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Queens crawls out from under snowfall

Photo by Christina Santucci
By TimesLedger Staff

By the TimesLedger staff

Just hours after the Super Bowl ended, a winter storm arrived in the city Monday and dumped 7 inches of wet, damp snow across the borough.

Trees, sidewalks and roads were covered in white early in the day, but by dusk slush and wet puddles had commandeered intersections from Bell Boulevard in Bayside

to Northern Boulevard in Corona.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said that while the city was digging out from Monday’s storm, it was actively preparing for snowfalls that were forecast to hit Tuesday evening and over the weekend.

“The fact is that we are facing not one, not two, but three storms potentially this week,” he said. “But we should be ready for anything. I think we’ve all learned that together dealing with snow in the last four or five weeks.”

One bright side, the mayor added, is that the temperature is relatively warm, which will help the rock salt being thrown on the ground by 450 spreaders work more effectively.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said commuters were facing delays on all Queens bus routes as well as scattered lags on subways and Long Island Rail Road lines.

As of Monday evening, the MTA had suspended limited bus service on the Q6 and Q10 routes and instructed Q52 buses to make all local stops along Woodhaven Boulevard.

Detours around closed streets affected several bus lines, with the Q15 and Q15A avoiding 150th street between 26th and 27th avenues and QM2 buses driving along the Cross Island Parkway Service Road to bypass Powells Cove Boulevard and 160th and 166th streets.

The QM6 could not access the North Shore Towers and drivers were instead picking up and dropping off passengers on Marcus Avenue.

Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for the MTA, said the agency would run subway trains on a normal schedule during peak evening hours and then begin storing trains underground on express tracks to protect them from the elements. This may have an impact on express lines, Ortiz said.

As of Monday evening, the MTA was only reporting delays on the A, C and E subway lines.

All Long Island Rail Road lines were operating as normal.

Bridges and tunnels were open with reduced speed limits.

A spokesman from the Department of Sanitation snapped, “As of 5 p.m. it’s still snowing so we’re still plowing.”

Plows were plying the main thoroughfares, which were glistening with puddles and completely clear in most spots in Queens by early evening.

Between 5 1/2 and 7 inches of snow blanketed Queens. As of 1 p.m., 7 inches had fallen on Bayside, the most in the borough, a spokesman for the National Weather Service said.

The storm caused long delays and a growing number of cancellations at the city’s airports as the day went on.

As of 5 p.m. 230 flights had been canceled at JFK, according to a Port Authority spokeswoman. More than 580 flights were canceled at LaGuardia before 3 p.m.

The Port Authority said travelers could expect increasing delays and cancellations.

The city Department of Education announced early Monday morning that schools would open normally, but all field trips were canceled. After-school activities were also called off due to the condition of the roads and the DOE asked families to exercise extreme caution while traveling

Many evening meetings were canceled, such as the Community Board 11 monthly meeting in northeast Queens, due to the snow.

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