NYC Struggles to Move as Latest Storm Breaks January Snow Record


snow-boro-park-matzav-pictureWith yet another winter storm crippling the Big Apple overnight, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg said the city broke the record today for the snowiest January ever with a whopping 36 inches.

The 19-inch snowfall that fell overnight helped to shatter the old record of 27.4 dating back to 1925, he said.

“Keep an eye on your neighbors or older New Yorkers,” Bloomberg warned during a news conference at City Hall.

This month is also the city’s second all-time snowiest month — falling just short of February 2010 and its 36.9 inches.

Bloomberg also said all primary roads had been plowed, and they would aim to have every roadway cleared by this evening. The latest storm comes a month after the city failed to plow streets for days following a Dec. 26 blizzard that left parts of the five boroughs crippled for days under 20 inches of the white stuff.

“We learned and we asked the questions on what didn’t work last time,” said Bloomberg.

He said the cleanup efforts were easier this time because there were no buses or ambulances stuck and that the storm did not take place when being were coming home from the Christmas weekend.

“There is a whole bunch of things that we did. … It all has to do with the timing and severity of the storm,” Bloomberg said.

The National Weather Service said 19 inches of snow had accumulated in Central Park today thanks to the one-two punch that hit the city on Wednesday and during the overnight hours.

Other parts of the city were also hard hit: 18 inches fell in the Bronx; 17.3 at LaGuardia Airport; 16 on Staten Island; and 10.3 at Kennedy Airport.

The storm — the eighth largest in city history — caused all three airports in the area, including Newark, to shutdown. The closures forced the cancellation of thousands of flights.

The hardest hit was mass transit systems across the region. As of this morning, the MTA said:

– Subway service was back to normal on most lines, although some express trains like the Q line were running local. The Franklin Avenue Shuttle remains suspended.

– Limited bus service resumed after all routes were suspended overnight.

– Metro-North trains on the Harlem and Hudson lines are operating on a Saturday schedule. The New Haven Line, including the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury branches, remains suspended.

– Long Island Rail Road trains are operating on a reduced schedule. Some westbound morning trains will be canceled and trains will be more crowded. Additionally, buses will replace train service east of Speonk on the Montauk Branch and east of Ronkonkoma on the Main Line to Greenport.

Commuters had a rough ride this morning. In some cases, trains never showed up.

“It never came, so I walked over to the first stop in Hempstead,” said rider Angel Santiago, 57, who was trying to get to his job in Brooklyn. “It took me 25 minutes to walk in the snow and when I got here, I saw that all the trains were suspended.”

“There’s no excuse for this. I have to pay $104 every month for a MetroCard on top of all my other bills. I’m so inconvenienced and upset. At this point, I think they’re waiting for the snow to melt.”

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says by late morning, flights had resumed taking off and landing at John F. Kennedy airport. Flights were departing from Newark Liberty, but domestic arrivals were not expected to resume until around noon.

LaGuardia remains open, with cancelations and delays.

Chunks of ice on the Hudson River briefly shut down a New York Waterway commuter ferry with 20 passengers on board.

The original forecast was for about half the amount of snowfall. The extra snow caught city officials by surprise. It wasn’t until mid-morning Wednesday the city suspended alternate-side and meter parking rules and a weather emergency declared.

The parking reprieve continues today and trash pickup has also been suspended.

The city closed all public schools early this morning because of the snow, only the ninth time that has happened since 1978.

The storm also left many in the region in the dark after more than 1,100 homes and businesses in New York City area are without power.

“I can’t take it anymore!” said Mary Smith, 24, of Park Slope. “I can’t wear my cute shoes anymore — I’m tired of wearing these bulky boots.”

But fellow Park Slope resident Daniel Power, who was taking his 8-year-old son, Louis to sled in Prospect Park, said, “We’re having a blast. The snow hasn’t been this great in forever. The parents love it because we can meet up and get outside with the kids while they’re out of school.”

No snow is expected during the day today and only a light dusting is forecast for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, legal fallout from the post-Christmas blizzard continues today as federal prosecutors investigate claims that city sanitation workers engaged in a work slowdown in retaliation for budget cuts.

City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens) is scheduled to testify before a Brooklyn federal grand jury regarding his claim that three sanitation workers and two Department of Transportation supervisors told him about a planned plowing slowdown.

“It’s a City Council issue,” said Bloomberg, who refused to answer when asked about Halloran’s accusations.

{NY Post/}



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