Office of Emergency Management Declares Weather Emergency

The Office of Emergency Management has declared a “weather emergency” in light of a heavy storm which is expected to drop up to 14 inches of snow on the city tonight and tomorrow.

The declaration includes a recommendation that all New Yorkers take public transportation instead of driving tomorrow; a warning that all cars blocking plows will be towed; and a reminder that alternate side parking and garbage pick-up are suspended.

The declaration is in lieu of a “snow emergency,” which would require all cars to use snow tires and chains and forbid parking on certain snow emergency routes. The administration was sharply criticized yesterday at a City Council hearing for not calling a snow emergency during last month’s blizzard, which led to hundreds of cars and buses stranded on city streets.

Yesterday, Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith admitted that not calling the snow emergency was a mistake, and at today’s press conference Bloomberg said that he would take a greater role in determining whether or not to declare a snow emergency today.