
"All mass transit will continue operating, but commuters should expect some delays. The Staten Island Ferry has already advised that service may operate with delays Friday afternoon and evening," added the newspaper. "The city announced that parking meter regulations will be suspended Saturday as Sanitation crews clear the streets. Alternate side of the street parking has already been suspended for Saturday."
Lastly, the mayor said anyone without shelter -- especially those whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy -- should call 311 and the city will arrange shelter. My best advice, Staten Island parents, stay home and enjoy the heat and hot chocolate. This one's going to be a big one. Look for more reports from www.examiner.com as Blizzard Nemo progresses.