Winter storm Jonas is now gone from New York City, leaving behind more than two feet of snow —becoming the second largest snowfall in the city’s history — and slowing down the city for the next few days.
A total of 26.8 inches of snow was recorded in Central Park and, although the travel ban was lifted Sunday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio continued to urge New Yorkers to avoid traveling in order to allow plows to continue clearing streets.
“While the storm is over, there is still work to be done,” de Blasio said. “Our tireless sanitation workers are out in full force and we must give them space to clear the roads. If you go outside, use caution and stay alert for ice and cold temperatures.”
For New Yorkers who are out shoveling, the mayor stressed that people should help their neighbors who aren’t in the shape to clear snow on their own; clear out fire hydrants; and also to not throw snow onto the streets.
A total of three people died in the city on Saturday because of snow shoveling and de Blasio urged whoever is not in the best health to leave the shoveling to others.
The mayor also praised the work of the Department of Sanitation who was able to clear all the major roadways and highways by early Sunday morning and will work on secondary and tertiary streets the rest of the day.
“We are just a little over 12 hours when the storm stopped and gave us an opportunity to start clearing,” said DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.
Garcia added that it was an “extraordinarily difficult storm” for the agency with yesterday afternoon the city seeing 3 to 4 inches of snow falling per hour. And although the first response was great, she said the battle hasn’t been won yet as the cleaning will continue for days.
“Everything will be slower than usual, there will not be enough parking because those parking spaces are now occupied by 27 inches of snow,” de Blasio said.
Although the majority of the city has been cleared out, the mayor was questioned on the city’s response to Queens — which residents are saying their streets are still under snow. Residents took to social media with the hashtag #PlowQueens attaching photos of their streets still not plowed.
According to de Blasio, the city is aware of the issues in some neighborhood in Queens and the Department of Sanitation is focusing strongly on the borough with 60 more plows on the ground out there, with a total of 850 plows in Queens.
De Blasio also traveled to Queens on Sunday to speak to constituents and let residents know that the help was on its way.
“I hear you, Queens. We’ve got 850 @NYCSanitation plows clearing your streets. We won’t quit until the job is done,” he tweeted Sunday afternoon.
According to the NYPD, after the a travel ban was issued on Saturday, a total of 25 summonses were given out – 8 in Manhattan, 5 in Brooklyn, 11 in the Bronx, 1 in Staten Island. Police also helped in 367 tows across the city.
The FDNY also responded to 6,000 emergency calls during the storm, incluing 4,000 medical calls.
On Sunday afternoon, the mayor announced that alternate side parking will be suspended until Monday, Feb. 1. The city is also allowing any drivers who are parked adjacent to school in “No Standing – School Hours” zone to stay in those spots until Wednesday, Jan. 27.
All public schools in the city will be opened on Monday, however students and teachers are urged to leave extra time to travel and to use public transportation as much as possible.
“The timing couldn’t be better in our ability to respond because it was exactly in the beginning of the weekend,” de Blasio said. “I’m sorry to my younger constituents that their dream [of a snow day] will not come true this time.”