NYC rings in 2018 during coldest New Year's Eve in 100 years

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Monday, January 1, 2018
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Lucy Yang and CeFaan Kim have more on the unprecedented security in place in Times Square for New Year's Eve.

TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- With a burst of confetti and fireworks, throngs of revelers have ushered in 2018 in a frigid Times Square as the glittering crystal ball dropped.

It was the second-coldest on record. The temperature was only 10 degrees (minus 12 degrees Celsius) in New York City at midnight. The coldest ball drop celebration was in 1917, when it was only 1 degree (minus 17 degrees Celsius).

Partygoers bundled up in extra layers wearing with warm hats and face masks, dancing and jogging in place to ward off the cold.

There was also tighter security than ever after two terrorist attacks and a rampaging SUV driver who plowed into a crowd on the very spot where the party takes place. The party went off with no major problems.

"Auld Lang Syne" and "New York, New York" played as the crowds cheered.

City officials implemented a detailed plan including heavy screenings, street closures, counter snipers and specially trained dogs.

Additional security measures were announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to enhance protection of more than 1 million visitors who flock to New York City each year to celebrate.

The NYPD promised more security than in years past, an increase in garage closures, street closures, and additional checkpoints.

"The NYPD Is amazing, they've dealt with this many many years, but they've stepped it up a little bit," said the head of the Times Square Alliance Tim Tompkins. "They have extra vehicle blockers at different intersections and a very heavy undercover presence especially in the hotels, because they learned from Las Vegas."

Beginning at 11:00 a.m., crosstown traffic was shut from 37th to 59th Streets, Sixth to Eighth Avenues. The entire area has been sealed off with concrete, blocker cars and sand trucks. All 125 parking garages will be closed and sealed. Cars will not be allowed to come in or go out. A truck restriction in place on Sixth and Eigth Avenues from 34th Street to to 59th Street.

Backpacks, large bags, and umbrellas were banned from Times Square festivities.

"There are 12 access points for spectators to come in. Each one will have vapor wake dogs assigned there, and there will be heavy weapons teams," Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan explained. "Once you go through there, you will proceed to the pens, you will again be screened a second time before you are allowed to enter the pens. There will be heavy weapons teams and dogs assigned throughout the entire viewing area. In addition, ESU will work hand in hand with FBI and Secret Service. We will have observation teams with counter sniper capabilities assigned throughout the entire viewing area."

Armed officers, as well as undercover police, were strategically positioned in and around Times Square accounting for potential terror threats as well as mass shooting attempts like the one on a Las Vegas concert in October.


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