NYC Battling Back from Blizzard's Punch

The tri-state region is digging out of more than 2 feet of snow deposited by a historic blizzard that was blamed for at least 10 deaths and the near shutdown of the area's bustling network of roadways, mass transit services and airports.

Approximately 26.8 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park by Sunday morning — the second highest snowfall there since record-keeping began in 1869. The amount was one-tenth of an inch away from breaking the all-time record of 26.9 inches set in February 2006. 

Other areas of the city got even more snow. John F. Kennedy Airport was walloped with 30.5 inches; Williamsburg in Brooklyn got 29; Port Richmond, on Staten island had 31.4 inches. Jackson Heights, in Queens, meanwhile saw the region's highest snow total with a whopping 34 inches of powder.

"It was this close to being the worst storm we've ever had," Mayor de Blasio said Sunday ahead of storm assessment tour exclusively captured by NBC 4. 

The unrelenting snowfall claimed the lives of nine people in New York City and the surrounding areas.  Nationwide, at least 29 deaths were blamed on the storm that pummeled the East Coast from the Carolinas to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 

Snow stopped falling in New York City at about 10 p.m. Saturday, but winds continued to blow snow around as plows took to the streets. Blizzard warnings had been lifted for the tri-state by Sunday morning.

A road travel ban was lifted at 7 a.m., but conditions on the streets and highways around the region were tenuous at best. Some roads in the city were covered in packed-down powder and narrowed by the sheer volume of snowfall, while others had already been scraped back down to the blacktop. 

Most cities have suspended alternate side parking and garbage collection Monday, many at least through the week (see specific suspensions by region below). 

The region's mass transit network was also heavily impacted by the storm but started chugging along again. Almost all subway trains were running by Sunday afternoon, including trains on the Staten Island Railway. Crews continued work on the Q train in Brooklyn and the Franklin Avenue shuttle.

All local and express MTA buses began running again on Sunday morning.

Seven of the Long Island Rail Road 's 12 branches were to be fully operational at 5 a.m. Monday, in time for the morning rush hour, MYA officials said. 

The Metro-North railroad resumed on a limited basis at noon Sunday after it was shut down Saturday. All trains were running to and from Grand Central Terminal by 3 p.m., the MTA announced.

NJ Transit trains, buses and light rail all started moving again at noon. Regular weekday service is expected in time for the workweek, Gov. Chris Christie told NBC 4. 

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reopened the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Bayonne Bridge, Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing at 7 a.m. on Sunday.

Prior to the vehicular travel ban, the NYPD responded to 312 crashes and assisted 343 other motorists, police said. In New Jersey, the state police had responded to over 300 wrecks and helped out over 1,500 motorists by Sunday afternoon. 

Only one driver was arrested during the travel ban, according to the NYPD. That suspect was booked on DWI charges after he was caught allegedly speeding and running red lights. 

On Sunday, Cuomo urged people to stay off the road unless absolutely necessary.

"If it is essential travel, necessary travel, that's one thing, but if you do not need to be on the roads you shouldn't be on the roads," he said.

In New Jersey, Gov. Christie urged drivers to exercise caution if they have to head out. 

"If you go out on the roads, please respect the speed limits," Christie said. "It's very important."

Newark continued to struggle with the snow. Mayor Ras Baraka suspended all city services and closed all public schools Monday.

In New York City, Mayor de Blasio urged motorists to stay off the roads if they can. The city suspended alternate side parking until Feb. 1 and urged drivers not to dump snow from their cars into cleared roadways.

De Blasio also urged residents to take it easy when they go to clear the snow.

The storm-related fatalities included two men, ages 78 and 80, in Queens and a 67-year-old man on Staten Island died while shoveling snow, police said.

Five died on Long Island: a 61-year-old West Hempstead man, a 75-year-old woman in Huntington Station, a 94-year-old Kings Park man, a Locust Valley man all of whom were clearing snow from their properties, and a 66-year-old Oyster Bay Cove man who was struck by a privately owned snow plow on Sunday.

In New Jersey, a 23-year-old woman and her 1-year-old son both died from carbon monoxide poisoning as they sat inside a running car in Passaic, authorities say. The child's father had worked to clear the snow from around the vehicle while the mother, baby and the her 3-year-old daughter climbed inside the car to stay warm. But the snowfall blocked the car's tailpipe and caused the noxious gas to seep into the car.

The 3-year-old girl is in critical condition, authorities say.

After more than 3,000 flights were canceled at Newark-Liberty, John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports because of the storm, the three airports resumed normal activity and reported no delays for arriving and departing flights Sunday evening, according to FlightAware, 

All Broadway performances were canceled Saturday, but the shows reopened on Sunday, The Broadway League said. However, Bruce Springsteen postponed a performance scheduled for Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Areas in Westchester and northern New Jersey were pounded with 15 to 22 inches of snow, Storm Team 4 said.

Heavy snow caused the roof of a Trader Joe's grocery store in Westfield, New Jersey, to collapse. No injuries were reported. The storm had covered Westfield with 22 inches of snowfall. In Morris Plains, 33 inches of snow fell. 

Parts of Long Island were buried in snow. Hicksville was walloped with more than 29 inches of snow, Commack had 26.6 inches and Islip had more than 23 inches.

Residents of the Jersey Shore and parts of Long Island worried that a dangerous cocktail of snow, astronomical high tides and a wind-swept storm surge could cause significant coastal flooding and beach erosion.

Utility workers restored power to more than 25,000 customers whose service was knocked out by the snowstorm in New York City and Long Island. Hundreds of residents on Long Island woke up Sunday morning without power, PSEG said.

Power has been restored to 130,000 homes and businesses that lost power in New Jersey after the storm, and final restoration is expected to be completed by Sunday night, according to utility JCP&L.

Download the NBC 4 app to track the storm and get weather alerts

Here's a breakdown of current conditions:


  • Above-ground subway lines began running again at 9 a.m. Service on portions of the system that were exposed to the elements had been shut down at 4 p.m. Saturday, while other service was significantly curtailed. See the latest service updates here.
  • All scheduled weekend work on the subway was canceled, including the planned 7 train shutdown. Stations that would have been closed for planned weekend work will be open. This does not include the longer-range outages like the N train stations in Brooklyn, which remain closed. 
  • MTA bus service is running again on a limited basis. It had been shut down Saturday afternoon ahead of the travel ban.
  • 7 Long Island Railroad branches open for Monday rush hour. Branches at Port Washington, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, Huntington, Babylon and Greenport will be fully operational at 5 a.m. Partial service will be offered on the Montauk branch as far as Speonk. See the latest LIRR alerts here. 
  • Metro-North Railroad service resumed at noon. The rail system returned to full service at 3 p.m. See the latest Metro-North advisories here. 
  • NJ Transit rail, light rail and bus service all resumed at noon. Buses, trains and light-rail will run on a Sunday schedule and delays could be possible. But Christie said that the system should be ready for a normal schedule to start the workweek. The transit service is cross-honoring tickets and passes system wide all weekend.   See the latest NJ Transit alerts here. 
  • PATH train service will be available for Monday morning commuters, with the exception of the line between Newark's Penn Sation and Journal Square. Trains will run between Journal Square and the World Trade Center. Service continued to run from the Grove Street Station to West 33rd Street in Manhattan via the Hoboken line.  See the latest PATH advisories here. 
  • NY Waterway canceled ferries after 7:10 p.m. See the latest NY Waterway advisories here. 
  • The Staten Island Ferry was running normally.
  • The Seastreak Ferry will resume full service Monday after a weekend suspension. See the latest Seastreak Ferry advisories here. 
  • Amtrak has announced several changes to rail service. Acela Express, Northeast Regional and several other lines that run to and from New York City were operating on modified schedules on Sunday. See the latest Amtrak alerts here. 
  • Westchester's Bee-Line Bus System is expected to be running on or close to schedule.

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  • New York City schools will be open Monday, Mayor de Blasio said.
  • Check all school closings and delays here.

  • Newark public schools will be closed on Monday.
  • Jersey City public schools will be closed on Monday.
  • All New York City public school events were canceled Saturday and Sunday. 
  • Other after-school and weekend programs at districts around the region have been canceled. Check with your district for the latest announcements.
  • SATs have been postponed at some test centers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.


  • There were no flight delays as of Sunday evening at the region's airports. 
  • Several airlines have waived flight change fees. United, Delta, American Airlines, JetBlue and others allowed passengers to switch their flight for free ahead of the storm.


  • The NYC travel ban has been lifted.
  • Roads remain treacherous.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo warns that it's imperative that people stay off the roads unless it's an emergency. 
  • Plows are still out. Kathryn Garcia, New York City's sanitation commissioner, tells NBC 4 New York that plows headed out at 5 a.m. Saturday, with 15,000 tons of salt on hand. Check here to see when a location was plowed.
  • Alternate side parking in New York City is now suspended through Feb. 1, de Blasio said Sunday. The city is also allowing cars currently parked next to schools in "No Standing - School Hours" zones to stay parked until Feb 1. 
  • Jersey City officials say alternate side parking is suspended Monday and is asking residents to move their car from snow routes to allow for snow removal through Thursday, or else they'll be subject to ticket and tow. Residents may park their cars in the lots of Dickinson High School and PS 11 overnight beginning at 5 p.m. Monday through 6 a.m. Tuesday. 
  • Barnegat, New Jersey, issued mandatory evacuations for homes near Bayshore Drive. Voluntary evacuations have been suggested elsewhere as well.
  • Brick, Manasquan, Toms River, Union Beach and Tuckerton Beach, New Jersey, also issued voluntary evacuations.


  • Power outages impacting more than 50,000 customers were reported in southern New Jersey, especially Ocean County. Hempstead Village on Long Island experienced a sizable outage, but most customers were soon restored.
  • Trash and recycling pickup was canceled in New York City on Saturday.
  • New York City's Winter Jam, planned for Saturday in Central Park, was canceled. 
  • Broadway shows were canceled Saturday but were back open Sunday. Check for updates here and on each individual show's website. 

  • Public Libraries in New York City were closed Saturday, as was the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Manhattan, the Brooklyn Museum and other institutions.
  • The 9/11 Memorial and the observatory atop One World Trade Center were closed Saturday.
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