modern city skyscrapers located near snowy park on foggy winter day

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Parks is urging New Yorkers to stay off waterbodies – they may appear frozen, but they are likely not and can be dangerous

Due to today’s severe weather—expected 12-18 inches of snow, wind gusts up to 50 mph, and blizzard-like conditions—NYC Parks is urging New Yorkers to exercise caution around city trees and waterbodies. As the storm recedes, it can be difficult to tell where the ground ends and the water begins—vigilance is strongly advised.

Ice Safety
New Yorkers should never venture out onto waterbodies that appear frozen; they are likely not and are unsafe.To warn park visitors of the dangers of thin ice, NYC Parks posts warning signs around waterbody perimeters in all five boroughs. Additionally, for trained personnel use only, special red ladders are installed around the edges in the event of an emergency.

Parks is urging New Yorkers to follow the four Ice Safety Tips:

  • Never go on water bodies that appear frozen.
  • Parents and caregivers should make sure children are never unattended near iced-over waterbodies.
  • If you hear the ice cracking, lie down immediately to distribute your weight.
  • If you witness someone falling through ice, call 911 immediately – never attempt to make a rescue by yourself. Be sure to give the exact location and an account of the incident.

Tree Conditions
During storms, trees and limbs may become weakened and can fall. Exercise caution under and around trees during stormy weather.

How to report tree damage:

  • To report a downed or damaged tree, submit a service request by visiting 3-1-1 online.
  • Call 911 if there is a life-threatening emergency, or to report damaged electrical utilities and power outages.

When reporting tree damage, please make sure to include the location and a description of the size of the tree or branch. In addition, please include the following details:

  • Is the fallen tree blocking a road? Fully or partially?
  • Has it fallen on or is it touching utility wires?
  • Has it fallen onto a house or other building? Is the building damaged?
  • Has it fallen onto a car or other vehicle?
  • Is the tree split, either vertically or horizontally, but still standing? Is the tree uprooted or leaning noticeably?
  • Is tree debris blocking a sidewalk? Fully or partially?

To assist in the City’s snow clearing response, Parks has activated over 1100 staff, 360 vehicles, including over 150 with plows and salt spreaders, and close to 200 pieces of equipment, including 145 snow blowers and brushes, for snow removal operations. If snow accumulates, Parks will support DSNY’s street plowing operation by lending 44 plows and operators. Parks has more than 2,000 miles of pathways across the city and prioritizes snow removal at commuter hubs, areas surrounding schools (Jointly Operated Playgrounds), park perimeters, and park interior pathways and ‘through park’ greenway.

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