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What will it take to stay ahead of the nor’easter? In New York, nearly half a million tons of salt

As a major late-season snowstorm bears down on the Northeast, state and local officials are ramping up preparations and offering residents tips on how to stay safe.

From Monday night into Wednesday, the nor’easter will unload feet of snow and trigger blizzard conditions across several states. Mid-Atlantic and New England coastal areas that don't receive heavy snow will face a threat of powerful winds and coastal flooding.

“We’re preparing for a significant storm on Tuesday, and New Yorkers should also prepare for snow and dangerous road conditions,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Besides the snow, it will be cold. We urge you to avoid unnecessary travel and help keep roads clear for sanitation crews and first responders.”

New York City public schools will be closed on Tuesday and many other school districts across the region will likely follow suit.


(Photo/Virginia Department of Transportation)

Airlines have already begun to cancel flights through Tuesday, while waiving fees for passengers who need to change flights. According to FlightStats, more than 1,400 flights have been canceled across the country.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that his state is stockpiling sandbags, generators and pumps and will deploy them and additional personnel as needed.

The New York Department of Transportation has more than 443,000 tons of road salt on hand, along with 1,600 large plow trucks and 200 medium-sized plow trucks.


A reporters films salt ready for use on the streets during snow storms in New York, Sunday, March 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

“We are closely monitoring this storm as it develops, and I am directing all state agencies to be on alert and ready to respond as the weather develops,” said Cuomo.

Cities such as Hoboken, New Jersey, have already declared snow emergencies, which prohibit residents from parking their cars on snow routes used by plow trucks.

The Philadelphia Streets Department began limited brining operations on Sunday and announced it is converting sanitation trucks to be used for plowing. Once the snow begins, crews will begin salting, before switching over to plowing operations.

Officials said the city has more than 50,000 tons of salt at the ready and that they are expecting a full deployment of vehicles.

Washington, D.C., will have more than 200 plows treating the roads beginning by 7 p.m. EDT Monday. The city's Department of Public Works and District Department of Transportation began pretreating streets with a mix of brine and beet juice on Sunday. The brine and beet juice mixture helps to slow ice forming on roads.

“The DC Government is utilizing every resource to prepare for forecasted snowfall in the coming days,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We urge residents to continue monitoring weather updates and to take necessary precautions in the event we experience significant snow accumulation Monday night into Tuesday morning.”

This storm is expected to be one of the biggest March snowstorms in recent memory for the Northeast. Most of its impacts will come one day after the anniversary of the Blizzard of ’93, which claimed hundreds of lives and shut down travel in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City for days.

"New York City's Central Park has not recorded more than 10 inches of snow from one storm in March since the 1993 Storm of the Century," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.