Queens White Wonderland – QNS.com

Queens White Wonderland

Amid the fourth harshest snow storm in New York City history, in one of the coldest winters in recent memory, Queens was hit the hardest of all the boroughs, as 28 inches piled up in Howard Beach.
Queens cleanup will also go down as the most expensive, at an average of about $1 million per inch of snow.
"They say this was the most snow since 1996, but I cant remember a snowstorm like this," said Amelia Rollo of the Bayside Historical Society. "Every time it snows, the plows push it back onto the car and driveway, but this time it just seemed much worse."
According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, every inch of snow costs the city about $1 million, leaving the accumulation in Howard Beach the most costly to remove in an already ailing economy. Furthermore, since the snow fell on a holiday, overtime pay only increases the total payout. However, the direct cost of the massive cleanup is only one portion of the monetary pitfall. While final costs of the snow removal operations can eventually be tallied, the flight cancellations, lost wages and missed retail sales on Presidents Day may be immeasurable.
"I live and work in Queens, so I couldnt tell you the difference between the boroughs," said Eric Balkin of Bayside. "But all you needed to do was look out your windows. At least the city seems to be doing its job this time with a quick and organized cleanup."
The worst part of the storm hit on Monday morning when winds were gusting up to 55 mph. For most Queens residents who were not already off due to the holiday, work was cancelled and the stores were closed. But for one group, the day could not have been more glorious. Monday was the start of the Presidents week winter recess, and children hit the playgrounds and parks in grand fashion. Snowball fights, sledding and snow sculptures captivated the tykes in their time away from the classroom.
For some, the snow brought together a community. Anna Rodello, an 86-year-old Whitestone resident was digging out her driveway by herself. When her next door neighbor saw her struggling, she immediately sent over her grandchildren to help. "The snow was so deep and so hard to shovel," Rodello said. "Its nice to see people help out when you really need it."

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