Winter storm preparations begin as an impending mix of snow and rain is expected to hit the Tri-State area Thursday into Friday.
DEANNE CRISWELL: And so what we have right now is the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch, which is in effect from 6:00 AM Thursday through 4:00 PM on Friday. You'll see some light snow start to develop early on Thursday. The heaviest part of the snow will be between 11:00 and maybe 5:00 PM. So the evening commute is going to be rather difficult.
And so, again, as we've been saying throughout the month of February, we really encourage everybody, if you don't have to drive, please stay off the roads. It helps everybody that does need to drive, essential workers get in, and help sanitation do their work, and it helps our first responders respond to those emergencies.
We will see some steady snow then throughout Thursday, a little bit of light snow into Thursday evening and Friday morning, and then by Friday late afternoon, evening, it should go away. We are seeing right now maybe four to eight inches. Some of the forecasts are coming down a little bit. But right now, we're still forecasting four to eight inches of snow.
So just a couple of other additional notes and then I'll turn it over to Commissioner Grayson. For the food sites that have the grab and go meals, those are open today and tomorrow. But today, they were giving out extra meals.
And so we had encouraged everybody to please grab an extra meal if you needed to so you could stay off the roads tomorrow. Right now we also do not foresee any impacts to the vaccine sites or the testing sites. Right now they are all scheduled to operate normally. Again, if conditions get much worse, we'll certainly let you know as soon as possible.
And then, you know, as always, we just really want to encourage everybody, as you have been doing throughout these last few storms, please check in on your neighbors. Check in on your loved ones. Please help them get the services that they need so they don't have to go out. With that, I'll turn it over to Commissioner Grayson for an update from sanitation.
EDWARD GRAYSON: Thank you Commissioner Criswell. We're at it again. So the Department of sanitation has been in split shifts for basically the entire month of February to date. And we've seen about almost two feet of snow in that time. We're prepping for another storm, as Commissioner Criswell said. Right now it definitely looks like a plow storm. So we will have 2,000 power vehicles and 715 salt spreaders at the ready. We have over 200,000 tons of rock salt on hand and plenty of calcium chloride. We will be out pre-treating roads tonight in advance of the pretreatment-- of in advance of the precip, rather, with our brine and as well as some pre-salting.
I'm going to reiterate that message. Please, if you can, stay off the road. We don't know exactly how much snow we're getting. The forecast is fluctuating. However, there is a warning out, four to eight inches of snow currently. So let's be prepared for that. So for tomorrow, for Thursday, make sure you take extra time.
If you don't have to travel or if it's not essential for you to travel, please stay off the road for let us treat the roads and do our job. But if you do have to travel for any reason, please plan for extra time. Clearly, the commutes, both of them tomorrow, and possibly the Friday morning one may cause extra travel time just because of the roadway conditions.
So we will be out working around the clock to try to fight this storm. For refuse and recycling collections, we will definitely be delayed. We will-- we just got back on schedule. And we will definitely be delayed with this next event. So please, again, I ask all New Yorkers, if you have material, you can place it out. But expect service delays on that front. And we will continue to do all we can to fight these weather events for all New Yorkers. To my workforce, you're doing an amazing job. Please keep it up.