NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A slow-moving system brought a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain to the Tri-State on Tuesday.
Flakes started to fly during the morning hours, reaching New York City by noontime. The city expects to see 2 to 4 inches of accumulation before the precipitation turns over to sleet and then heavy rain overnight.
The Office of Emergency Management issued a travel advisory from 6 a.m. through midnight, with the Department of Sanitation stationing 700 salt spreaders across the five boroughs with another 1,600 plows standing by.
"We are expecting wintry mix of snow, sleet, and rain that will cause messy travel conditions on Tuesday. We advise New Yorkers to take mass transit where possible, exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking, and allow for extra travel time," OEM Commissioner Joseph Esposito said in a statement. "NYC Emergency Management is working closely with agency partners to coordinate preparations for the upcoming storm."
New York City public schools remained open Tuesday, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said he expects they'll stay open Wednesday, too.
"Schools will be open tomorrow, we know that for sure right now," he said Tuesday afternoon. "We expect warming later on when we get to the end of the evening and going into tomorrow."
Dozens of schools outside the city, however, were closed Tuesday.
"The kids need to be in school. It's the best free babysitting club we have in the world," Bushwick mother Saida Reyes told CBS2's Janelle Burrell. "[But] tomorrow, if the snow is here, there better not be no school, because it's very dangerous, and the children need to stay home."
Watch: Mayor Bill de Blasio Discusses Storm Preps In New York City
Crossing guard Lynelle Simmons agreed.
"It's a big challenge for me with the traffic and the kids," she said.
Pedestrians were taking the slippery conditions in stride.
"It's slippery. It's gonna be slippery. Cause I slipped coming from over there. So it's been a little slippery, so you've got to take your time, walk slowly, look out for where you're stepping at," one woman told CBSN New York's Hazel Sanchez. "Oh yeah, you've got to love it. It's New York."
"It is wonderful. It is something different that we can enjoy with the family. New York, snow, that's something to talk about," another man said.
"It's OK, because this year we didn't have that many snow storms. So, compared to the previous years, this is OK. Not that I love it, not that I hate it, but it's OK. If you're from New York, you get used to it," another man said.
CBS2's Janelle Burrell spoke with people in Brooklyn who said they welcomed the snow.
"I love it, man," said Mike Dupree. "It's all good."
"Finally we got some snow for this winter," a woman added.
"I don't know what everybody complains about," said Michael Heit.
Others were concerned about the evening commute.
"I secured a great parking spot in case I have to leave early and just take the train," said a woman named Mia.
"I leave school around 2:30, but then I go to work, so it takes a while to get home, so I am concerned," Kiara Jean-Jaques said.
Watch: Hempstead Officials Talk Storm Preps On Long Island
On Long Island, Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said officials were on "high alert."
"There is a concern the real issue with this storm will be ice, not snow. It will be more of an ice concern than a plowing concern," she said Tuesday morning. "We urge residents to be very careful of black ice, which his extremely dangerous. It looks like the morning commute was spared, but the evening commute will be the real concern later on today."
Watch: Carolyn Gusoff In Melville, N.Y.
CBSN New York's Carolyn Gusoff spotted numerous crashes on the roads as a result of the slippery conditions. Black ice had already begun to form in the afternoon, Gusoff reported.
Some children had early dismissal from school.
Areas north and west of the city could see 4 to 6 inches before all was said and done, with the possibility of icing and power outages.
In Westchester County, cleanup efforts were hindered after over two dozen snow plows were found to have been sabotaged in Mount Vernon.
A state of emergency was also in effect in New Jersey.
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