It appears certain that Hurricane Sandy, now known as the "Frankenstorm" will impact the New York City metropolitan Area with tropical storm force winds of 50+ mph and torrential rains of 5"-10", along with major flooding. The question on everybody's mind is "will the Mayor close the schools"? My best guess is yes for either Monday or Tuesday but not both days.
According to the Mayor, the MTA will close down public transportation when winds exceed 39 mph and that is an almost a certainty as the Hurricane reaches the Delaware/New Jersey coast on Monday. Even if the winds don't reach tropical force in the morning, it will by the time school lets out in the afternoon. The last thing the Mayor wants to be remembered for is how he stranded children in school with no mass transit to get them home. Therefore, it would appear that the Mayor will very reluctantly will close he schools on Monday but because he will not allow schools to be closed for two days. The Mayor will make every effort to open them Tuesday and pressure the MTA to provide mass transit, despite the tropical force winds and torrential rains that will cause massive flooding throughout the City. Alternatively, if the storm slows a little, the tropical storm force winds may not occur until after the evening rush hour. In that case, the Mayor will keep the schools open on Monday and probably close them on Tuesday.
Interestingly, the Mayor in his 6:30pm press conference downplayed the storm's impact by claiming it will hit Maryland or Delaware not New Jersey as the National Weather Service's track shows and appear optimistic that the City will not be severely affected by the storm. i did think he is crazy if the MTA shuts down and he expects the students to get to school in a hurricane but then it is money first and "children last" for the Mayor. I guess we will see as Sandy gets closer to the City.
Remember, the New York City schools serve two purposes, The first as a "babysitting service" and second a "money machine". Closing the schools cost the City money as parents must stay home to care for their children and the City loses funding from the State. Therefore, it is in the Mayor's economic interest to keep the New York City Schools open. I suspect that the Mayor will not issue the order to close the schools until Late Sunday night at the earliest as he and many others hope that Hurricane Sandy miss the City. Consequently, it will be interesting to see when and if the Mayor actually closes the schools or he will expose the children to the severe weather just for a few dollars.
To get the latest on Hurricane Sandy from the National Hurricane Center, it is here.
Update: In his 11:24am press conference the Mayor realized he was too optimistic and has announced that the schools will be closed Monday and it doesn't look good for Tuesday either.