The Bronx Prepares for a Blizzard


The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Bronx County beginning at 10 p.m. today  to 6 a.m. Thursday. Heavy wet snow and winds with gusts up to 40 mph are predicted. The Bronx Ink staff has contacted various community service providers to find out how they are preparing for the storm and if any of their services have been interrupted.

Funeral Homes and Cemeteries

Residents Miles Davis and J.C. Penney may not  mind a blanket of snow, and neither will the staff at historic Woodlawn Cemetery.

“It doesn’t affect us at all,”  historian Susan Olsen said. “Traditionally we bury no matter what.” During very bad storms, Woodlawn sometimes holds bodies if the family cannot make it out to the cemetery or crematorium, or if hearses can’t drive because of weather conditions.

One internment is planned for tomorrow, and so far, it’s still on. Staff will arrive “incredibly early” to start plowing to ensure family members can access the gravesite.

“It’s the safety of the living that’s our biggest issue,”  Olsen said.

Schools and Universities

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that all city schools will be closed Wednesday in anticipation of the coming storm. Other city services, like  those for seniors citizens, will be available through Wednesday — although they may be limited.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine had not made a decision as of 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, however Lehman College, a CUNY school, will be open Wednesday with other CUNY campuses.

Fordham University is closing all campuses Wednesday, as well as canceling all day and evening classes. Sydney Steinhardt, assistant communications director, said  the university was dealing with the snow “with hats and gloves and boots.”

Senior Centers and Meal Providers

The two meal providers in the Bronx — Mid Bronx Senior Council and Rain Bailey Senior Center — delivered extra meals to seniors Tuesday in hopes of holding them over through Thursday and possibly Friday, according to Christopher Miller, spokesman for the Department of Aging,

Miller said seniors also receive emergency tacks, or meals, throughout the year to provide extra food during storms.

“Senior Centers will be open Wednesday to provide meals for seniors who regularly receive meals at those centers,” Miller said. “Providers are being asked to pack extra meals for the seniors to take home.”

Miller said he did not know if senior centers would be open Thursday, adding that  seniors may call 311 for information and  911 for help.

Homeless Services

Between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. today, the Coalition for the Homeless will maintain a normal schedule  and deliver about 900 meals to the homeless in Manhattan and the South Bronx. Patrick Markee, the coalition’s  senior policy analyst, said standard storm preparation includes distribution of  hats, gloves and blankets, along with information on how to  get to a shelter.

Staffers at the Siena House,  a shelter for homeless, single mothers and children, have already assigned people to shovel paths from the doors and have double checked their salt supply so they’ll be able to provide safe entrances and exits. “We put up little notices telling them to be careful,” Sister Mary Doris said.

Doris said staff have also made sure they have plenty of food supplies for dinner and that the boiler is running correctly.

The shelter at 85 West 168th Street has three vacancies right now, but she said she wasn’t sure if the city would send people to fill those vacancies.  POTS, a soup kitchen at 2763 Webster Ave.,  will be open Wednesday, a spokesperson said.


The Jacobi Medical Center is reviewing its patients’ conditions to determine if any can be released tonight before the storm comes. But as a major trauma center, the hospital confirmed it would be open for business tomorrow no matter what.

“The most common snow-related injuries the emergency room sees result from car accidents, and from people hurting themselves shoveling snow or slipping on icy streets,” said Hannah Nelson, a hospital spokeswoman. “Most people cancel elective surgery.”

The medical center is also making preparations to make sure supplies are on hand in case deliveries are delayed tomorrow. As for staff members, the hospital is making sure everyone has a place to stay so that they will be available should emergencies arise.

A nurse at Montefiore Hospitals said every hospital has a specific emergency plan in case of extreme weather situations but that the hospital will follow its  work routine, as officials  do not expect to be severely affected by the snow.


Nasty weather is good business for cab companies. As more news about the storm rolled in Tuesday afternoon, those at Super Class Car Service paid attention, trying to figure out the drivers’ schedule for the day and whether the drivers should raise rates  because of the snow.

“Some drivers tend to charge more when the weather is bad,” said Genesis Reyes, the company’s secretary. But Super Class plans on making its drivers keep their normal rates this time.

Mega Radio Dispatcher, a Bronx-based car service bought a few bags of salt, but spokeswoman Cynthia Regalado said the drivers know how to handle the snow. “They’re all from here, either the Bronx or Manhattan,” she said. “They’re used to it, but they don’t like it. They don’t like it because they have to slow down. They can’t drive like they usually do.”

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