NYC blizzard: Travel ban issued, exterior subways to shut down

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency on Saturday, making New York the eleventh state to do so.

Mayor de Blasio's $82.1 billion preliminary budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes money for new initiatives like emergency services to speed up ambulance response times, security at parks, and a new Staten Island ferry.

"Plows just can't keep up with this snow", Cuomo said as he initiated the ban, which began at 2:30 p.m. The Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road will also shut down at 4 p.m.

"We as New York City have to protect ourselves". "We will do it in an orderly way so people have time to leave work and to get home".

Subways will continue to run, according to MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Pendergast.

He says there are no plans to shut down mass transit but service may be curtailed.

By Friday night, parts of Kentucky, the Virginias and North Carolina had already received well over a foot of snow, while more than a half a foot had fallen in some areas of Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee.

"Even as we have economic growth too many people are struggling to make ends meet", Blasio said.

The administration also seeks a $15 minimum wage for all city employees and contracted social service workers, a move which would ultimately cost $115 million once fully implemented.

"We're loving it. We definitely want to come back", said Michelle Jones, 46, a mortgage company controller who had tickets to see "The Phantom of Opera" with her daughter.

"This is an emergency situation", the mayor said. "Do everything you need to do today so you can stay off the roads tomorrow", de Blasio said Friday.

In York County, they will have three snow blowers, two graders with benching wings and v-plows all staged around the county, said PennDOT's Mike Martin. The MTA is storing 300 trains - or about 3,000 subway cars - underground, enough to fill 31 miles of express tracks, while the storm rages outside, officials said.

"I am nervous on roads that are snowy and icy, so I felt like everyone needs to get home and be safe, it's all good", ticket holder Margo Zimmerman said. Additional information from the Governor's earlier briefings is available here.

New York City bridges and tunnels to close due to snow
Cuomo announced the state of emergency in several TV appearances Saturday morning and planned a briefing at his Manhattan office. MTA Transit Authority President Ronnie Hakim said service at above-ground New York City subway stations would also end at 4 p.m.