Tag Archives: Juno

Queens commuters and business owners unhappy over shutdown of city’s mass transit during storm


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ERIC JANKIEWICZ

The city’s subways and buses are back on track after this week’s snowstorm, but frustration over the mass transit shutdown is lingering on like piles of dirty snow left over from the blizzard.

Many Queens residents are still furious over Gov. Cuomo’s  decision Monday to shut down the city’s subway and bus system for the first time ever for a snowstorm as a precaution against the possibility of having buses and trains loaded with passengers stuck in snow.

The storm was large and real as expected, but moved eastward, hitting Long Island a lot harder, Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed out. After suspending transit overnight, the MTA slowly resumed subway and bus service at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and was running on a Sunday schedule by noon, which is about 60 percent of weekday service.

“The last time the city was put on lockdown like that was during Sandy. And that made me think that this was going to be the blizzard of the century or something,” Elvir Beharous said. A resident of Bayside, Beharous commutes by bus from his neighborhood to Flushing during weekdays for work.

After announcing a state of emergency and travel ban on all state and local roads for 13 New York counties starting at 11 p.m. Monday for all non-emergency vehicles, Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted the ban in most of those counties, including all the five boroughs, as of 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

But Beharous couldn’t make it to work on Tuesday since buses were running erratically. As a wage worker he couldn’t afford to take the loss of a day’s work.

“So I just shoveled for people all day in Bayside to make up the money,” he said on Wednesday as he waited for the now-running Q12 to take him back home from work in Flushing.

Full MTA weekday service was back on Wednesday, allowing Beharous to go back to work, even if he did have a cold from being out all day in the snow on Tuesday.

Wing Hangsong, a GED-student, didn’t mind having the day off of school, but that evening he couldn’t go to his job as a bus boy at a restaurant in downtown Flushing with buses down.

“It was necessary to close down the roads, but they could’ve at least given us some kind of emergency service,” said Hangsong, who lives on the southern edge of Flushing near Kissena Park.

Commuters weren’t the only ones affected by the shutdown.

The storm, known as Juno, took a chunk out of businesses in the downtown Flushing area, according to Dian Yu, head of the area’s business improvement district.

“It definitely wasn’t business as usual on Tuesday,” he said. “There were less people shopping in the area and most businesses took a loss.”

Thankfully, Yu said, celebrations for the Chinese New Year are still going strong and he is confident that the next two weeks of increased holiday-related business will make up for the loss.

“In a way, we’re very  lucky that this happened now,” Yu said.

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PHOTOS: January 2015 snowstorm


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by The Queens  Courier Staff

The season’s first snowstorm may not have been the record-breaker that some were predicting, but it still covered the borough in an impressive amount of the white stuff.

Take a look at our gallery of photos taken during the storm dubbed Juno, including pics of plows clearing the streets, dogs braving the blizzard and pedestrians fighting the windy conditions.

IMG_9503

Photo by Bradley Hawks

If you want The Queens Courier to include your storm photos in our gallery, let us know by tweeting them to @queenscourier, posting them on our Facebook page or emailing them to editorial@queenscourier.com (subject: snow pics).


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Queens only gets about a foot of snow after massive blizzard predicted for city


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Updated 3:22 p.m. 

Public transit service has resumed and streets are open to normal traffic again after a storm that was expected to bring a substantial amount of snow to New York City turned out to be far less impactful than predicted.

“Put simply, we got about half as much as what a lot of the projections had been, or even under half as much.” Mayor de Blasio said at a storm briefing Tuesday.

The storm was as large and real as expected, but moved eastward, hitting Long Island a lot harder, the mayor emphasized.

“Things turned out a lot better than we feared, but we were prepared,” he said, defending the city’s snow preparations, including shutting down mass transit and banning non-emergency vehicles from local streets.

Snow totals for the city were forecast as high as 30 inches at times, but as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, totals in Queens reached a foot at the most, according to local weather reports.

After announcing a state of emergency and travel ban on all state and local roads for 13 New York counties starting at 11 p.m. Monday for all non-emergency vehicles, Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted the ban in most of those counties, including all the five boroughs, as of 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

While passable, the roads are not clear, Cuomo stressed during a storm briefing that morning.

“If [travel is] nonessential we wouldn’t recommend it,” he said.

The vehicle ban included New York City streets, and De Blasio also cautioned motorists to be careful, especially in eastern Queens, which experienced the brunt of the storm.

The storm, known as Juno, also prompted the MTA to shut down its entire subway, bus and commuter rail systems at 11 p.m. Monday. It was reportedly the first time the transit agency has suspended service for snow.

After suspending transit overnight, the MTA resumed subway and bus service at 9 a.m. and was running on a Sunday schedule by noon, which is about 60 percent of weekday service. The Long Island Rail Road started operating on its electrified branches around 12 p.m. with a weekend schedule. 

Full MTA weekday service is expected to be back on Wednesday.

Life in the city also started to return to normal Tuesday morning when its parks reopened after closing the previous evening because of fears over falling branches.

The city’s public schools, however, were closed on Tuesday. They will be open on Wednesday.

Alternate side parking is suspended on Tuesday and Wednesday to help with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect. Garbage and recycling collection is also suspended on those days, but it’s not clear yet when it will resume.

The Department of Sanitation continued to clear the city’s 6,000 miles of streets as the storm headed out Tuesday, with personnel on 12-hour shifts and 2,300 pieces of equipment deployed.

To track the progress of snow clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

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‘Potentially historic’ blizzard targets NYC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated Monday, Jan. 26, 6:55 p.m.

A crippling storm that could be one of the largest blizzards New York City has ever experienced is shutting down public transit, closing schools and restricting travel on roadways as it’s expected to bring two feet or more of snow.

After declaring a state of emergency for all New York counties south of Sullivan, including the entire five boroughs, earlier in the day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a travel ban on all state and local roads in those areas starting at 11 p.m. Monday. Only authorized emergency vehicles will be allowed on those roads, and a violation of the travel ban is punishable as a misdemeanor that includes fines of up to $300.

“This blizzard is forecasted to be one of the worst this region has seen, and we must put safety first and take all necessary precautions,” Cuomo said. “Commuters and drivers need to get home as quickly as possible before the storm completely cripples our transit networks and roads.”

The governor also said the MTA and Port Authority public transit systems will be suspending service beginning at 11 p.m. Monday.

Only 1 to 3 inches was forecasted for the day Monday, but heavier snowfall is expected Monday evening and during the day Tuesday before tapering off that night, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). A blizzard waring is in effect until midnight Tuesday, with snowfall estimates at 20 to 30 inches and gusts as high as 50 mph, which will likely create whiteout conditions.

There is also a coastal flood warning for northern Queens from 3 to 7 a.m. Tuesday, and a warning for southern Queens from midnight through 5 a.m. Tuesday

‘“You can’t underestimate this storm,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a weather briefing Monday afternoon.

“People cannot be caught off guard,” he added.

De Blasio urged New Yorkers to remain inside if possible, telling them to stay off the roads and even to keep walking to a minimum because of slippery conditions.

The mayor also asked people to stay out of city parks because of the potential for falling branches, saying they will be closed as of 6 p.m.

The city’s public schools remained open on Monday, but will be closed on Tuesday. All Monday school trips, after-school programs, PSAL and evening adult education programs were also canceled.

Ahead of the storm, the Department of Sanitation issued a “snow alert” starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday and will be deploying its snow fighting equipment as needed. According to the mayor, there will be 2,400 workers per shift on 12-hour shifts and 2,300 vehicles with snow-plowing ability, plus 250 more pieces of equipment coming from other agencies this evening.

Alternate side parking will be suspended Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to help with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect. Garbage and recycling collection will also be suspended.

By the time the sun returns on Wednesday, the storm could be one for the record books, according to the NWS, which called the blizzard “potentially historic.”

De Blasio was confident at a Sunday storm briefing that the snowfall would be among one of the largest to hit the city, citing records that date back to the late 19th century.

“This literally could be one of the top two or three largest storms in the history of this city,” he said.

The current record holder is a February 2006 storm, when 26.9 inches of snow fell in Central Park over a 16-hour period.

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Mostly cloudy with rain showers, then thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 82. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Monday night: Overcast with thunderstorms, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 73. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Free screening of Juno at Astoria Park

The Central Astoria LDC presents Juno as the final film of its Monday night outdoor film series at Astoria Park. Free.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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