Snowstorm in New York City
It fell too fast, says Mayor Bloomberg
When I left my Upper West Side apartment in New York City on the Sunday after Christmas Day, I noticed snowflakes lightly sprinkling the sidewalk. Throughout the day the snow continued, soon sticking and building into mounds of white.
After dinner that night I put on layers of clothes and took a walk to Central Park. It was covered in waves of white!
The snow was above my knees, forcing me to lift my legs high as I walked. Plus, the weather had transformed into windy, hard sleet. After a few minutes, I had enough and headed back home. That night the hard snow returned and didn’t end until morning.
The next day—Monday—transportation had almost completely stopped. A city that runs on subways, buses, and cabs had come to a standstill. Some were stuck in subway trains for up to 15 hours! A short trip on foot took at least an extra 30 minutes or more. Streets were mostly deserted and blanketed with snow.
I trampled through the park to go sledding, except once again I didn't stay for long because of the freezing weather. I returned home to a cup of hot cocoa.
By Tuesday the snow was being cleared by trucks with plows that piled the frozen, dirty ice into large clumps along the sides of the roads and sidewalks. As you walk down the block, you feel as if you are surrounded by dingy white walls.
The snow had reached its ugly stage. The fluffy white became a mix of dirt and mucky blacks and browns.
“It’s Slush City," said one woman picking her way along the treacherous sidewalk. Huge puddles of blackish icy water clogged most street corners. To keep from being soaked, you have to be either really good at leaping or be wearing a great pair of tall boots.
Wednesday was like Tuesday, though the snow was even dirtier. Cleared roads meant transportation had improved, though. People were returning to work.
The sixth largest snowstorm on record left about 20 inches of snow on New York. Although it will not go down in history as the worst storm on record, it may go down as one of the worst cleanups. It took three days to clear the streets and get people back to work—something almost unheard of in the city.
Says Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been blamed for the slow cleanup, “It fell too fast.”
PHOTO: On December 28, 2010, a street in the Sunset Park section of the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York remains unplowed two days after snow fell across every corner of the city. The city has cleaned up from big storms before with ease, but this blizzard became unlike anything New Yorkers had seen in decades. (Photo: Seth Wenig/AP Images)