Updated 5:20 p.m.
The whirring engines of snowblowers and scraping of snow shovels could be heard across Queens on Sunday as residents begin digging out from the Blizzard of 2016.
The only thing louder than that, it seems, is the annoyance of residents regarding unplowed streets across the “World’s Borough.”
According to the National Weather Service, snowfall totals ranged from 24 inches in Little Neck to 30.5 inches at John F. Kennedy Airport; LaGuardia Airport checked in with 27.9 inches of snow.
The Sanitation Department continues to work furiously to clear the streets, as it has for the duration of the storm. At a Sunday morning press conference, however, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was not happy with the plow response in Queens, particularly in western neighborhoods such as Ridgewood, Sunnyside and East Elmhurst. Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said additional plows were sent in to assist.
Alternate-side parking has been suspended through Feb. 1, and garbage collection is postponed tomorrow, Jan. 25, to allow the Sanitation Department to concentrate on snow removal.
Angry residents also took to The Queens Courier’s Facebook and Twitter pages to post images of snow-covered streets and express frustration with the city.
“A plow hasn’t come down my block at all,” said Facebook user LightnSweet Nancy of 57th Drive in Maspeth.
“We need some f***ing help,” said Facebook user Fizzy Feez of 138th Street in Briarwood. “We have old people, kids. What if there is an emergency? We can’t get out.”
We encourage our readers to continue sharing images of unplowed streets and other storm-related pictures on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We also ask that they let us know when they’ve seen plows on their blocks.
All in all, the city is slowly beginning to move again. The travel ban imposed yesterday afternoon has been lifted; subway service on outdoor lines has been restored on a limited basis as cleanup work continues. Bus service was restored at 7 a.m. today, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Though the ban was lifted, Cuomo encouraged residents to stay off the streets today to allow plows and salt-spreaders to continue clearing the roads.
Service on the Long Island Rail Road remains suspended as many of the railroad’s yards are buried in two feet of snow. Crews are working to clear the yards and tracks in time for the Monday morning rush hour.
Additional details on public transportation service can be found on the MTA’s website.
All New York City public schools will be open Monday, but alternate-side parking is suspended the entire week to allow for snow removal. Many parochial schools have already announced they will be closed Monday; check with your child’s school for confirmation.
By law, all home and business owners must clear a path on their sidewalks or face a potential fine from the city. Those who are shoveling should exercise caution and stop immediately if they experience pain or shortness of breath.
Here are some YouTube videos Queens residents took during the storm:
Glendale (Ruben Bonilla)
Flushing (Jeffrey Cohen)