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Bloomberg Nemo Update Feb. 8

Bloomberg Nemo Update Feb. 8

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Published by Celeste Katz
Bloomberg Nemo Update Feb. 8
Bloomberg Nemo Update Feb. 8

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Published by: Celeste Katz on Feb 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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, NY 10007
February 8, 2013 No. 56www.nyc.gov 
The following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s remarks as delivered today at the Office of  Emergency Management in Downtown Brooklyn:
“Well good afternoon, and I want to start by thanking our signer Pamela Mitchell for joiningus today.“This morning, I visited Sanitation Department crews who are on snow-removal duty. Thewinter storm is certainly on everyone’s minds, and I can tell you that there were a lot of plows on thefront of trucks, there was a big snow melter ready to go if necessary.“They had one plow that if we had ten feet of snow, it would blast right through it, but I don’tthink we’re going to need that one. But let me update you on what’s being called Winter Storm Nemo and the City’s preparations for it.“The current forecast from the National Weather Service – now keep in mind, these areforecasts, this is a reasonably unpredictable storm. It could turn further northeast or it could stall andgive us more precipitation.“Right now, as you know, outside it is all rain. There really isn’t any snow, even when youlook at the grass it’s pretty clean. But the heavy snow is supposed to come in later on. The NationalWeather Service says that this morning it started to snow, turned to rain, back to snow this afternoon.Likely to fall in a fast and heavy rate – their words – during much of the evening and overnight period, with the heaviest snow expected to begin between 3 and 7 pm tonight.“By the time the storm passes early Saturday afternoon, we’re expecting to haveaccumulations of 10 to 14 inches across the five boroughs, based on the latest from the NationalWeather Service. And higher local accumulations are possible.“Now, all of that could change. The storm could move much further east faster, and we couldhave an awful lot less snow, which would be great. But we’ve got to prepare for the worst case, andthis is what the National Weather Service says is the worst case.
“As widely reported, the storm is resulting from the merging of two low pressure systems,one approaching from the west – the Chicago area – and one coming up the Atlantic Coast – from the North Carolina area. And largely because of the coastal nor’easter, we’ll see sustained winds of 10 to30 miles an hour, gusts up to 40 or 50 miles an hour.“This combination of snow and high winds and the reduced visibility are hazards for travel,and it’s why we remain under a blizzard warning through 1 pm on Saturday.“As New Yorkers know all too well, high winds can also disrupt electrical service inneighborhoods with overhead lines, as trees topple down or branches shear off trees and do seriousdamage.“Let me just remind you, if you have a tree come down and there’s a power line down, don’tgo near it. Don’t touch it. Pick up the phone, call 311 and they’ll tell you what to do and we’ll get a professional crew there to remove it. Power lines are dangerous, and every time we have a storm likethis – or many times – we do have tragedies occur.“A final potentially hazardous element of this storm is some coastal flooding. It is likely tohappen during high tide, which will wash up at the Battery shortly after 7 pm and along the LongIsland Sound shores of Northern Queens and the Bronx several hours later. The reason it’s muchlater there is that the water has to go around Montauk and come all the way down Long Island Sound before it hits Northern Queens and the Bronx, whereas the water from the Battery comes straight infrom the ocean.“Many of the same communities that were inundated by Hurricane Sandy’s tidal surge justabout 100 days ago are likely to see some moderate coastal flooding this evening. It’s likely to produce the kind of coastal flooding that can be expected in these areas during such storms and people know how to deal with it.“If your house has been damaged by Sandy and it’s still without heat, call 311 and we’ll besure to find you shelter. And certainly, if you or someone you see has symptoms like uncontrolledshivering or disorientation, that may very well be hypothermia and hypothermia can be deadly. Soanyone with these symptoms should get someplace warm immediately.“Also, please do not use gas ovens or ranges to heat your homes. That can lead to carbonmonoxide poisoning – which can be fatal.“Now, as we do during all emergency weather conditions, our City has a plan of action for keeping New Yorkers safe, and we’ve already put that plan into motion. And I would like to describea little bit about what our different City agencies are doing and stress some things that we would ask all New Yorkers to do.“The first is: Stay off the city streets, stay out of your cars, and stay in your homes while theworst of this storm is on us. That’s for your own protection during potentially hazardous outdoor conditions. It is why we’ve cancelled all Friday after school activities, including Public SchoolAthletic League games. Saturday classes and activities at public schools have also been cancelled.
“Staying off the streets will make it easier for City workers to clear the streets of snow so thatemergency vehicles can use them.“Any vehicles found to be blocking roadways or impeding the flow of traffic will be subjectto towing at the owner’s expense. And by keeping ourselves out of harm’s way, we’ll reduce thehazards our first responders have to confront, as well, so there’s double value in doing this.“Also, there is no need to do panic buying of gas for your cars; all indications are the gassupply is plentiful and deliveries will not be disrupted.“Tonight, what’s a good idea? Cook a meal, stay home, read a good book, watch a movie, justtake it easy.“Remember, there are a lot of people who are going to be out there shoveling the snow andtrying to plow it to the side, and just don’t want to get in their way. And also, if you’re out thereshoveling snow, be careful, don’t over-exert yourself with that task. This snow can be very heavysnow, very wet snow, and you really can strain yourself or worse.“Also, as I said this morning on my radio show, it’s good to look at your neighbors who mayneed a little extra help getting through the next several days.“If you see someone homeless on the streets or in a public place, just pick up the phone, call311. This is no night to be out in the elements, and we will send a staff right away to help that person.“Last night, I did order all Department of Homeless Services staff to double their outreachefforts to protect unsheltered New Yorkers. That will be true tonight as well.“During this high alert period, Homeless Services staff will check on vulnerable clients everytwo hours – or four times per shift. And we are putting on an additional number of outreach vans onthe streets to respond to 311 calls.“Also, please use 911 wisely – only for genuine emergencies requiring a response from the police, firefighters, or emergency service vehicles. Use 311 for all other calls or inquires to Cityagencies; we’ve brought in additional 311 call-takers to handle what we expect to be a higher thannormal volume of calls.“But if you want to know whether the plow is coming or whether the schools are closed andthat sort of thing, do not use 911. When you do it, somebody with a real emergency can’t get throughand they may suffer and may die.“Let me walk through what City agencies are doing in response to the storm, starting with preparing to clear streets and highways of snow.

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