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New York Mayor de Blasio: 'No regrets' over decision to shut down city

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tells Al Roker he has "no regrets" over his decision to shut down the city ahead of this week's winter storm that hit the area with a glancing blow.

"Even 20-30 miles east of New York City they got twice as much snow so it was this close. It was the right thing to do to take precautions and keep people safe," he explained in an exclusive interview Wednesday. "You can't put a price on safety."

The Blizzard of 2015 didn't deliver the feet of snow that had been forecast for the New York City region, prompting the mayor to defend his decision to close the subways and impose a driving ban. De Blasio said those choices would have allowed sanitation workers and first responders to do their work without interference.

"Had we had the real thing, that would have been absolutely necessary," he said.

Asked whether New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down the subway without notifying him first, de Blasio admitted, "we got very late notice," but said decisions were being made on the fly at the time.

"Look, it's a run-and-gun situation," he said. "People are trying to make decisions in real time, with constantly changing information. You do the best you can. Where we all agreed was safety first.”  

De Blasio said the storm provided another lesson for his administration.

“What I learned from this situation is, never throw the weatherman under the bus,” he said with a laugh, a reference to his past squabble with Roker over how he handled snow-related school closures. “I’m going to stand by him, even when he doesn’t make the right choice.”

Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.