Winter storm paralyzes New York traffic

08:17, December 28, 2010      

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A man walks on the snow-covered street after a blizzard in the New York City borough of Queens on Dec. 27, 2010. A snow storm that swept through Northeast United States on Monday wrecked havoc for commuters and travelers, as the blizzard left airports closed, rail and highway travel in disarray. (Xinhua/Wang Chengyun)

Transportation in the New York metropolitan region was troubled on Monday as the deep-piled snow blanked the city and gusting winds kicked up formidable snowdrifts.

The blizzard shut down the JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark International Airports. Getting around the city remained difficult as there are major delays and cancellations on all forms of transportation. The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad were shut down. Subways and buses were continuing to operate, but service had been suspended on many stations.

In Brooklyn, part of a garage roof collapsed under the weight of snow on Monday, but fortunately no one was injured. The New York Fire Department encourages New Yorkers to clear snow from fire hydrants near their homes and businesses.

At Central Park, snow was 20 inches deep. Giant piles were on the sidewalks where snow plows cleared the streets. Some motorists who were able to dig their cars out from the snow were left spinning their wheels on unplowed streets.

"New York City was hit with a winter storm that was as strong as the meteorologists predicted," New York Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement on Monday, "Our sanitation crews worked through the night but road conditions are bad and there are service interruptions and delays on mass transit."

He urged residents to avoid driving and told drivers not to worry about those normally aggressive parking laws. "All parking meter regulations have been suspended for today, so you don't have to move your car or feed the meter," he said.

Bloomberg said that 4,800 sanitation workers were deployed throughout the storm, 365 salt spreaders and 1,700 snow plows were dispatched across the city.

The Federal Aviation Administration said New York's JFK Airport is expected to reopen at 6 p.m. Monday. The time of reopening for New York's LaGuardia Airport and New Jersey's Newark Liberty Airport is currently not known.

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