Archive for the tag 'weather'

IMG_0095

A woman attempts to pass beneath the B/Q line at Avenue Y, a daunting task.

New York City residents and business owners are required to clear their sidewalks after snow storms or face heavy fines from city authorities. But city agencies have failed to clear many public sidewalks and those abutting government property, suggesting a double standard that puts pedestrians at risk.

With 48 inches of snow falling over the course of 22 days since January 1, deadbeat landlords who’ve failed to shovel paths have become a reviled caricature in New York City. Currently, they could face fines of $150, and a local City Council member has introduced new legislation that would direct city workers to clear private sidewalks and forward the bill to the property owner.

But while city workers may one day be deployed to clear private sidewalks, Sheepshead Bites has found a number of government-owned sidewalks that those same city workers have failed to clear.

Among the worst spots this publication surveyed yesterday are the underpasses of the B/Q Brighton line, all located between East 15th Street and East 16th Street. From Sheepshead Bay Road to Kings Highway, not one of the half dozen underpasses without a subway station had clear paths shoveled on both sides of the street, and even some of those with a subway station were left uncleared. In most locations, the northern side of the street was partially shoveled, while the southern side remained untouched.

Keep reading to learn whose responsibility it is, and view the pictures of their neglect.

snow-shovel

It seems with every snowfall, more and more New Yorkers forget that it’s their responsibility to shovel their sidewalks and protect against slips and falls.

So we decided to put together this little post making clear what’s required of you, and a few extra tips to earn brownie points with the neighbors.

What’s required

  • Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any lot or building must clean snow and or ice from the sidewalk.
  • Cleaning must be done within 4 hours after the snow has stopped falling.
  • If snow stops falling after 9:00 p.m., it must be cleared by 11:00 a.m. the following morning.
  • Snow may not be thrown into the street.
  • If snow becomes frozen or is too hard to remove, residents can uses ashes, sand, sawdust or similar materials within the same time limits.
  • The sidewalk must be cleaned as soon as the weather permits.

The fine for violating any of these rules is between $100 and $150 for the first offense, and as high as $350 for subsequent offenses, according to city notices.

What’s recommended

  • During heavy snowfall, clear your sidewalk before the snow stops falling. It’s courteous to neighbors who may still have to get around, and it will make the job easier for yourself at the end of the day.
  • Check on your neighbors. If you live next to an elderly or disabled person, lend a hand and shovel for them. Hey, they may make you an apple pie.
  • Avoid using salt unless absolutely necessary. It can damage the sidewalk, leading to costly repairs for you down the road. Use kitty litter or sand instead.
  • If someone does slip and fall, go and see if they’re okay. It’s sad that this needs to be pointed out, but many people just snicker and go on their way.
  • Cleaning up your dog’s poop is still legally required, even if it’s sitting in some snow. Don’t be a jerk.
A great photo by Roman Kruglov of the last snow storm to hit Sheepshead Bay.

A great photo by Roman Kruglov of the last snow storm to hit the area.

Was anyone else caught off guard by today’s snow? I mean, I knew it was going to snow, but I wasn’t prepared for the wall of white we woke up to today.

Here’s the rundown of what you need to know:

Weather conditions

As of right now, it appears there’s about three inches on the ground. It’s expected to hit between 5 and 8 inches throughout the day, and then turn into snow and freezing rain at night and into morning. The heaviest snowfall is expected to come between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Currently, we’re under a winter storm warning until 7 p.m. tonight, when the warning eases up into a winter storm watch through the night and into morning.

The difference between a winter storm warning and a winter storm watch is that a warning means that a hazardous winter event is occurring and likely to pose a threat to life and property. A watch is less severe, and indicates that a significant weather event is expected, but not imminent.

The current warning covers all five boroughs, Nassau County and parts of New Jersey.

Road conditions

Because the snow began with a light rain mixture, and will finish off tonight with a freezing rain, streets and sidewalks will be slippery throughout the day, night and tomorrow.

Making matters worse, visibility is significantly reduced. So try to stay off the roads if you can, and if you can’t, drive slowly and with consideration for others on the road.

If you must drive, the city recommends using major roadways and highways as these will be plowed first.

Alternate side parking rules are suspended, but payment at parking meters remains in effect.

Pedestrian and public safety

Remember to shovel a path in front of your home, but avoid overexertion when shoveling, and stretch before you go out (a major cause of death in the winter is heart attacks caused by overexertion while shoveling).

Keep dry, and watch for signs of frostbite, which includes the loss of body heat and white or pale appearance in extremities.

Mass transit

As far as mass transit, the MTA is not reporting snow related delays or problems in the subway system, but says that buses are running on a delayed schedule. Customers are urged to walk, and not run on staircases or platforms and to hold on to handrails when boarding and alighting from buses.

Public schools and  garbage collection

Non-District 75 public high schools are closed for students but open for staff; all other public schools open. Field trips and after school programs have been canceled.

Useful links

Here are some links to keep track of local conditions and city service statuses.

Did we miss something you think is important? Have a question we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments!

This was not yesterday’s snow. This was much worse.

When it snowed in the beginning of the month – the first challenge of the new de Blasio administration – we received a slew of e-mails, phone calls and social media comments claiming that the city was botching the job and streets remained unplowed.

When it snowed yesterday, we heard nary a peep from our readers.

On the surface it would seem that residents appeared more satisfied with the city’s response to yesterday’s snow than they had been to the previous winter storm. But the New York Post disagrees. On the front page of the paper today, an all-caps headline reads “SHAMBLES! Turmoil as Blas botches ‘early’ snow.” The story claims that the Sanitation Department was caught off guard because the snow fell earlier than predicted, and zeros in on “tony” Upper East Side residents who claim they were neglected because they didn’t vote for Bill de Blasio. At the core of that claim is the Sanitation Department’s plow tracker map, which showed that the neighborhood had not received timely plowing. The New York Post, being the New York Post, neglected to mention the huge swaths of the outerboroughs that showed the same thing. (The Sanitation Department claimed that it was due to a broken GPS, and the Upper East Side had indeed been plowed. That’s comforting, right?).

Here in Southern Brooklyn, major streets were plowed regularly and side streets less frequently, as is the routine. As anyone who put shovel to concrete yesterday knows, it took about five minutes for the snow to again completely blanket the sidewalk. On our little side street, we did see the plows running regularly, even if it didn’t make much of an impact, but we haven’t seen any salt spreaders which would be useful in ridding ourselves of that last two inches of impact snow on the asphalt.

So our take is this: we’ve seen worse snow, and we’ve seen worse management of the snow. It could be better – more regular plowing and some salt would be nice, as would enforcement of laws requiring homeowners and businesses clear their sidewalks.

What do you think? Where does the city’s snow management need improvement?

Hmm. I never noticed the directory in which the National Weather Service kept its weather advisories in. Think they're trying to tell us something?

Hmm. I never noticed the directory in which the National Weather Service keeps its weather advisories. Think they’re trying to tell us something?

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for all five boroughs, saying that a winter storm is becoming increasingly likely to strike the area on Tuesday.

The storm watch remains in effect from Tuesday afternoon through late Tuesday night, with as much as eight inches of snow expected to blanket the city and its surroundings, including parts of Connecticut, Westchester, Long Island and New Jersey.

The agency says that snow will be accompanied by wind gusts as strong as 30 miles per hour, and temperatures will drop to the single digits at night. Snowfall is expected to begin in the early morning and continue all day and night.

To prepare for the possible snow, the city has issued a snow alert, sending the signal to the Department of Sanitation to begin preparation, including loading 365 salt spreaders, attaching plows, preparing tire chains and notifying personnel that they may have a tough day ahead of them.

Drivers and pedestrians beware: it’ll be hazardous conditions with low visibility to try and get around in, and the high winds could contribute to frost bite.

Dress warm, and drive safely. If taking mass transit, pay attention to service alerts and give yourself extra time to travel.

Be sure to keep the following links handy tomorrow to get all the most important information as the storm comes through:

11846879996_d4e955f617_z

This week’s polar vortex, in which temperatures with wind chills dipped into the negative degrees, generated its fair share of grousing on social media, and news hype. It also brought about some stunning photos from locals of iced over windows and ice drifts on New York Harbor.

But the best set we’ve seen yet are a bunch of stunning, and chilling, photos of Jamaica Bay frozen over like on big ice skating rink. Dan Mundy, of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers, whose Jamaica Bay photos we’ve featured before, struck out at sunrise to capture the beautiful and rare shots of the warm sun rising over the iced over Bay.

You can check out all the photos here, but we’ve selected our favorites to feature after the jump.

Check out the photos!

skiing

Sure, it started out as a warm, wet Monday. But as the day has gone on, the thermometer’s mercury has steadily crept downward as we experience one of the steepest temperature drops in New York City history. Tonight will see a low of nine degrees, edging only slightly upward with a high of 12 degrees on Tuesday.

What better way to get you ready for that bitter chill than to show you photos of snow? We usually do a photo gallery from the first major snow day of the season, but most of these photos came in too late on Friday… and I was on vacation, enjoying someplace warmer than this. So here are some of the great photos we received last week, and if you see something that particularly captures tonight’s and tomorrow’s cold spell, snag a photo on your cell phone or other camera and send it over to nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

In the meantime, stay warm and check on your neighbors!

Check out the photos.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for all of New York City, lasting through today and tomorrow morning, with eight inches of snow and 40 mile-per-hour wind gusts predicted.

It’s the first snowstorm of the year, and is forecast to have near-blizzard conditions and single-digit temperatures.

The snowstorm will deliver its biggest blow to New York City this evening, during the rush hour commute, when the heavier snow is expected to fall.

The Sanitation Department has already gone into snowstorm mode, loading salt spreaders at facilities across the facility.

Alternate side parking is suspended for today. Parking meters remain in effect.

Here are a few tips for weathering the storm and staying warm and safe:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel – Wet or icy roads are dangerous enough. But also avoid going out on foot or any other means. Strong winds could dislodge tree limbs or other debris, which can turn deadly.
  • Prepare for power outages – Charge all of your mobile devices and any other electronics you may need, and make sure you have fresh batteries in your radios and alarm clocks. Con Edison infrastructure is still vulnerable following Superstorm Sandy, and power lines can be knocked out.
  • We hate telling people to stock up on water, gasoline and other such supplies, but if you can, you should.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially if you live next to senior citizens or disabled people.
  • When shoveling, don’t overexert yourself, and be aware of utilities. Don’t cover up fire hydrants in mounds of snow.

The progress of snow plows can be monitored PlowNYC, set up after complaints from the 2010 blizzard.

Turn to Sheepshead Bites for the latest information from government authorities and utility companies, school, transit and road closures, as well as on-the-ground reports from readers around the neighborhood.

And remember to save our e-mail address (tips [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com), phone number (347-985-0633) and Twitter account (@sheepsheadbites) into your phone. If you see downed trees or power lines, flooding, or anything else, snap a photo with your cell phone and e-mail, text or Tweet it over.

Oh, and send all your pretty snow photos over to photos [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

File:Dszpics1.jpg

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch until 5 p.m. today in all five borough of New York City, as well as parts of New Jersey and Long Island.

A cold front is moving into the area this afternoon, bringing with it heavy rainfall, thunder and strong winds that could hit 75 miles per hour. The agency said they expect to see minor flooding  in poor drainage areas, and in some cases, a flash flood threat.

A tornado watch is less severe than a tornado warning, and means that weather conditions are favorable for a tornado.

To find out what to do in a tornado, check out this guide from Ready.gov.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for New York City until 11:00 p.m. tonight.

People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion today, though the general public should not be affected.

For more information please visit: http://1.usa.gov/NNxJS.

« Prev - Next »