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NYC School Buildings Will Close Again Tuesday for Snow, Reopen Wednesday

February 1, 2021

NEW YORK —School buildings will close again Tuesday for snow but will reopen the next day, Mayor de Blasio announced Monday, the New York Daily News reported. 

Remote classes were in session Monday and will continue Tuesday even with buildings closed.

“Parents, so you can plan, I wanted to make sure you knew this as early as possible,” de Blasio said in a Monday morning press conference.

“No school today, no school tomorrow in-person, we’re back in-person Wednesday but every day, of course, will have remote learning.”

Only elementary schools, preschools and District 75 schools have been open for in-person learning and some of those were already shuttered because of multiple COVID-19 cases, the Daily News reported.

Food distribution sites, afterschool programs, and city-run Learning Bridges childcare sites were also closed Monday and will stay shut Tuesday.

Officials from New Jersey, New York and elsewhere urged people to stay off the roads and announced public transit closings as snow from a slow moving winter storm piled up around the Northeast.

New Jersey transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti called conditions on the roads “dangerous,” and Gov. Phil Murphy warned high winds are likely to knock out electricity to people across the state heading into Tuesday.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said a state of emergency is in effect until 6 a.m. Tuesday and urged everyone to stay off the roads.

Regional train service will shut down later today, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said. The last Metro-North trains to and from Grand Central Terminal will leave at 3 p.m. and the last LIRR trains to and from Penn Station will leave between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Above-ground subway service will be shut down as of 2 p.m., NYC Transit head Sarah Feinberg said.

De Blasio said the city may get 16 to 22 inches of snow before the storm is over.

“And that kind of estimate can often be low,” he said at a briefing Monday. “We might even see more. So this is the real thing.”

Hours ahead of the first snowflakes, the city of Nashua, New Hampshire, declared a snow emergency for Monday night, banning on-street parking. The city expected 11 inches of snow through Tuesday.

Instead of shuttered schools and snow days, the latest winter storm to wallop the Northeast shut down vaccination sites and snarled other pandemic-related services in many states that could see as much as a foot of snow by Monday evening.

Lara Pagano, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said a nor'easter developing off the mid-Atlantic coast will be a "pretty slow mover" as it brings heavy snow and strong winds through Tuesday.

"It's going to be a prolonged event," Pagano said. 

As of Monday morning, some areas had already gotten 3 to 5 inches (7.6 to 12.7 centimeters) of snow, with 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) in parts of Pennsylvania, she said. In parts of New Jersey, 7 inches (17.8 centimeters) already was reported as of Monday morning.

In-person learning was canceled in school districts across the Northeast on Monday, and many COVID-19 vaccination sites were closed. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on MSNBC Monday morning that he hoped city-run vaccination sites could reopen on Tuesday. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency on Sunday and closed all state government offices for nonessential personnel.

Hundreds of flights were canceled at the region's major airports on Monday. Transportation officials said on Twitter that 81% of flights were canceled at New York's LaGuardia Airport and 75% at Newark Liberty Airport.

Amtrak canceled all Acela service between Boston and Washington and Pennsylvanian service between New York and Pittsburgh. 

All New Jersey Transit trains and buses were suspended, except for the Atlantic City Rail Line. Other regional railroads including Pennsylvania's Northeast Regional, Keystone Service and Empire Service were operating on limited or modified schedules. New York Waterway ferries were suspended. 

In recent days, a storm system blanketed parts of the Midwest, with some areas getting the most snow in several years. Ohio, Washington, D.C., and parts of Virginia also received snow.

Snow and cold in Washington led President Joe Biden to postpone a visit to the State Department that had been planned for Monday. A White House official said Sunday night that the visit would be rescheduled for later in the week when the agency's staff and diplomats could more safely commute to attend.

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