Borough recovers from Winter Storm Grayson

Astoria Bridge looks good covered in snow.
Courtesy of Astoria Park Alliance/Instagram
By Bill Parry

Queens residents began to deal with the frozen tundra left behind by Winter Storm Grayson, which dumped as much as 13 inches of snow in Rego Park and nearly a foot in the rest of the borough Thursday, more than double what forecasters had predicted.

A deep freeze that followed the so-called “bomb cyclone” made digging out even more difficult for most with temperatures in the teens Friday morning with wind chills expected to feel close to -20 this evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Public schools were open as commuters dealt with delays on subways, buses and the LIRR all morning and the evening rush is expected to have delays as well. The Department of Sanitation warned residents that treated streets may not being showing blacktop yet and driving conditions are still difficult.

“The driving conditions are going to be tough the next few days,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Don’t expect to see a lot of melting. There’s going to be ice out there, whether you’re driving or walking.”

Alternate-side parking remains suspended through Saturday, although meter rules remain in effect.

“There’s a lot of snow out there,” DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said. “There’s a lot more snow than we thought there was going to be.”

While whiteout conditions forced JFK and LaGuardia airports to close at the height of the storm, cancelling thousands of flights, the airports resumed operations Friday morning with delays. Travelers were urged to call their carriers for update. The MTA and the Port Authority is offering free service on the Q70 bus between the 74th Street-Jackson Avenue/Roosevelt Avenue subway hub in Jackson Heights and LaGuardia Airport Friday and Saturday.

The city’s Department of Homeless Services announced its Code Blue service, which sends outreach teams to contact homeless New Yorkers and bring them to shelter, will remain in effect through the weekend. Forecasters expect relief from the bitter cold Monday as temperatures move above freezing.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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