Tag Archives: blizzard

Blizzard causes long gas lines, shortages reminiscent of Sandy


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

Though Friday’s blizzard won’t be as devastating as Sandy, at several area gas stations there have been long lines reminiscent of the fuel shortage following the superstorm.

On Thursday evening, a line at a gas station in Whitestone off of Clintonville Street stretched around the block, but that wasn’t the only location in the tri-state area with significant waits.

Other local media outlets have been reporting long lines at stations in Long Island, New Jersey and New England also.

In Queens, the gas guzzling is still going on as of this morning. At a 35th Avenue and Bell Boulevard gas stations, the drivers had to wait awhile to fill their tanks, and nearby, a Gulf station on Bell Boulevard and 23rd Avenue had even run out of fuel.

A Mobile station at 172-11 Northern Boulevard was also out of gas, but didn’t think believe the fuel shortage was because of the storm, saying it was more of a logistical thing.”

Other Queens gas stations without fuel as of Friday morning were a Mobile station at 181-08 Northern Boulevard and one at  69-02 Queens Boulevard that is expecting a delivery this afternoon.

On The Courier Facebook page some questioned why people would need to get gas since the storm will prevent drivers from hitting the road, but others worried about another situation similar to Sandy.

“The lines are getting longer all over, said Eleni Lenitsa. “Think we’ll have a shortage again?”

But at a 1 p.m. storm briefing today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that there is no need to panic about gas shortages. “The gas supply is plentiful and deliveries won’t be disrupted,” he said.

 

With additional reporting by Maggie Hayes, Anthony O’Reilly and Toni Cimino 

 

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Storm disrupts local transit, airport travel


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA's Flickr

In anticipation of Friday’s blizzard, the MTA has added extra trains to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North, and has cancelled weekend subway work. But as the weather conditions deteriorate, the MTA may need to cancel or make changes to service. Check the MTA website for any updates throughout the storm.

LIRR

The LIRR is providing 8 extra for customers heading home early Friday afternoon. The extra service is between 2:09 p.m. and 3:48 p.m., with extra trains on the Babylon, Port Jefferson, Port Washington and Far Rockaway Branches. Additionally, one Port Jefferson train will originate from Jamaica instead of Huntington. Please consult the LIRR service status branch listing for the specific added trains. For more information, click here.

Metro-North

There will be extra trains during the early afternoon to help customers return home. This schedule will result in reduced service during the PM peak. Train combinations and cancellations are possible at any time, but increase in likelihood as the evening progresses to prevent trains from becoming stranded during the storm. For more information, click here

Subways and Buses 

The snow may require NYC Transit to shift the storage locations to subway cars indoors along underground express tracks. Some lines that normally run express will operate on local tracks, others will end service earlier than normal this evening. Bus service will operate on a regular schedule.

Rockaway Ferry

The last departures from Manhattan to Rockaway Friday will be the 5:10pm from East 34th Street and the 5:35pm from Pier 11. The last departure from Rockaway to Manhattan will be the 4:30pm. Find out more at Seastreak.com.

Bridges and Tunnels

The MTA’s nine crossings are open and operating normally at this time. Motorists are asked to allow extra travel time and operate at reduced speeds due to wet roadways. All scheduled lane closures and weekend work at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel has been canceled due to the weather.

Amtrak

At 12:30 p.m. Friday, Amtrak is suspending northbound service out of Penn Station. For more information and updates, click here.

Airports

The storm is also affecting airline travel. As of noon, there were 3,147 Friday cancellations at U.S. airports, according to FlightStats.com, with 722 at LaGuardia and 573 at JFK Airport. JetBlue said that it is canceling all of its flights in and out of area airports.

If are are traveling by air today or over the weekend, make sure to check with your airline before going to the airport.

 

A video of the MTA’s storm preparations. 

 

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Snow starts in New York as city braces for blizzard


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

queenssnow-540x405

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.:  Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for New York.

“As this winter storm unfolds, bringing heavy snow and high winds to parts of the state, I strongly urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution, avoid travel, and stay indoors,” said Cuomo. “To ensure an effective and rapid response to this winter storm, I am declaring a state of emergency for counties in the lower Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island so resources can get to communities where they are needed as quickly as possible.”

——–

Early Friday morning the snow began falling, but the worst of the weather is still to come.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a blizzard warning from the New York City area that will remain in effect until 1 p.m. Saturday. Ten to 14 inches of snow are expected as well as strong winds at 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

During the day Friday, the warmer temperatures will bring a mix of rain and snow, but the precipitation will turn to all snow by 3 p.m., with the worst storm conditions forecasted for tonight. The snow should taper off on Saturday morning.

Both the city and local residents are taking the blizzard warning seriously.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a severe weather advisory for the city, and, even though the schools are open today, cancelled all after-school programs and PSAL games have been cancelled.

Yesterday, at a storm press briefing, the mayor also assured residents that the snow plows and salt spreaders are ready to go.

City residents can track the progress of the Department of Sanitation‘s clearing operations for their specific street online.

Alternate side parking is suspended citywide through Sunday, but if your vehicle is found blocking roadways or hindering the ability to plow streets, it may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Though the city’s weather advisory urged the public to use public transportation and avoid unnecessary driving during the duration of the storm.

Because many commuters are likely to head home early today before the heavy snow begins, the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North have added extra trains.

Despite the additional transit and warnings to stay off the road, drivers still made sure to fill up their tanks Thursday. As a result, several area gas stations are experiencing long lines reminiscent of the Sandy gas shortage.

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Overcast with rain, then snow and rain in the afternoon. High of 39 with a windchill as low as 19F. Windy. Winds from the ENE at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Chance of precipitation 100% with accumulations up to 1 in. possible. Friday night: Overcast with snow. Low of 23F with a windchill as low as 7. Windy. Winds from the North at 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 55 mph. Chance of snow 100% with accumulations up to 11 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Survey

In honor of Valentine’s Day, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center will present SURVEY on February 8. SURVEY tells the story of Tom Lawrence, a romantically clueless talk show host whose fiancée leaves him. Baffled, Tom turns to the unlikeliest sources for help-three ex-girlfriends. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Airlines announce widespread flight cancellations ahead of winter storm

Hundreds of flights across the country have already been canceled or delayed ahead of the snowstorm anticipated to pound the Tri-State Area on Friday. Read more: CBS New York

Transit changes due to potential blizzard

The big storm heading for the Northeast is already disrupting rail travel. Read more: ABC New York

Queens man pleads guilty to Federal Reserve bomb plot

The Bangladeshi national said that he wanted to “destroy America.” Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to bomb the New York Federal Reserve Bank, resolving to commit mass murder last October, according to the FBI. Read more: Queens Courier

Rockaway residents worry outsiders could take over rebuilding process

There’s no shortage of people interested in helping Rockaway residents figure out how to rebuild their storm-battered neighborhoods. Read more: New York Daily News

150-foot asteroid will buzz Earth, but no need to duck

150-foot-wide asteroid will come remarkably close to Earth next week, even closer than high-flying communication and weather satellites. It will be the nearest known flyby for an object of this size. Read more: AP

NYC area prepares for major snow storm


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

For the first time this winter, the city is getting ready for a potentially powerful snow storm.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the flakes should start falling early Friday morning and the bad weather will continue through Saturday.

Earlier in the day, the NWS  issued a winter storm watch for all of New York City and other parts of the tri-state area, but by the afternoon had changed it to a blizzard warning with 10 to 14 inches of snow expected.

In addition to snow, the storm will bring powerful winds at 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph, and a mixture of rain and sleet, particularly on Friday, making for slippery conditions and possible power outages.

There is also a coastal flooding watch for western Long Island Sound and the Twin Forks of Long Island, said the NWS.

At a briefing on the city’s storm preparations this morning Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the forecasts may be exaggerating the amount of snow, but you never know.

Bracing for the worst case scenario, the city is ready with more than 250,000 tons of salt, 350 salt spreaders and plows for 1,800 sanitation trucks, said the mayor.

City residents can track the progress of the Department of Sanitation‘s clearing operations for their specific street online.

Con Ed also said it is preparing for the storm and any outages it may cause.

To report any outages and downed power lines, or to check service restoration status, customers can visit  www.coned.com/ReportOutage or call -800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

 

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City cashes out over 2010 blizzard


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

New York City is still settling with residents who suffered personal injuries or property damages during the blizzard of 2010 – and the costs continue to snowball.

Across the five boroughs, the city has already reached settlements on 620 claims, doling out $1,855,152.53 due to damages its agencies caused during the snow storm.

Queens has had the most claims settled with 224, and residents have received $567,780.49 in payments thus far – the second highest total behind Brooklyn. The borough has accounted for 36.1 percent of the claims and 30.6 percent of the settlement money.

The highest single claim in Queens was $45,000, paid out to Alethia Cassimy of Rochdale, who suffered multiple body injuries, including a laceration to her lip, after she was struck by a garbage truck/snow plow on December 30, 2010. A similar incident, during which a sanitation truck “backed into” Elmhurst resident Ana Herrera, cost the city $25,000. Herrera suffered a fractured arm, as well as injuries to her neck, back and knee.

According to a spokesperson from the office of City Comptroller John Liu, the totals are not finalized, as many claims have yet to be settled.

“These claims are among the highest for any storm,” said Liu. “There is still a cloud of additional claims hanging over the city, but the silver lining is that agencies have learned from last year’s blizzard and seem better prepared.”