Boro getting back to normal as restrictions, bans lifted

By Juan Soto

Queens was ready to face one of the worse storms in city history, but fortunately the so-called “blizzard of historic proportions” was downgraded to a winter storm by the National Weather Service late Monday.

But the borough was hit the hardest in the city, with snow accumulations averaging more than 10 inches. According to the National Weather Service, 13 inches of snow dropped in Bellerose and Queens Village, while neighborhoods like Whitestone and Woodside received up to 12 inches. Glendale got a little more: 12.1 inches.

At LaGuardia Airport, the accumulation hit the 11 inches mark, while 8.6 inches fell at Kennedy Airport.

Bans and restrictions were lifted by Tuesday afternoon. At 9 a.m. Tuesday, subway and bus service started rolling again with a target of providing Sunday service – or 60 percent of the regular weekday schedule – by noon,

The Long Island Rail Road was supposed to be operating on a Sunday schedule as of 12:30 p.m., but at least one train on the Port Washington Line was posted on the board in Penn Station only to disappear. It turns out the trains were running every hour.

“The LIRR is ridiculous when it came to providing information about the Port Washington Line,” said one frustrated rider headed for Bayside in the early afternoon. “They said trains were running, but I stood at Penn Station for almost an hour.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the travel ban for all city roads was lifted at 7:30 a.m.

“We obviously missed the worst of this storm,” Mayor de Blasio said at a news conference, adding that he visited Bayside, Howard Beach and Jamaica Tuesday morning. The mayor said city parks reopened at 11 a.m. Tuesday, and schools will do so Wednesday. He pointed out alternate side of the street parking will remain suspended Wednesday.

Sanitation Department Commissioner Kathryn García said about 2,400 workers from her agency cleaned the city streets Monday night into Tuesday. She pointed out the workforce was able to “get into most secondary streets for at least one pass.”

García added that some of these roads “definitely need a second pass, particularly out in eastern Queens, where they saw more than 10 inches of snow.”