Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New York's Christmas Blizzard 2010

(Click on any photo for a larger image.)

On Sunday, December 26, 2010, a blizzard hit New York City and the surrounding areas with a fury, dumping up to two feet of snow in some areas and packing winds that were close to category 1 hurricane speeds. Snowdrifts of five to six feet were commonplace and the entire city was brought to a standstill. The city's response to the clean-up effort was dismal, leaving hundreds of streets unplowed for days, trapping thousands of people in their homes and leaving untold numbers of cars stranded on city streets. It was a major mess.

On my block there were two cars abandoned dead in the middle of the street. You can see them here in the top photo. My house also happens to be dead in the middle of the block. The area of cleared snow in the foreground is my driveway. Fortunately for me, although those two cars were left within inches of my driveway, they did not block it. Unfortunately for me, those two cars also meant that snowplows could not get through so my street remained unplowed for days until the owners extricated their vehicles. During that time an interesting thing happened two days after the storm hit. A Verizon truck driver, seeking to return to his home base which is located at the end of my block, chose to try squeezing his truck in between one abandoned car and a car parked on the opposite side of the street rather than going around the block. He was successful only in hitting the parked car and immediately getting stuck in the snow. After nearly two hours of trying to free his truck, he called for help and another Verizon truck showed up...which proceeded to immediately get stuck also. A third truck was called in. Yep, you guessed it. It also got stuck. The vehicle count is now two abandoned cars and three Verizon trucks stuck in the snow outside my front door. It took a fourth truck to finally bring this charade to an end more than four hours after the first truck was stuck. In the bottom photo you can see two trucks in the near and middle distance and the lights of the fourth truck arriving in the far distance to the left. The center photo shows the the first truck to the far right. It had been pulled away from the parked car at this point but was trapped behind the two other stuck trucks. Can't make this stuff up, folks. I lack sufficient imagination.

The storm also brought quite a bit of anxiety to my family when we found out that my mother had slipped on the front steps of her house and injured her ankle. The snow conditions prevented my folks from leaving to seek medical attention and prevented an ambulance from making it over to them. When all was said and done, it was eight days before my mother's ankle was examined and x-rayed. The verdict: the ankle is broken and has been set in a cast. Fortunately the break was not a bad one but any bone break for a septuagenarian is cause for concern. She'll be in a cast for about six weeks and has been given strict orders not to place any weight on the foot. The weather forecast promises more snow for this weekend. I've got fingers and toes crossed that we only get a light dusting this time. Another storm would....I don't even want to think about it.

You can see some more photos of the storm's aftermath in my Photobucket album:

Ballo ergo sum,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva