Mayor Michael Bloomberg Warns of Power Outages During Snowstorm; Advises Flashlights, Milk

It hadn't occurred to us, but Mayor Bloomberg says we should have a flashlight handy for tonight's storm, along with "anything else you might need if you can't get out and don't have electricity," including milk. What? "Heavy snow is more likely to cause power outages," the Daily News helpfully adds, "because trees break and crash into power lines." Holy moley, it really is a snowpocalypse!

In a press conference today the Mayor said that "the forecasts sometimes are wrong" but if the storm is "as severe as forecast... it really does present potentially serious safety hazards."

In response, along with the previously announced school closings, the city has cancelled after-school events, though such programs "located in community centers and other facilities have the option to remain open if they feel that they can safely provide services." (Also closed tomorrow: the zoos, several private schools, Riverside Church, and the Queens-Long Island Medical Group medical offices.)

Sanitation crews have been put on two 12-hours shifts of 2,100 workers each, and its trucks are being fitted with snow plows; Department of Transportation trucks are also being prepared for snow duty. Other city agencies have been put on high alert.

The Mayor urges citizens not to drive; conversely, "if you want to get stuck in big traffic jams and have a terrible trip home," the Mayor advises, "take your car."

The Mayor also offered employment opportunities to people who want to call 311 and sign up as shovelers, though "there's no reason why you can't pro-bono, as just a good neighbor, make it a little bit easier for everyone." Pfft! What is this, Russia?

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