NEW YORK -- Thousands of sanitation workers prepared to salt city streets and airlines preemptively canceled flights Sunday as New Yorkers braced for a winter storm expected to bring up to a foot of snow to Manhattan.
Up to 8-12 inches of snow was projected by Monday morning in Manhattan and between 10 and 14 inches in suburban Long Island, the National Weather Service said. A storm warning was in effect until 6 p.m. Monday for the metropolitan region, and wind gusts could near 35 mph, said meteorologist John Murray.
The city will have 1,300 sanitation workers spreading salt and plowing streets by 7 p.m. Sunday, and more than 2,500 on duty on Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. More than 100,000 tons of salt will be on hand.
"It's the first of March, which as you know is the month that we say comes in like a lion and out like a lamb," the mayor said Sunday. "It's pretty clear that the lions are getting ready to
By Sunday evening, airlines had already canceled hundreds of flights at the region's major airports, said Jennifer Friedberg, a spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Newark Liberty International Airport led the list with 300 cancellations by about 8 p.m.
The region's major bus carriers, Greyhound and Peter Pan, had canceled all trips after midnight, she said.
It was likely to be the largest storm of the year, said city Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, who warned that commuters should plan for complications.
"It's going to be a difficult morning for public transportation. We're going to be making every effort to have the roadways open," he said.
The storm was expected to travel up the Hudson Valley as it moved northeast. The weather service issued a storm warning for Dutchess County from 10 p.m. Sunday into Monday night, predicting winds up to 25 mph and eight to 12 inches of snow.
High winds were also forecast for the greater Albany area, with up to seven inches of snow overnight and Monday.
The storm was traveling north from the Southeast, where Alabama was first up for a rare white blanketing. Most roads there were clear, but snowfall totals ranging from 1 to 4 inches forced more than 210 churches in central Alabama to cancel morning services as a precaution.