Snow storm slams city (again)
by Queens Ledger staff
Jan 27, 2011 | 4641 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Two of the three buses that became stuck on a side street in Ridgewood, the morning after the snow storm.
A major snow storm- the third in the last month- slammed New York City overnight, blanketing the area in more than one foot of snow.

It paralyzed the city early Thursday morning, forcing schools and non-emergency government offices to close.

"New York City almost never takes a snow day, but today is one of those rare days," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement announcing the closures.

In Queens, residents took to the streets to dig out their cars- a task that has become all too familiar in the past few weeks.

People relying on buses to get to work were out of luck. All bus service was initially suspended, though the MTA began restoring service route by route.

"I've been waiting for over an hour," said one passenger waiting on the Q24 bus in Ozone Park. She was headed work in Flushing. "But I have to go to work. One bus passed, it was out of service and the driver said another one was coming but still, nothing."

The buses that were sent out encountered unplowed side streets that rendered traffic all but impassable.

By 10 a.m., three buses had become stuck on a single block in Ridgewood that was not plowed overnight. After trying to shovel them out, their drivers gathered in the middle of Summerfield Street to wait for help to arrive.

"We told them not to send us out," one of the drivers said. "But they wouldn't listen."

In Ozone Park, many residents along the stretch of 95th Avenue from Drew Street to 84th Street were out doing their part, shoveling cars and driveways out and helping one another.

Neighbors Francisco Colon and Freddy Sanchez, were shoveling for three hours on 76th Street.

Colon couldn't make it to work for 4:30 a.m. so he decided to wait until 7:30 a.m. to come out and shovel.

"I see more sanitation plows this time, the neighbors are doing their part. We're all chipping in and trying to do the best we can," he said.

As buses came to a standstill, cabs weren't faring any better. Raymond Lopez, the dispatcher at City Line Taxi Service spent the morning managing the abundant phone calls from would-be customers. The problem: So many calls, so few cabs.

"Most of my drivers are not working. They don't want to take the risk of getting into accidents. This base has 150 cars and I have about four guys working for me right now," he said.

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