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Queens Chronicle

Fast and furious snow freezes city

Queens hit with up to 12 inches

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Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014 10:30 am

It took five hours for a driver to get from her workplace in Great Neck, LI to her home in Forest Hills Tuesday night. It took a Rego Park worker who lives on Long Island two hours and 45 minutes just to get to the Little Neck Parkway exit on the Grand Central Parkway. And they were only two among thousands.

Abandoned cars littered the roadways as other unlucky, or unskilled, drivers tried to get themselves out of the snowdrifts piled up on the shoulders. Mounds of snow sometimes nearly a foot high developed along the dotted lines on the streets and highways.

And the snow just kept on coming, with totals estimated at anywhere from 7 inches to a little more than a foot in the various neighborhoods of Queens.

The nor’easter that hit the city Tuesday was dubbed Janus, for the Roman god of beginnings and endings. The beginning came around 8 a.m. and the ending around 10 p.m., though it lasted much longer outside the city.

Mayor de Blasio took some criticism for the city’s response to the snowfall, the second major storm of his three-week-old tenure. Perhaps the most vociferous critic was the New York Post, which declared the city a “shambles” in “turmoil” on its front page Wednesday.

De Blasio said he thought the city handled the storm well, noting that the snow intensified just in time for the Tuesday evening rush hour, though he later told the media that “more could have been done” on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The storm’s intensity may have surprised some members of the public, which had much shorter notice about it than the one earlier this year. And the forecast worsened throughout the day Monday, going from 3 to 6 inches for the city to 4 to 8 to 7 to 15 in a matter of hours. In the end the forecast was correct.

Speaking of which, there’s a 30 percent chance of flurries today, Jan. 23, according to the National Weather Service, and a 50 percent chance of snow showers on Saturday. But there’s no prediction of anything like Janus coming in anytime soon. At least not yet.

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