tv News Nation MSNBC January 27, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST
good morning. i am tamron hall. this is "newsnation." we are following the dangerous winter storm that's still slamming much of the northeast and right now new england is bracing for even more snow and blizzard like conditions. emergency declarations remain in effect in at least eight separate states. among the areas bearing the brunt of the storm, new york's long island where some towns were buried under almost 17 inches of snow this morning and snow is still steadily falling. and most of massachusetts, which is expected to see two to three feet of snow by the end of the day. near whiteout conditions are expected to last all day. a statewide travel ban remains in effect and there have been power outages, including nantucket, where most of the island is now in the dark. in boston streets are virtually empty, except for the snowplows.
and overnight, a storm surge had surge up to 30 feet. wind gusts reached nearly 80 miles per hour. you can see conditions are still pretty dangerous. this is a peek at plymouth. a travel ban is in effect for the counties in connecticut where between 12 and 18 inches of snow fell there. meanwhile, in new york after the city of 8 million was brought to a virtual stand still, travel bans have been lifted but you would be hard pressed to find traditional new york traffic that we all know and really don't love but we know it well. most train service and subways are back up and running but on a very limited schedule. it is like waking a sleeping giant today in new york. for more on what we can expect in the next 24 hours, let's get to our meteorologist, bill karins. start with new york and work our way up to where the more serious trends you're following now in the weather. >> in new york people are starting to venture outside,
realizing it is safe to do that now. low wind chills greet you in the teen range with light snow still falling, it looks more pretty than anything else. this is not the dangerous side of the storm. new york city was on the far western edge of the storm, did get 8 inches in central park 11 at laguardia. and out of long island 18 inches. wasn't a miss of the forecast by much 25 miles, 30 miles made the difference for new york city. philadelphia were worse than new york city, were expecting 8 to 10 only picked up two inches. those areas did better than expected. that forecast if you want to give it a grade, give that a d. but anywhere from central connecticut out through cape cod, up through all of massachusetts and coastal maine, this forecast is spot on. the timing has been on impacts have been on. the only impact is less than expected was the power outages. still losing all of nantucket is big and trying to evacuate long
island in this weather is dangerous, that's an interesting situation. the rest of the power outage in 20 to 40,000 person range is probably lower than expected. one of the reasons why, the storm was a little further off the coast. if that happens, it means more cold air is able to come from canada. instead of being a heavy, wet snow, it was a light, fluffy snow. it doesn't stick to power lines and trees, doesn't add weight. when the wind blows it doesn't add weight to the trees. that's one of the reason we saw less power outages. another reason is this area the storm hit is probably one of the most storm tested regions of the country when you talk about hurricanes. winter storms two or three a season. that's one reason we didn't have extreme power outages. that's great. that was one of my biggest concerns was the dangers of that. i will say we are 80% done with the storm. heard a report 30 inches in framing
framingham, massachusetts. that's the leader on the board. a lot of other areas are around that two foot mark. that didn't disappoint. i think boston has until 4:00 p.m. to get another couple inches. boston is at 18 inches. not a disappointment for them about exactly what we were forecasting. >> bill, thank you. speaking of boston and what's happening in massachusetts, that travel ban remains in effect for the entire state. in the past few hours, massachusetts governor charlie baker had this strong warning for any essential drivers. >> there are people getting out of their vehicles on interstates to clean off their windshields. not a good idea. i think we prefer people if you need to clean the windshield to get off the road before you do that. the other is passing plows. that's a relatively dangerous activity and i think we would ask people to simply be patient. >> obviously that was a warning for those driving who are not
essential to cleaning up some of the snow and conditions on the ground. with me now, nbc's chris pallone in boston common where the streets are just about desolate. we see plenty of snow still coming down. bill karins saying framingham had 30 inches boston 18 inches so far. >> reporter: yeah, tamron just when i think it is starting to taper off, it starts to fire up again. that's consistent with what bill was saying in these bands of snow that are radiating out off the storm out over the ocean here. even though we see some of the snow slow down on boston common it does tend to intensify a bit. we're not out of the woods yet as snow continues to fall. the thing about it is the winds are so high here this morning that there's a lot of drifting. even though there may be a foot and a half of snow here in some places up to my thigh. let me show you the common and
what's going on now. we have folks out and about, walking around today, but it is still pretty quiet out here on the common as most people are just kind of hunkering down at home taking the day off. of course mandatory travel ban keeps most people inside. but those who are curious and enjoy the snow are coming to boston common. we have seen some cross-country skiers even people with snow shoes out here today. that's probably the most appropriate type of footwear. snowplow doing a good job keeping this plowed on boston common because so many people use it as a cross through to get to different parts of the city. like you said accumulations in massachusetts range from anywhere just a few inches from a foot up to we have seen measurements of 30 inches and they continue going up. we are keeping an eye on coastal flooding and high winds that hit the coastline. >> we will talk about that coastal flooding later, quite a
problem there to keep an eye on. thank you very much chris, on boston common. a blizzard warning still in effect in parts of long island. some areas reporting 18 inches of snow there. adam reese is in plainview, long island, not far from where we've seen the most significant snow. what are you seeing for the few that venture out adam? >> reporter: tamron good morning. very few out here like a ghost town. 33 miles east of new york city. you can see the difference. the snow is still coming down still whipping about. wind speed is not as much as say an hour ago, but still coming down. you see the snow drift here almost up to my knee. over here my friend mike still trying to get his car out from the parking lot at the hotel. just beyond that if you look over to the long island expressway considered by some to be the world's biggest parking lot, it is completely virtually empty today. people are staying home heeding
the advice of the governor. they're hunkered down. suffolk county executive is still concerned about the situation. roads that have not been plowed. he is going to seek help from the governor and see if the national guard can come out here and help plow some of the roads. we are still concerned about power lines being down trees down. there's still some very serious safety issues. if you can, stay home don't venture outside. if you need to shovel the walk be very careful. use your knees, don't use your back. push don't lift. try to stay careful out here. it is still a dangerous situation, tamron. >> adam thank you very much. as mentioned, new york city is coming back to life this morning after effectively shutting down overnight and earlier today. travel ban that was put in place late last night has been lifted. the city spared the worst of the storm with 6 to 8 inches, far lower than the two to three feet forecast. the city's mass transit also
back online operating on a limited schedule. this is the subway stop on 125th street, in harlem opening up a couple hours ago. this morning, new york governor andrew cuomo defended the decision to ban travel and stop subway and bus service in the city. >> we make big decisions based on these weather forecasts. we decided not to close the roads in buffalo several weeks ago. we had seven feet of snow. had people stranded on roads. the system is going to come back online much faster than it would have if the trains were exposed to conditions and they were shoveling out this morning. if you tally it up i don't know that this wasn't the more prudent course of action in any event. >> joining me on the phone, the commissioner of new york city's office of emergency management joseph he is pa seat oh. thank you for joining us. >> pleasure to be here. >> certainly know there will
always be people that say you did the wrong thing, the right thing. nevertheless, when you look at the overall plan if it was executed properly, are you happy with what happened overnight and now? >> yeah very happy. look at the roads, we are doing very good with the roads. i don't think we would have done this well had there been traffic on the road. i know the sanitation commission was very very happy with the call to stop traffic, and i'm kind of happy with it myself. >> we were looking at a live report on long island in plainview, 30 miles from the city. when you look at the massive amount of snow they received compared to what we got in the heart of the city we do know it was just a matter of wind gusts a certain way and new york certainly would have gotten the storm it feared. >> exactly right. i know national weather apologized. i think they have nothing to apologize for. it is not an exact science. they predicted that snow hit new york and what did we miss by. if you look at a map, we missed by a fraction of an inch. i have no problem with national
weather service. >> focus on how you get new york back up and running. i just walked into work earlier this morning, around 4:00 a.m. very few people. now i am seeing taxis, vehicles moving, some of the subways opening up. how do you get new york up and running before the end of the evening if that's the goal? >> well you take baby steps. the roads are back open. trains and buses are coming back but schools are closed. it will look like a sunday or saturday. that's what the city is going to look like the rest of today. but by rush hour tonight, and there will be a mild rush hour nobody really drove into work today, i think we are on the way back. little by little be back i am sure by tonight's rush hour. >> thank you so much for joining us. we greatly appreciate it. best of luck. i know you have a very busy day ahead. >> could have been busier. >> you're right. i love that philosophy. one of the biggest impacts was on air travel. saw 30% of the nation's air flow
through three airports all of which remain shut down. logan airport is also at a ground stand still. all in all, more than 7500 flights have been cancelled. it could take days for the airlines to catch up as a result of the ripple effect. nbc's luke russert is at new york laguardia airport. we know it is quiet there, two days out, airlines were suggesting people change their plans. they were offering to cover the expense of changing flights to get everyone where they needed to be. >> reporter: yes, tamron and i think i'm going to pick up on a point you were making there with the official the official you had on said one of the reasons we get back to speed so quickly is because we did shut down the roads and the subway. what you're seeing here at laguardia is an airport that is a ghost town. it is essentially empty. one of the byproducts is that
sometimes when you see a storm like the one that hit earlier this morning, you'll see these horrific images of hundreds if not thousands of people on cots with lack of food water, lack of ability to charge their phones. there are only about 70 here at laguardia that ended up spending the night. take a look. >> did you spend the night here? >> i did. >> how did that go? >> fairly well you know. just made it work. >> did they give you a cot or anything? >> no. they said there were some but i didn't see any available. so i just chilled in the chair. >> did you spend the night here last night? >> yes. >> how did that go? >> very well. i am tired. >> you see people are trying to make the best of it as can be. as far as when people get out, tamron that's a good question. probably not by tonight, more likely probably mid morning,
afternoon tomorrow. the reason why, it definitely has to do with weather. there's still a weather system in the area. but by banning road travel and by having the subway not running yesterday and part of this morning, there's no personnel here at the airport, no tsa or people behind the counter, no people running the food courts so they need all of those personnel to arrive at the airport before they get flights up and running. that will take a full day at least to do. >> luke thank you very much. appreciate your reporting from laguardia airport in new york. turning to another story we are following, breaking news. senior defense officials tell nbc news that army sergeant bowe bergdahl will be charged with desertion. you remember he was released in may after being held captive by the taliban in afghanistan for five years, after he walked away from his unit. pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski joins us live with the details. mick what can you tell us? >> reporter: senior defense officials say if you look at the
uniform code of military justice and definition of desertion, it talks about abandoning your post because you want to avoid hazardous duty or an important job. now, officials say that would clearly apply to bowe bergdahl who allegedly abandoned his post in afghanistan in june of 2009 was captured by the taliban, eventually turned over to the group hakani network in pakistan. according to officials under the uniform code of military justice, if bergdahl is in fact charged and convicted, if he goes to court-martial, he could serve up to five years in a military prison. however, we are told that military officials are already leaning toward the idea of giving bergdahl credit for five years that he spent in captivity. and in addition some officials believe that bergdahl may be able to avoid court-martial or trial at all because once he is
charged apparently he would have the opportunity to seek a less than honorable discharge. under that if he is granted that, he would lose some $300,000 in back pay and bonuses, be busted back from sergeant to his original rank of private at least, but he would avoid court-martial and possibility of imprisonment. i can tell you that the sense here in this building among dod and military officials is that they believe that bergdahl must be held accountable for what he did. this is much more serious than awol absent without leave, because he abandoned that post in the middle of a combat zone potentially putting other soldiers at risk. the sense is that nobody believes he should serve any extended time in prison. in interviews, during reintegration process, we are told the feeling was that bowe
bergdahl is pretty much harmless, has no intent toward or against the u.s. military or the united states, and according to one senior official in the building he's a kid who simply made a bad decision tamron. >> jim miklaszewski with details on that breaking news of bowe bergdahl now being charged. we will have more on that. up next more video and images from areas hit hardest by the blizzard including plymouth massachusetts, where one resident says they're experiencing the worst flooding in 15 years. we will get a live report on the ground there for you. and on msnbc.com, we are gathering the compelling pictures of the blizzard that you're sending in on social media. we are asking you use #blizzard2015, and join our conversation online. the "newsnation" team or find me on facebook twitter and instagram under my name.
boston towns are getting hammered by the blizzard. coastal areas slammed with more than 70 miles per hour wind gusts and flooding becoming a real problem. in marshville the ocean slammed into a sea wall with a huge wave coming up. one resident told nbc news there's about four feet of water in front of his house, the worst he is seen in years. several people have been forced to evacuate. similar scene in plymouth the ocean crashing over the wall. weather channel mike seidel has been there all night. this is what he was dealing with while having a live report massive wind gusts and snow blowing sideways mike is here from plymouth still dealing with whipping winds. >> reporter: this is what happens when you combine 18
inches of snow and wind gusts over 60 miles per hour in plymouth, just off the harbor. huge drifts covering the entire front yard of the east bay grill. in the foreground you can see the lack of snow. that's partly due to the way the wind swirls it around but also the fact that at high tide this morning between 4:30 and 5:30 the water was in here for an hour came out of plymouth harbor rolled in here this whole area was underwater for about an hour. now the water has backed off. but we have another high tide in store later this afternoon. in fact the national weather service has another coastal flood warning between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. we are watching the same communities, plum island, scituate marshfield they had evacuations and out on nantucket. the wind direction will be more north, northwest, the surge shouldn't be as high two to four feet versus what we had this morning of three, four feet
of surge as that water came in. the rest of the afternoon the winds will be howling. we still have snow flying through the skies. we may pick up several more inches on the south shore. temperatures are cold, low 20s. wind chills in the single numbers. after sundown, winds will ramp down. tomorrow wednesday, a much more tranquil day, snow moves out. it will be chilly but we have sunshine here in eastern massachusetts. i am weather channel meteorologist mike seidel in plymouth. >> thank you mike. up next what is it like to drive in new york city with the transition ban now called off? and we will have the latest information on the timetable officials have in place to awaken the city get the trains back up and running, buses and things back to normal as normal as they can before tomorrow. also, keeping an eye on some of the front pages out there today. in new york, the headline of the poughkeepsie journal, when will
welcome back. this image just in from nooa showing the peak of intensity as it moved over new york and boston. this was taken before 2:00 this morning. quite a shot there. back to new york city which narrowly escaped the brunt of the city. the city slowly coming back to life hours after the travel ban was lifted. nbc's jane timm is at new york city city hall where the mayor bill de blasio is expected to give an update on the clean uch efforts and when they hope to have everything back up and running. what have they told you? >> reporter: the snow is still
falling, but the city is seen bouncing back. the subways are open bridges are open, people are coming in and out. definitely less people than you normally see this time of day, but streets and sidewalks are largely clear. still a lot of sand like these chunks of sand all over the sidewalk. see kids playing with it. that's remnants of the sanitation department taking down many inches of snow. they had 50,000 pounds of salt on hand to melt as much of it as possible. early this morning was still quite a lot when we came out about ten hours ago. by now, you're driving and you're driving on the street not driving on snow any more. >> all right, thank you so much. greatly appreciate it. new york city may have only received a few inches but what about the city with 29 inches of snow? who is holding on to that number now? up next we go there live and check in with meteorologist bill karins for the latest on this
storm, he is tracking what will conditions be like later this evening and tomorrow. and the blizzard is the talk of social media with hundreds of thousands of mentions. i believe around 230,000 mentions using the #blizzard2015 this morning. here are some of the best pictures from around the region. we will be right back.
welcome back. we know massachusetts is seeing a ton of snow right now, but the town that's gotten probably far more than they expected, shrewsberry. they got more than 29 inches. town manager says it is the most snow he's seen in 20 years. daniel joins us by phone. good to talk to you, daniel. i cannot see you, good to talk to you. tell me a little about what you're seeing out your window? >> right now it is still blowing around.
seems to have lightened up a bit. really can't tell a lot about how much is coming down how much is drifting. it is extremely light. lightest i've seen. as a result it is moving around quite a lot. yien you know, move it off the streets, blows back in getting it cleared away. >> 29 inches we are being told now, just near 30. you may have already passed that at this point. what are conditions like for people there? have you had to evacuate, any power outages? what are some challenges at this point? >> actually it has been just getting it off the roads. folks have been great in the community. not a whole lot of people moving around. as a result we have been able to clear the roads without too much difficulty. the issue is of course duration. we have been out quite awhile everyone is starting to get extremely tired. power outages, had one limited outage overnight. we are a public power community. we have our own crews here. if we have any issues we are
able to get to them right away. >> we pusher you the best of luck. we have heard and seen tweets coming from people in your area, including one that had an adorable cat trapped inside. that's supposed to bring a smile to our faces in the middle of what certainly is not the most pleasant of days. we wish you the best there. thank you so much for joining us. >> great. thank you very much. up next, coverage moves to rhode island where the governor says the worst is not over. some of you are tweeting about rhode island wanting to see more coverage from there, getting nearly three feet of snow, more than 1,000 are without power. get you caught up what's happening in that state as well. and here is the front page of papers across the northeast. boston herald nobody move saying massive emergency response braces for the worst. and newsday, whiteout with a satellite image of the massive storm. and new york post put it simply with the word closed. we will be back with more coverage of blizzard 2015.
we continue to follow the storm moving across new england with blizzard like conditions. eight states remain under emergency declarations. statewide travel ban remains in effect for the state in all but two counties in connecticut. massachusetts could see up to three feet of snow by tomorrow. the near whiteout conditions are also expected to last there through the day, along with parts of rhode island new hampshire, and maine. let's go back to meteorologist bill karins standing in rockefeller plaza in new york but watching it all from that location. >> yes. >> bill, we were talking to one of the city officials from shrewsbury massachusetts thrks he were at 29 30 inches. >> no disappointment there. talking about historic one of the highest totals in that area. you get a picture there. the tourists are back out, got the word new york city is open.
friends from brazil and they're more fascinated than anything else with the snow. obviously wanted to see the big blizzard, but they're not complaining too much about getting around and out of hotel rooms today. couple things that are interesting. the cameraman's van was hit by a chunk of ice falling off the buildings. around new york city that's a concern with storms like this the storm is up there, sticks to roofs, and start to melt as the buildings heat up through the day, and ice falls. that's a known hazard after a storm like this. hopefully not too big of chunks. between the last time i was with you, i ran inside wanted to do analysis of where the storm was forecasted to be and where it actually was to get a -- i was estimating 25 to 50 miles. if we have the weather 2 computer up the forecast you're looking at here with snowfall and the l on the left that was position of the storm we were supposed to have this morning. that was yesterday morning's forecast. the position of the l to the
right is where the storm actually passed. it was about 50 to 75 miles east of where our best typically the best computer model had it. that's one of the biggest reasons the forecast busted for new york city, philadelphia, and albany areas. it is only a little difference but such a sharp snow gradient on the back edge that shift caused new york city not to get 18 to 24 inches that was possible. >> i know you said busted forecast, but in reality as you pointed out, there were a number of models the city was prepared, and these things you cannot control. you can only read models and give us information. sometimes it is spot on, other days it is not. you said people were excited to see the blizzard, i don't understand that sensation. i don't know the excitement of wanting, after living in chicago, the excitement of a blizzard doesn't get me going. >> people that haven't seen snow
have a fascination. there's a difference between being in a car rescued and being in a hotel room. that's what i meant by the excitement. kind of more fascinated. you talk about the forecast information and how we do that a lot of people say well if you only have forecast models telling you what to do why do we need weather people. >> who is saying that. no one is saying that. >> what you have to understand, you put it in a blender. we look at the numbers, we actually have to learn which computers are better in certain situations than others which are more accurate and take our own personal experience and one we busted before and that's how we come up with the forecast. that's why some forecasters are better than others. it is a constant game trying to improve. >> in reality what you guys do not just because we are here talking, you save lives, you give people warning and do the best you can. we have seen in many cases lives saved as a result of accurate forecasts. hopefully in the future this
time wasn't spot on for new york city, but next time could be the most severe storm you've seen and you need to know. >> and storm like this in the 1800s, no one would have known it was coming. >> absolutely. thank you very much. you should give out snow globes. then they can experience the blizzard. we have some in the gift shop. >> blizzard of 2015. >> as mentioned, not so bad in new york city but in rhode island people are dealing with more serious conditions. providence rhode island they are struggling to keep up with the snow. the picture we saw in new york look at providence. that's not good. more than a foot of snow is on the ground in several towns with the worst expected this afternoon. again, one image from new york this is what's happening in providence, rhode island. officials say the biggest challenge is blowing and drifting snow. wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour expected later today. could make the situation even more dire.
crews have been working nonstop since 7:30 last night. joining me from providence weather channel meteorologist chris warren. >> reporter: here in providence rhode island the snow is still coming down and the plows still out working. they are doing an enormous task here, more than 100 are out in providence. interstate 95 is down below. even the side streets are a monumental task. this is a lot of drifting snow and once they come through here and plow this it is just a matter of minutes, sometimes ten minutes later before this. all of this is drifting snow coming up trying to find the curb. so they have to keep going by. they have to first off go by more than a couple times, more than they normally do when you don't have drifts then they have to come back sometimes ten minutes later. we've seen this develop, and if you tell the story of the
parking lot here this parking lot is full of utility trucks. and these trucks here were not here yesterday. yesterday in the morning this was full of just regular pedestrian cars, people that work. the evening commute started at 2:30 in the afternoon. by 7:00 there were one or two cars left. then the utility trucks started showing up. and by midnight there were 13 trucks. then this morning there were about 30 and these trucks came all the way from south carolina because with millions of people threaten to lose power, they're here to make sure the lights stay on. i am meteorologist chris warren in providence rhode island back to you. >> thank you very much. we have pictures of the dramatic scene on new york's long island as suffolk county police sent out military grade humvees to help stranded drivers struggling to get home on long island expressway as heavy snow fell
there. police happened on a driver who slid off the road. it took some time they eventually got him going again. that's a scary sight. heavy snow continues to fall on long island particularly in sufficient observing county at the east end of the island. snow more than two feet deep in some areas. winds continue to gust up to 50 miles per hour. and blizzard warning remains in effect. joining me live by phone, executive steve balown. that humvee one of the rescues taking place there. pretty rough conditions there for you guys. >> no question about it. we have been traveling on the long island expressway and we shoveled out a new york city police officer returning home from late night shift, and that's why we have been emphasizing to people the
importance of staying off the roads. it is very treacherous, dangerous out here even though the travel ban was lifted earlier today, the governor and all of us at the local level are urging people to let us do our work, clear that roadway so we can get people back to normal as soon as possible. >> thankfully at least so far we have not heard of confirmed fatalities at this point, despite some people still being willing to venture out with a travel ban when it was in place. talk to me about what kind of manpower you have to clear the streets. >> we have crews operating across the county at all levels of government state, county, town and village crews out there. thousands of pieces of equipment on the roadways. and what we have been talking about with the governor he has been terrific about reallocating assets where they're needed. while much of the rest of the down state region in new york dodged a bullet, we were hit in
suffolk county and we are putting resources to hardest-hit areas. >> the trees, old historic trees there. any power outages, that's often what happens in this type of snow. what are you dealing with? >> it was one of the biggest concerns coming into the storm. they did an outstanding job. we have only scattered outages here. very happy about that given extreme temperatures we are facing that was a big concern. fortunately we have been pretty good in that area so far. >> so far so good in that respect. steve, thank you for joining me. wish you the best of luck as you try to get back to normal. thank you so much. up next we go live to new jersey. the jersey shore, the area hit hard by superstorm sandy where people are thankful they dodged the worst from the blizzard. we'll be right back.
kristen dahlgren joins us live from canton you've been hunkered down with a family and they are getting a break and venturing outside. >> reporter: they are still but it's still coming down here. my little buddy, andrew wanted to give us some idea of how deep the snow is. check it out. he can barely move here. what we've got, we've got the tape measure today and still about 19 inches but i don't think it's all the way down to the ground there. it has been coming down and can you even get out of here andrew? we'll start moving over here. they are having a great time though. >> let me lift you up. >> pass him off. >> reporter: a snow day. i wanted to show you a couple of other things i think we'll be here with andrew's family for quite some time. take a look over here tamron. these are our crew vehicles. we parked last night, it was
pretty clear. it's all the way up to the bumpers here. we're not going nowhere any time soon we're going to have to dig out. if you look over this way, i don't know if you can flip around quick enough that's the way to get around. those are snowmobiles going down the street. still haven't been plowed in quite some time. so even though the electricity is still on and everybody is having a great time it's likely that we and they are going to be stuck here for quite some time. >> good thing they are a nice family and the kid is so adorable. thank you and best of luck to you and everyone in that area as they deal with more snow. i want to bring you back to new york city where the mayor of the city bill de blasio is holding a conference at city hall. >> most parts of the city some some snow happening today, may pick p a few more inches but the worst is past. put simply we got about half as much as what a lot of
projections had been or even under half as much. but again, if you look at eastern queens where i was this morning, some parts eastern queens got 10 inches of snow just literally 18 miles east there were 20 inches of snow. so literally, distance of 18 miles twice as much snow in that part of long island. farther out in suffolk, gotten 25 inches already. so there's no question how serious this how serious it was projected and the kind of precautions that we had to take. the good news is that the people of the city understood how serious the threat was. they took the travel ban seriously and got off the roads after 11:00 p.m. and that allowed the sanitation department to do an extraordinary job.
i spent this morning in different parts of the city. i was out in bay side and howard beach in jamaica center. i was out in staten island and highland boulevard and other parts of staten island. what you saw was an extraordinarily effective response by the sanitation department. and that is in no small measure because people did a great job of getting out of the way and helping sanitation to do what they do so well. they, of course were out all night nonstop and they continue to work intensely to keep clearing the city up and getting us back to normal. just recapping, of course at 7:30 a.m. today, in coordination with the state of new york we lifted the travel ban. staten island ferry was back up immediately at that point. the subway system the mta as you've heard, quickly coming back to life. it will not get to full weekday capacity today. it will be equivalent of a
sunday schedule, which is basically 60% of normal capacity. now, the cleanup, again, under way going well. but it's going to take today and into tomorrow to continue that cleanup. so the reminder to put is even though we didn't see the worst, it's still very cold out there. it's still very slippery. driving around you do need to take precautions. it will be slower. i saw a few accidents along the way as i was driving around this morning. people need to be careful and the farther east you go in the city the more careful you have to be particularly eastern queens again which bore the brunt of what the city experienced. sanitation will be working nonstop. i have said that statistic over and over they have 6,000 miles of roads to cover, same as going from here to los angeles and back. i was gratified to hear some of
the national media putting up -- picking up on that point and recognizing just what a big job our sanitation department our transportation department have to do every day. but sanitation has stuck with it with 2400 pieces of snow clearing equipment out, continuing their 12-hour shifts and they are doing a great job. another update we recognized thankfully that because we did not have intense wind conditions today and because we got a lot less snow after a careful evaluation was done we could go ahead and open up the parks again. that order was given at 11:00 a.m. parks are now open -- >> we're listening to a live update from the mayor of new york city bill de blasio. basically at this point the city is trying to reawaken after shutting down essentially everything in the subway buses and travel ban put in place after 11:00 p.m. has now been lifted. we've got significantly less snow than expected.
that is a good thing. city was prepared for the worst. we'll continue to following breaking news not just in new york but other parts of the country, including new england where they are still dealing with this blizzard. some parts of massachusetts seeing 29 to 30 inches of snow. we'll get you up to date on latest. that does it for this edition of "news nation." up next "andrea mitchell reports."