Updated 10:45 p.m.
The Blizzard of 2016 is one for the ages for Queens and the rest of New York City.
Nearly 28 inches of snow and counting is on the ground at Kennedy Airport as of 7 p.m. Saturday night, a whopping amount for the region. LaGuardia Airport also recorded 24.5 inches of snow, and Central Park’s all-time snowstorm record of 26 inches in February 2006 is in jeopardy.
A blizzard warning remains in effect until 7 a.m. Sunday morning, although many forecasters expect the snowfall to taper off sometime after midnight.
The entire city is virtually shut down. A travel ban imposed at 2:30 p.m. on all city streets remains in effect until 7 a.m. Sunday, according to the city’s Office of Emergency Management. The NYPD warned on Twitter it would arrest any driver caught on city streets during the ban.
The roads are so treacherous that FDNY vehicles became stuck on 67th Street in Glendale while responding to a call about a woman in labor, according to the Glendale Connection Facebook page. Neighbors on the block reportedly grabbed their shovels to help firefighters get moving once again.
All bus service is suspended. Subway service is still running, but on a limited basis, and all service on exterior subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road is suspended until further notice. Check the MTA’s website for further details and check the underground service map below.
Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York City, Long Island and other storm-hit areas Saturday morning. He said the state is “doing everything possible to keep the roads and mass transit operational, but unless there is an emergency, people should not be traveling.”
At a press conference this afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated the city could get between 20 and 25 inches of snow, which would make it one of the worst snowstorms in the city’s history. He urged everyone to stay off the streets and indoors, advising anyone outside to “go home now.”
The storm is delivering snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour with heavy winds through this evening, according to the National Weather Service. Coastal flooding is also expected in some parts of Queens; the 109th Precinct posted on its Twitter account rough surf near the Malba jetty.
— NYPD 109th Precinct (@NYPD109Pct) January 23, 2016
The situation wasn’t any better on Linden Place at the Whitestone Expressway, as the intersection experienced what the 109th Precinct called severe flooding.
The Daily News reported two deaths in Queens related to snow shoveling. The city urges residents when shoveling to exercise caution and to stop immediately if they experience pain or shortness of breath.
The travel ban ensured the cancellation of virtually every kind of activity in Queens and the rest of New York City. All Queens library branches were closed; the New York Islanders’ game at the Barclays Center was postponed and all Broadway shows were canceled. Sunday’s Bruce Springsteen concert at Madison Square Garden was also postponed.
Virtually all flights out of Kennedy and LaGuardia airports are canceled; travelers should check with their airline carriers for further details.