NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City returned gradually to life Tuesday, a day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted a travel ban and announced the return of mass transit following a blizzard that did far less damage than expected.
A blizzard warning was lifted Tuesday morning for New York City but a winter weather advisory remained through the day.
As CBS2’s Lonnie Quinn explained on Tuesday afternoon, the forecasted track a day earlier indicated that the storm would set up right off the eastern tip of Long Island. The circulation around the low-pressure system at the center of the storm would have dumped buckets upon buckets of snow in New York City and left feet of snow on the ground.
But the center of the storm shifted 50 miles eastward, and that made all the difference, Quinn reported. As a result, Glendale, Queens topped out at 12.1 inches, LaGuardia Airport 11 inches; Jamaica, Queens 10.1 inches; and Central Park just 9.8 inches. If the blizzard had stayed on the track predicted, the totals of 1 to 2 feet of snow would likely have materialized.
Still, as CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, plows were busy all day in some areas, and Gregory Sheridan of Marine Park, Brooklyn had no complaints.
“The city did a great job for once,” he said.
Sheridan’s neighborhood got nine inches of snow, but as residents started to dig out, they said their streets were clear.
“They’re not as bad as I thought they were going to be,” he said. “The city did a good job when they shut everybody down and told everyone to go in the house.”
In West Brighton on Staten Island, CBS2’s Carrasco reported main and secondary roads being plowed. However, black ice was still a main concern for motorists.
Still, residents were pleased with how fast the plows moved. Last year, residents of Staten Island complained that they had been shafted during snow removal efforts.
“You could hear the plows starting; all night long, they were going. I was out here for about an hour shoveling today; must have seen them come by 10 times,” said William Impellizzeri of West Brighton. “I know de Blasio didn’t want to get in trouble.”
“To me, it was a no brainer,” the mayor said. “We had to take precautions to keep people safe, and had people not have been off the roads, there would have been a lot of people in danger and probably some people who lost their lives.”
But not everyone was patting the mayor or city workers on the back. With no cars, little snow, and an army of 2,400 plows, many saw no reason why streets would not be spotless everywhere Tuesday the morning – at least in busy Midtown.
“This is the heart of Fifth Avenue. I don’t know – what happened? Where is the Sanitation Department?” one woman told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer, pointing out that two women walking with her both almost fell down. “So you know what? Unfortunately, this is sad.”
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the MTA started phasing in service beginning at and ran its system on a Sunday schedule — about 60 percent capacity. The MTA said subways, buses and the Staten Island Railway will run regular weekday service on Wednesday.
As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, Meget Everett’s subway ride in from Long Island City on the No. 7 train was “very empty.”