NEW YORK — Howling winds, sleet, snow and rain abruptly ended New York's holiday calm late Wednesday afternoon, as the MTA suspended some subway service and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he would activate the state's Emergency Operations Center ahead of the region's first major winter storm of the season.
The National Weather Service also issued high wind and coastal flooding advisories for all five boroughs, but no evacuations have been ordered.
Trains on the 3 line stopped running between 96th and 148th streets shortly after noon Wednesday, and they were slated to remain shut down until Thursday morning so that the train cars could be stored in tunnels during the storm, the MTA said. Free shuttle buses and 2 trains were providing alternate service.
"There are not other plans for closures," an MTA spokeswoman said. "We're just watching the weather and seeing what happens. We have all our equipment and personnel ready in case the weather gets worse."
Greg Bryant, 54, a musician, angrily boarded the free shuttle bus at 135th Street en route to an appointment on 148th Street.
"I'm totally pissed, like, 'What's going on here. I was supposed to be there about 25 minutes ago. I would have been there already."
Ricky Maysonet, 37, commutes from his job as a doorman at a 42nd street apartment building to his apartment at 148th Street. He said his commute normally takes 20 minutes, but was taking twice as long on Wednesday.
"I'm totally surprised. Usually the 3 train is very punctual," Maysonet said, "I had no idea. I would have taken the 2 Train at 42nd Street instead of the 3 Train if I had known."
New Jersey Transit announced it was cross-honoring tickets on all bus and rail lines from 1 p.m. Wednesday to midnight Thursday.
"We are aware that the unpredictability of the weather could create additional delays for our customers, and this is about providing them an additional option to get to their final destination," an NJ Transit spokesman told DNAinfo.com New York.
PATH service remained unaffected as of Wednesday afternoon, a Port Authority spokesman said.
Cuomo said he was opening the Emergency Operations Center as "a precaution" to help "coordinate response efforts using all state and local resources."
The center brings together police, transportation, military, environmental and health department representatives.
"Winter weather has arrived for many parts of the state," the governor said in a statement. "I…urge all New Yorkers to closely watch local news reports for weather updates and adjust their travel plans accordingly. All non-essential travel should be avoided during and directly after the storm since roads will be icy with blizzard conditions in some places."
For the latest updates on the storm, visit DNAinfo.com New York's Weather page.