New York City, still recovering from Sandy’s staggering blow, “dodged a bullet,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) said Saturday morning.
“I think it’s fair to say that we were very lucky. We certainly avoided the worst of it and our thoughts go out to the people of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine,” the mayor said. “If we can do anything to help them we certainly will. . . . When we were in trouble the country came to our aid, and we want to make sure we do the same.”
But parts of Long Island were hit with more than 30 inches of snow, catching commuters by surprise and stranding some in their cars for up to 12 hours.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo asked for help from other towns to help dig out eastern Long Island. About 200 people were stranded in cars Friday night in Suffolk County, according to the Associated Press, prompting questions of whether the roads should have been closed.
The decision by Patrick to order a ban on non-essential travel throughout Massachusetts on Friday afternoon was the first time such powers had been evoked in the state since the Blizzard of ’78, issued then after hundreds of stranded cars blocked cleanup of the roadway.
“This is not something one does lightly,” Patrick said after the worst of the storm had passed. “Considering what might have happened if we had not had that ban, I think we were pretty well served by it.”
Commuter trains and Amtrak from Boston made their last runs Friday afternoon, crowded with passengers who waited for the final chance to get home. Menino sent Boston city workers home and mobilized 600 plows and trucks to combat the storm.
For some, the weekend storm meant more holiday than hardship. Schools were canceled on Friday, many employers called off work, and most others sent their staff home by midday to avoid commuting woes.
Kate Ruh, 19, brought her sleeping bag and inflatable mattress to work at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Concord, Mass., to stay Friday night. She was nearly snowed in Saturday, unable to swing the doors open for emergency crews because of snowdrifts.
“The snowplow guys asked if I was open. I said if you can get the doors open, I am,” Ruh said, laughing.
New York City accumulated only 8.1 inches of snow in Central Park. Hours after the storm passed, the main airports, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia, reopened for limited service. Grand Central Terminal, which had canceled travel during the storm, resumed service on the Harlem and Hudson lines at 11:20 a.m. Saturday, but travel to hard-hit Connecticut had not been resumed.