February 8, 2017
Marla Diamond: We are now going to go to City Hall. We have Mayor de Blasio on the line. Let’s see if we can get him up here –
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Hello, hello.
Diamond: Mr. Mayor, thanks for joining us this afternoon.
Mayor: You’re very welcome.
Diamond: It is really unbelievable – this forecast. You’ve got 60 degrees now and then temperatures drop like a stone tonight. How is the City preparing for what could be as many as 10 inches of snow?
Mayor: And Marla, it could even be worse than that. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, you know, what feels like a summer day, almost, now and then tomorrow a blizzard. But it’s going to be a blizzard and New Yorkers should get ready.
The City is ready. We have 2,300 salt spreaders and plows ready to go. They will be working in the early morning hours. We think this starts around 1:00 or 2:00 am, and intensifies towards the morning and the rush hour.
But here’s the most important thing. People need to understand, regardless, of what it feels like today it’s going to be a full blown blizzard in the morning. If you don’t need to be in a car, don’t take the car. If you can take mass transit or avoid moving around, do that, please for your own sake and for safety and to keep the roads clear for the Sanitation Department to do the plowing.
So, we’re poised and ready but we are hearing now from the National Weather Service, at the peak in the early morning hours, meaning – the rush hour time I should say – at the peak this could be two inches or even three inches of snow per hour which is an extraordinarily fast accumulation.
So, people have to brace themselves for this.
Diamond: So, Mayor, that’s just when kids are getting up and getting ready to go to school. When will a decision be made about possibly cancelling or having a delayed opening?
Mayor: We will make a decision certainly by the time of the 11 o’clock news this evening, maybe earlier if we have really clear information. We’ve got a projection right now from the National Weather Service that I described to you, six to 12 inches of snow – super concentrated in the mid-morning, let’s say.
But again, I’ve seen now over the three years of being Mayor these projections change up and down very suddenly. So, parents should be on alert that we may be in a position to close school tomorrow. We may find that necessary. Parents should definitely make alternative plans now just in case. And then we will give them a clear answer no later than the 11 o’clock news, possible even earlier in the evening.
Diamond: And Mayor, the fact that it’s 60 degrees, is that a challenge at all to road crews who may be trying to put down brine or salt. Is it less effective when it’s this warm out?
Mayor: You know, Marla, it’s not, from what I understand because right now they’re not going to put anything down until there’s some accumulation. That’s how it works. I’ve learned by talking to a lot of the crews over the years. They have to have some accumulation to start putting down the salt for it to work the way it’s supposed to.
So, they’re not going to do that before midnight and I think between now and midnight, we’re going to see a radical shift in the temperature.
Diamond: Alright. What a crazy forecast. Mr. Mayor, thanks for much for joining us on WCBS.Mayor: My pleasure, Marla. Be well.