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NYC's 2016 Blizzard: What We Know

By Danielle Tcholakian | January 23, 2016 7:03pm | Updated on January 23, 2016 8:59pm

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The second-biggest blizzard in the city's history dumped more than two feet of snow across the five boroughs, snarling transit, shutting down roads and keeping most New Yorkers indoors for the duration of the storm.

The city was "fighting an uphill battle" against the snowstorm over the weekend as it scrambled to keep pace with the up to three inches of snow that fell per hour, far beyond initial predictions, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Here's what we know about the storm:

The National Weather Service recorded 26.8 inches of snow in Central Park — the official reading for New York City.

Parts of the city saw more, however, including 34 inches in Jackson Heights.

Staten Island's Port Richmond had a snowfall accumulation of 31 inches, and Jamaica, Queens came in third with 30 inches at JFK airport.

Check out our look back at New York's record-breaking blizzards.

The blizzard caused three deaths in the city, according to the NYPD and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Two people in Queens and one person in Staten Island died shoveling snow.

NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill urged people to hire someone to shovel for them if they are unfit for labor.

"Or if you have a good neighbor, maybe ask the good neighbor to help you do what you need to do," O'Neill said.

The Department of Parks and Recreation worked to protect the city from coastal flooding, and the mayor visited both Staten Island and Coney Island early Saturday afternoon to check out coastal conditions.

The National Weather Service issued a coastal flood advisory from 5 p.m. Saturday until midnight Sunday for low-lying neighborhoods along the water.

Officials anticipated only moderate increases in sea levels of only 3 or 4 feet above normal levels, "which is manageable especially given the precautions that have been put in place," the mayor said.

The city enforced a travel ban prohibiting all non-emergency vehicles from being on the roads from 2:30 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday.

A total of 25 summonses were issued for people who violated the ban, according to the mayor.

The MTA suspended bus and aboveground train service as well, restoring most by Sunday afternoon. 

Both airports saw record snowfall totals with 27.9 inches at LaGuardia and a little over 30 inches at John F. Kennedy, according to the NWS. They were open Sunday morning, but thousands of flights had been canceled.

Check DNAinfo's transit tracker for updates.

Reports flooded in of ambulances across the city getting stranded in the snow.





At the mayor's press conference, EMS chief James Booth acknowledged, "We've had some stuck ambulances."

"But that number has been mitigated," he added. "It fluctuates up and down."

There were also reports of ambulances being unable to access the emergency room dock at Beth Israel Hospital to deliver patients, and calling the Department of Sanitation for assistance with plowing.

Mayoral spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick said the hospital had a private contractor onsite and another DSNY plow had been dispatched specifically to address any remaining issues.


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