New York City Sanitation Crews Prepare For Incoming Ice Storm

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Tri-State Area is bracing for another blast of wintry weather.

It’s all part of a massive system that is bringing snow from Texas to Maine.

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The Midwest is already in a deep freeze, with arctic air being felt all the way to the Gulf Coast.

Closer to home, ice could be a big problem starting Monday night.

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Sanitation crews are getting ready.

As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reports, crews at the 55th Street salt shed have already done a ton of preparation, salting miles of roads overnight.

Duddridge got a closeup look at how they prepare.

“That’s calcium chloride, which we pretreat this salt with before it goes on the ground, which helps us keep that mushiness – especially in cold conditions,” said Assistant Chief Keith Mellis of the New York City Department Of Sanitation.

That slushy consistency is what the Department of Sanitation is working to achieve, as it’s safer for driving than slick, icy roads.

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A winter weather advisory is already in effect for much of the Tri-State Area, and an ice storm warning is on for Monday night.

“When we know it’s going to be all snow, we have the opportunity to change the way we go out and pretreat,” said Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson. “With ice you really have to go out and get some of the critical places first.”

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Power companies such as Con Ed and JCP&L say ice buildup can weigh down trees and power lines and cause widespread power issues, so they’re also out inspecting equipment and have extra crews to respond to outages.

Ice can also make for very dangerous conditions on the roads.

“I just stay at home. I don’t even go out,” one driver said.

“Stay slow. Take your time,” said another.

Meanwhile, if you’ve noticed some garbage piling up around New York City, it’s because sanitation crews have been working overtime for more than two weeks clearing almost two feet of snow.

“All we are asking New Yorkers for is to be patient, because those same men and women fighting the snow are the same and women who come out and pick up the garbage,” Grayson said.

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Sanitation crews say the pandemic actually made it easier to respond to our most recent storms, with more people staying in and less people on the roads. They say it would really help them get their work done if you try not to travel Monday night and Tuesday morning.

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