If You’re Keeping Score at Home (And We Know You Are): Sixth Largest Snowstorm in New York History


snow8The sixth largest snowstorm in New York history buried the streets in four-foot drifts, brought transit to a halt and spread a strange and wonderful hush over the city. The Blizzard of 2010 dumped between 18 and 24 inches of snow – with 29 inches reported in parts of Staten Island – and winds gusts up to 60 mph.Remarkably for such a wicked storm, no deaths were reported.

Mayor Bloomberg asked New Yorkers not to drive and to call 911 only for life-threatening emergencies.

“The world has not come to an end,” he said yesterday. “The city’s going on. Many people are taking the day off. Most stores are open. There’s no reason for anybody to panic.”

Complaints were flooding in from all over the city about snow-clogged roads and AWOL plows.

The Sanitation Department said most major avenues had been cleared but side streets were a problem, largely because so many stalled and abandoned cars were blocking snowplows.

“Some [streets] will be cleaned today, some tonight, some unfortunately not until tomorrow,” said Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty yesterday.

“When we clear your block,” he warned, “don’t get out and start shoveling snow back out there.”

All three major New York area airports closed; Metro-North and the LIRR shut down; many subway lines ground to a halt and the others were limping; the bridges and tunnels were closed or terribly clogged; buses and cabs were impossible to find.

Hundreds of people spent an uncomfortable night in an airport terminal, Penn Station or on a stranded, unheated A train in the Rockaways.

By afternoon, the bridges and tunnels were clearer, the numbered subway lines were back up and some limited bus service had resumed.

Kennedy and Newark airports reopened at 6 p.m., but LaGuardia may not resume most flights until today.

MTA head Jay Walder acknowleged that the storm hit transit hard but said the agency was doing the best it could.

He warned commuters that things won’t be back to normal immediately.

“Service tomorrow will still not be a walk in the park. It will be a tough day. We will have limited service,” he said.

The mayor responded with some testiness to questions about the wholesale transit failures and reports of a large emergency call backlog overnight.

“On balance I think you’ll find we kept the city safe and we’re cleaning it up,” he said.

The mayor said the biggest cost to the city would likely not be snow removal but the loss of sales tax revenue from disrupted after-Christmas sales.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom: New Yorkers woke to a city blanketed in sparkling white beauty and a rare soothing silence, with no cars honking – not even planes roaring overhead.

{NY Daily News/Matzav.com}


  1. Lakewood is no better. The grounds of Board of Education are plowed to the bare ground, even though there is no school while streets,including mai roadways are left with the plows raised an inch not to cuase damage to the streets. Even main roadways as Rt. 9 had only 1 lane each way totaly cleared. It is about time that streets are cleared properly. In Montreal they scoop it up into trucks & dump it into the river. May Hashem wach over us in these dangerous situations, as we need always.

  2. #1, Mr. Lakewooder- how in the world can anyone compare Lakewood to Montreal? In Montreal, The ground is not visible from November through March. There is always snow on the ground. They have a different system since they have different circumstances…

  3. In Montreal, they start clearing the snow as soon as it starts snowing. They are equiped for snow storms and they don’t let it get out of hand before they start thinking of clearing it.
    #3 – The streets are clearly visible, but the lawns and parks are covered in snow.
    Now in NY, the entire city looked(looks) like my backyard.