Mayor lifts travel ban after snowstorm; subways to resume service

This morning, after Winter Storm Juno paid a painful but glancing visit to New York City, on its way to Long Island and points east, Mayor Bill de Blasio lifted the travel ban that had been in place since 11 p.m. Monday evening.

In addition, subways — which had been halted Monday night — were put back on track, by New York City Transit with service returning beginning at 9 a.m. with a Sunday schedule to be in place by noon. Full service will return by Wednesday, January 28, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who spoke at a press briefing on Tuesday morning.

The subway shutdown and ban on travel by non-emergency vehicles after 11 p.m. Monday had been decided based on the citywide blizzard warning issued by the National Weather Service early on Monday, January 26, to be in effect through midnight, Wednesday.

“It is not business as usual,”  the mayor had said from the Office of Emergency Management Headquarters just past 1 p.m. on Monday, January 26 where he echoed Governor Andrew Cuomo in declaring a citywide state of emergency. “This will most likely be one of the largest blizzards in the history of New York City and I’m asking everyone to understand that and prepare accordingly.”

While the forecast, Monday afternoon, called for 20 to 30 inches of snow from the storm, with winds of 30 to 40 MPH , and gusts of up to 65 MPH possible, by Tuesday morning, about eight inches of snow had fallen in Central Park, with just over 11 inches measured at LaGuardia Airport. Snow is still falling but a shift in in the course of the storm shifted the brunt of it away from New York City. The National Weather Service is now predicting a total snowfall for New York City up to between 14 and 18 inches.

The travel ban was lifted just past 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

City schools are closed today, with scheduled Regents postponed till Thursday. Catholic schools are also closed, with Regents postponed.

Since Friday, January 23, Department of Sanitation (DSNY) personnel have been working 12-hour shifts with a total of 2,400 workers per shift. Those workers, the mayor said, have hit city streets with nearly 400 salt spreaders, and 250,000 tons of salt.

“Our colleagues got ahead of this storm,” de Blasio said, adding that 40 percent more ambulances have been assigned for the coming days as well as an additional 500 New York City firefighters.

Additionally, New York City public libraries were closed by 5 p.m. Monday. City parks closed at 6 p.m.

Alternate Side Parking was suspended citywide for Monday and Tuesday to facilitate snow removal. Payment at parking meters will remain in effect throughout the city.

Send us your snow photos, stories and updates! Tweet or Facebook with the hashtag #BKBlizzard15 or e-mail to see your submissions online or in this week’s issue.

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