NYC Mayor de Blasio lifted the city-wide travel ban this morning after that devastating blizzard turned out to be just a bunch of snow. There’s about 7.8 inches in Central Park this morning-not the 24 inches or more that was expected-and current forecasts don’t call for much more additional accumulation today. And there is certainly no reason to doubt those forecasts.
The MTA is also resuming service system-wide this morning, but it’s going to take hours for trains and buses to get back up to full speed. Staten Island Ferry service has resumed.
Gov. Cuomo says subway service will resume and, by noon, the subways should be back to Sunday-level service, which is about 60% of weekday service. The MTA expects the system to be back to a normal weekday schedule tomorrow. PATH train service will resume around 9:30 a.m.
Cuomo cautioned that the roads are still dangerous, and there is ice lurking under the snow in some places. “If you don’t have to travel today, you don’t want to be traveling today,” Cuomo warned. “While roads are passable, they are not clear.”
Asked if officials overreacted to the storm, Cuomo reminded reporters of the huge snowstorm that crippled Buffalo in November-a storm that Cuomo said he underestimated. “You make big decision based on the best information you have,” Cuomo said, adding, “I do not criticize weather forecasters.”
Cuomo also posited that taking the trains out of service and implementing a travel ban enabled the city to bounce back faster, because the roads were clear for plows to get through and trains weren’t stranded. “If you tally it up, I don’t know that this wasn’t the most prudent course,” Cuomo said.
The travel ban in the Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, Westchester counties), Nassau County, and New York City is lifted. I-84 as well as the Thruway have been reopened. Drivers should use extreme caution and prepare properly as driving conditions remain poor and other states still may have travel bans in effect.
Snow accumulation overnight on Long Island was heavy, and the New York City and Hudson Valley regions experienced moderate precipitation. According to the National Weather Service, the region should expect snowfall, wind and low temperatures, with especially heavy snowfall on Eastern Long Island, as today progresses. A blizzard warning remains in effect through midnight for Suffolk County.