New York Daily News: MANHATTAN, NY – Folks using a grade school ruler to measure the snow in much of the New York City area on Monday needed something a little longer after the region got walloped by a massive storm that slowed or shut down everything from libraries to local subway service.
Both Gov Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio issued states of emergency as the snowstorm that pounded the Big Apple, its suburbs, upstate New York and surrounding areas remained as strong when the sun went down Monday evening as it was when it came up that cold, windy morning.
By Tuesday, the worst will be over for the city — but the snowflakes mixed with sleet will continue to fall, according to James Tomasini, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
“Tuesday won’t be anything like we saw today (Monday),” he told the Daily News, noting that the city had just over 15 inches by nightfall Monday and will likely hit 20 inches when the storm finally peters out.
“Right now we’re forecasting at least a chance of snow all through Tuesday, but we’ve already seen the bulk of it. Those heavy bands are out of the way,” he said, adding that whatever keeps falling from the sky by morning won’t add up to more than an inch.
Though the icy mix overnight and morning dusting will likely still be problematic, there were encouraging signs of the city coming back to life.
The MTA announced Monday night it would resume above-ground subway service at 5am Tuesday, and NJ Transit announced limited rail service would resume on some lines just before 9am.
But as of midday Monday, alternate side of the street parking rules were still suspended through Feb 6. Libraries will stay closed for Tuesday, outdoor dining remains canceled and appointments for coronavirus vaccines likely won’t resume until at least Wednesday. Flights out of major airports were also all shutdown Monday.
Officials advised residents to stay off the streets as snow drifts built up, and leave the driving to road crews and essential workers.
That included Essential Worker No 1, Cuomo himself, who hopped behind the wheel of a white Ford Bronco he had bought for one of his daughters, and made the three-hour trip from Albany to New York City in the blinding snowstorm – while talking on a cellphone.
“If you’re not an essential worker, you shouldn’t be out here,” the governor told CBS 880 while peering through his windshield with the wipers going back and forth. “I’m telling you, I’m on the road now and it is horrendous.”
As for his own safety, Cuomo said he was taking precautions on another front.
“I am personally driving into New York City,” he told 1010 WINS. “You know, with COVID there’s all sorts of precautions, and one of them is in the car, which, if you’re in the car with a person who has COVID, that’s problematic. So I drive myself.”
Cuomo arrived safely in the city as the snow continued its relentless onslaught and Carmen Bu, 55, shivered as she waited for a crosstown M66 bus near Central Park.
“It’s been rough. I’m going to work,” she said. “The bus is delayed.”
A few steps away, doorman Angelo Santiago was heading home after a shift at his building.
“As of right now, it’s bearable,” he said. “But I think it’s going to get worse. But I’ll be in bed sleeping because I’m off today and tomorrow.”
Meanwhile in Bay Ridge, Dave Resultan, 32, was rushing to the urgent care facility where he works. He said he was wearing three pairs of pants to fight off the fierce winds.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I’m excited because I know it’ll be slow.”
While for many New Yorkers armed with shovels and snow blowers, the falling flakes were just a big chore that fell from the sky.
But many made the most of it, with snowmen and snowball fights, and skis they didn’t get to use on vacations they didn’t get to take.
At the sledding hill on W. 115th St. and Morningside Ave. in Harlem, Kieran Patel and his buddy Dylan Eldridge, both 10, were among the first kids to hit the downhill run about 7:45 a.m.
“It’s awesome,” Kieran said. “There’s no school, that sucks. But it’s a snow day. We can just stay out here all day!”
“Yeah, let’s just stay out here all day!” Dylan added.
“The last couple years, there’s basically no snow, so no sledding, so this has been a nice change,” said Kieran’s father, Gaurav Patel. “And reassuring from a climate standpoint!”
He noted that the storm has created a sudden sledding shortage.
“We got ours on Amazon a few weeks ago,” he said. “Yesterday I walked by the hardware store and they had like six to seven green sleds in the front window and I thought maybe I’ll pick one up and 10 minutes later, gone.”
Building superintendent Luis Nula, 42, spent the morning shoveling sidewalks in Boerum Hill because the machine he usually uses to clear snow broke before the storm.
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“I’ve been out here all day,” Nula said wearily, with a shovel in his hand.
Maintenance worker Jose Claessell, 40, started his day at 6 a.m. shoveling the snow outside a a luxury apartment building in Fort Greene.
“We have a great team out here,” Claessell said. ”All the guys have been out here. We take a break every hour or so. They give us heaters.”
Despite high winds and freezing temperatures, the Park Slope resident said the weather warmed his heart.
“I love the snow,” Claessell said. “It makes me think of being a kid again.”
Top Feature Photo: Times Square Alliance workers are seen cleaning the heavy snow falling in Times Square, Manhattan on Monday morning – Luiz C Ribeiro/for New York Daily News