City Declares Weather Emergency

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The city declared a weather emergency Tuesday evening but held off on declaring a snow emergency ahead of the snow storm expected to strike the city overnight.

A snow emergency declaration would have kept private vehicles without snow tires or chains off designated snow routes and bans parking along those routes. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning from Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon, with the heaviest snowfall expected overnight.

Mayor Bloomberg, facing criticism for bungling the response to the post-Christmas blizzard, promised to do a better job handling the snow storm expected to strike the city Tuesday night and dump between eight and 14 inches of snow and produce wind gusts up to 25 mph.

"We recognize that we did not do the job that New Yorkers rightly expect of us in the last storm," Bloomberg said Tuesday. "We intend to make sure that does not happen again."

There will be 1700 plows, 365 salt-spreaders and private contractors deployed to help with the clean-up, but the mayor and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty warned Tuesday that the snowstorm could make for a messy commute Wednesday morning.

"The way that snow is going to come down, particularly just before daybreak, there's going to be streets that will not have been plowed," Doherty said.

During Wednesday morning's rush, many express subway trains will run on local tracks. Expect curtailed service on the 2, 3, 4 and A trains. Buses are likely to be operating on a regular schedule. Metro North is expecting to run on a reduced schedule tomorrow.

LIRR said it will need to temporarily suspend service on some lines if snow accumulates more than 10 inches and covers the third rail

Mayor Bloomberg has promised immediate changes to its storm response, after admitting mistakes in dealing with the blizzard that hit Dec. 26. That storm dropped 29 inches of snow in Staten Island, two feet in Brooklyn and 20 inches in Central Park.

Bloomberg's commissioners and a top deputy spent more than seven hours Monday at a City Council hearing about the cleanup, fielding questions about why so many streets went unplowed, ambulances and buses became stuck and 911 calls backed up.