New York City’s heaviest December snowfall in six decades disrupted commuter travel for a second straight day, with Metro North trains running on a Saturday schedule and portions of subway lines still inoperable.
“It’s definitely a recovery day, but for the most part people are able to get around,” said Jeremy Soffin, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman. “In each part of our operations, we are dealing with the impacts of two feet of snow.”
Portions of some subway lines aren’t running because of drifts that covered the “third rail” on above-ground tracks, mostly in Brooklyn, Soffin said. The MTA has reduced the number of stuck buses to 300 from 600 last night, according to Chairman Jay Walder.
“Almost all of the lines have some changes to normal service, but for the most part the bulk of the lines are operating,” Soffin said of the subway system.
City buses continue to maneuver through the snow as best they can, he said. The MTA is making sure vehicles will be able to finish routes before they are sent out.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked residents to be patient while the city mounts its biggest-ever effort to clear snow. New York has marshaled more than 2,000 plows, salt spreaders and other trucks, the mayor said today at a Brooklyn news conference. The city has also brought in 70 private tow trucks to augment the 40 police vehicles pulling abandoned cars from the streets.
‘Not Like Any’
“The storm is not like any other that we’ve had to deal with,” Bloomberg said. “The bottom line is, we’re doing everything we possibly can.”
Tow trucks have removed 1,000 vehicles from the Van Wyck, Gowanus and Cross Bronx expressways and reduced the number of stuck ambulances to 40 from 168, the mayor said. The abandoned vehicles are making it difficult for plows to move as quickly as they normally do, Bloomberg said.
Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said the biggest problem was that the city hasn’t been able to hire enough private tow trucks to dig out cars.
New Jersey Transit said its trains to and from Penn Station in Manhattan encountered delays of as much as 30 minutes this morning after an Amtrak train was disabled. New Jersey trains are running on an “enhanced weekend” schedule on all lines except Atlantic City, the agency said on its website.
New York will have winds between 16 mph and 20 mph with gusts as high as 31 mph, according to a National Weather Service forecast. Its winter-weather advisory, covering a wider region, said gusts may hit 55 mph (88 kph) overnight before slowing to 40 mph by morning.
More than a foot of snow fell across the northeastern U.S., with some areas in New Jersey getting more than 30 inches (76 centimeters), according to AccuWeather Inc. Central Park had 20 inches of snow by 8 a.m. yesterday, the most for a single storm in December since 1948, the National Weather Service said.
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