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Queens Chronicle

National Weather Service issues blizzard warning for Queens

Blizzard conditions possible Friday night

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Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013 2:08 pm | Updated: 4:21 pm, Thu Feb 7, 2013.

It's the height of winter. and this weekend Queens will experience all it has to offer.

A possible blizzard is forecast for the New York area Friday night into Saturday.

A blizzard warning has been issued for the city, coastal New Jersey and Nassau County for the possibility of 10 to 14 inches of snow beginning Friday morning and ending midday Saturday.

Forecasts calls for the storm to start as some light snow and rain during the day Friday, but quickly change to all snow Friday night as two storm systems — one from Canada and another heading north along the Atlantic coast — combine off Long Island. The snow could be extremely heavy overnight Friday into Saturday. 

The Department of Sanitation has issued a "Snow Alert" in preparation for the storm. Sanitation crews were in the process of loading 365 salt spreaders, attaching plows to garbage trucks, preparing tire chains and notifying supplementary personnel. The crews will be working 12-hour shifts for 24-hour coverage beginning today through the storm. 

The city's Office of Emergency Management and Department of Transportation will facilitate snow-removal protocol on city streets including being sure snow emergency routes are clear for plows to come through.

What the snow doesn't cripple, the winds may. Gusts as high as 60 mph are expected, which could create blizzard conditions and cause significant drifting of snow. 

In a statement released Thursday, the Department of Buildings is asking developers to prepare for the possibility of high winds. 

"In preparation for the inclement weather, the DOB is reminding all property owners and contractors to secure their construction sites and buildings. If construction sites are not safely secured in preparation for the expected conditions, the department will take enforcement action with the issuance of violations and stop work orders if necessary," the statement reads. "These gusts of wind may reach higher wind speeds than forecast, depending on the area of New York City. Property owners must consider the safety of their buildings and construction sites, cranes, suspended and supported scaffolding, and any other building appurtenances that may come loose during the snowfall and wind gusts. Structures that have been subject to deferred maintenance or in delicate condition could be at greater risk."

The winds could also cause damage to trees and utility poles that could still be weakened by Hurricane Sandy. 

The storm could also bring coastal flooding to some areas hard hit by Sandy, such as Breezy Point or Broad Channel, although with the new moon on Sunday, the tides Friday night and Saturday will be at some of the lowest levels of the month. The opposite situation occurred during Sandy, when the moon was full, which typically creates higher tides. 

The storm is expected to affect a wide swath of the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. More than two feet of snow could fall in the suburbs of Boston. 

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