Property owners, builders prepare for Mother's Day storm


With New York City threatened with wind gusts of up to 35 mph, city building officials are warning builders, contractors and crane operators to be ready for this weekend's nor'easter. 

While nor'easters are typically applied to winter storms, they don't necessarily have to produce snow, weather experts say. This weekend's storm is expected to begin Friday and last through Mother's Day weekend.

The building department is asking all contractors, especially those with cranes and scaffolding, to secure construction sites, buildings and equipment. Officials will conduct rand spot-checks around the city over the weekend, ready to issue both violations and stop-work orders where necessary.

Property owners, officials said, should consider the safety of their buildings and construction sites including cranes, suspended and supported scaffolding, hoists, and other construction-related materials that could come loose from exposure to high winds. 

Structures that have been subject to deferred maintenance, or are in delicate condition, could be at greater risk. 

Other ways to protect worksites include:

• Tying down and securing material and loose debris
• Covering electrical equipment from exposure to weather
• Store loose tools, oil cans and extra fuses in a toolbox
• Securing netting, scaffolding and sidewalk sheds
• Suspending crane operations and securing crane equipment when win speeds reach 30 mph or greater
• Suspending hoist operations and secure exterior hoists when wind speeds reach 35 mph or greater
• Bracing and securing construction fences

Property owners in general also should prepare for the storm, building officials said, by:

• Bringing inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys
• Anchoring objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks
• Closing up and secure patio umbrellas
• Securing retractable awnings
• Removing aerial antennas and satellite television dishes

To report issues with following these guidelines throughout the weekend, call 311. For emergencies, especially if you believe a building has been structurally compromised, call 911.