YONKERS, N.Y. – Nemo has found Yonkers.
The much-anticipated storm with the Disney name rolled into the city Friday, bringing with it freezing rain that quickly turned into piles of wet snow.
City crews were out in full force early in the day, trying to clear streets that quickly turned sloppy and slick. Much of the city was shut down by noon as businesses closed early and residents hurried home to beat the worst of the storm.
By mid-afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had declared a state of emergency and Con Edison began mobilizing hundreds of company crews and out-of-state personnel to respond to any outages caused by the strong nor’easter.
“This is a serious, severe winter storm,” Cuomo said in a news conference from his Manhattan headquarters.
Forecasters were calling for heavy snow overnight, predicting wind gusts as high as 38 miles per hour and six to 10 inches of snow. In anticipation, Metro-North began reducing its train service after 8 p.m. Friday and Yonkers Public Schools canceled all weekend activities.
Around the city, a number of activities were canceled Friday and plenty more were scrapped for Saturday as well. Government officials and weather forecasters alike urged residents to stay home.
“I urge all our residents to avoid unnecessary travel, and exercise caution if they do have to drive,” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said.
But there is good news.
Saturday is expected to bring some relief as the first major storm of 2013 blows out of the area. While a blizzard warning will remain in effect for the area until 1 p.m., the National Weather Service says it will likely be mostly sunny with a high near 30; less than an inch of additional snow is expected.
Eric Marden, manager at Marden Hardware on Yonkers Avenue, said Thursday he expects his store to see big crowds Saturday as residents begin to dig themselves out of the mess Nemo leaves behind.
“A lot of people don’t believe it till they see it,” he said.
As for next week, forecasters say residents will get a break, as temperatures are expected to top out in the mid-40s.