In a continuation of Mother Nature’s tradition of spiting New York City mayors, Mayor Eric Adams was nowhere to be found as New Yorkers braced for freezing weather and icy road conditions and as parts of the city flooded.
The mayor left town on Thursday, according to his office. Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for Adams, did not reveal the mayor’s current location, but said he will return on Saturday.
“The mayor is still in touch with everybody on the ground,” Levy told Gothamist. “He is coordinating all the city’s responses.”
Levy said Adams conducted a conference call this morning with city officials.
His absence comes as parts of Queens experience severe coastal flooding and residents were ordered to seek higher ground Friday morning. Temperatures are expected to drop precipitously into the teens in the evening, potentially causing black ice conditions on city streets. City sanitation crews have been spreading salt on roadways in anticipation of the weather event.
The mayor’s absence is a contrast to earlier this year, when he traveled to all five boroughs during the first major snowstorm in January.
Lorraine Grillo, the city’s first deputy mayor, has taken the reins while the mayor is away, following protocol.
Grillo and other city officials are expected to hold a press conference at City Hall on Friday to update the public on the city’s emergency response.
Adams is not the only mayor to suffer an untimely absence. In 2010, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg was criticized for the city’s response to a winter blizzard that hit the city over Christmas weekend. The New York Times later revealed that Bloomberg was in Bermuda.