City streets were a ghost town and all buses and the above ground sections of the subway were suspended Saturday afternoon as the city was blanketed by what officials warned could amount to 30 inches of snow.
The MTA halted all bus service at noon, and all outdoor stations of the subway were slated to end by 4 p.m. to ward off hazards from icing on the third rail.
Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency Saturday morning amid a snow forecast that continued to climb as forecasters warned of a possible storm surge.
“Go home, stay home,” the mayor said at a press conference Saturday morning, as he updated the city on the first winter storm of 2016.
A full travel ban on the roads “literally means except for emergency vehicles and authorized” people, all other travel on roads is banned,” de Blasio said, adding that anyone not authorized to be on the roads would be subject to arrest, and their car would be towed.
The Port Authority shut down George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Bayonne Bridge, Goethals Bridge and Outer bridge Crossing at 2:30 p.m., saying they wouldn’t reopen until ‘conditions permit.’
Five ambulances got stuck in the snow overnight Friday and there had been more than 200 car crashes since the storm began, officials said.
The National Weather Service issued a coastal flood advisory from 5 p.m. until midnight Sunday for low-lying neighborhoods along the water.
Residents can expect “minor to locally moderate coastal impacts,” they said. The next high tide begins at around 7 p.m. at different coastal parts of the city.
“Public safety is paramount,” MTA New York City Transit President Veronique Hakim said at the afternoon press conference.
“Unless there is an emergency situation or a critical need, you should not be on the road,” Cuomo said. “They are incredibly dangerous.”
All flights out of John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport have been canceled, Cuomo said.
Of the few people who were outside, some were trying to make the best of the atrocious conditions.
UBER driver Quincey Lyken, of Crown Heights, said working today was obviously impossible. Instead, he helped his neighbors shovel their steps.
“They shut down the system so I might as well do this,” he said.