Mayor: NYC schools closed for Thursday storm

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THE BRONX -

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced closures for public schools around the city Thursday as the Department of Sanitation and Office of Emergency Management finalized preparations for an approaching winter storm.

After-school programs and other related activities are also canceled. CUNY schools are also closed.

Officials are warning of exceptionally strong winds and drifting snow.

MORE: News 12 The Bronx Weather Center

Officials say plows will focus on areas with steep streets after clearing highways and major routes for emergency vehicles.

DSNY says it will deploy 2,400 workers at 7 p.m. They'll be equipped with 280,000 tons of road salt. And there will be 2,200 plows on the city streets at any given time.

"From the front line all the way up through the ranks, we have been planning, training, and I think they are gung-ho to fight this storm," says Kathryn Garcia, the DSNY commissioner.

The city is also suspending alternate-side parking Thursday and Friday.

Residents and businesses are preparing for the storm, too. At Van Nest Hardware on Morris Park Avenue, snow shovels and ice melt have been flying off the shelves.

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