On Monday night, all of New York City lay dormant in anticipation of a “crippling,” “historic” snowstorm.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had declared a state of emergency, shutting down the city’s subway system for the first time in its history. Private cars and city buses were banned from driving on city roads, and people were urged to stay in their homes. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the city’s school systems to close, keeping more than one million students at home Tuesday. Thousands of flights to and from JFK, Newark and LaGuardia airports were cancelled.
But despite all these preventive measures, the city appears to have been spared the worst of the snowstorm. While some areas of the downstate region — along with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island — got slammed with more than two feet of snow overnight, a mere 7.8 inches had fallen in Central Park by 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News. Parts of Queens got a little more than 10 inches.
The snowstorm also shut down a number of big entertainment events scheduled for Monday night throughout New York City. The New York Knicks’ and Nets’ home games were both canceled, and Broadway’s lights and sounds went out for the evening.
Comedian Louis CK also canceled his Monday evening performance at Madison Square Garden, offering a full refund to those who had bought tickets.
“No show,” CK wrote in an email to ticketholders. “I will be on Letterman tonight, though. So you can yell boo right at my stupid and very handsome face on your TV screen or on your paper towel or your watch or whatever you view Letterman on.”
“We played it safe by getting staff out as players began cancelling courts and activity schedule at the club,” says Michael Cash, Managing Director at CityView Racquet Club, Long Island City, NY. “We then held over a crew of 5 to monitor the snow and wind’s effect on our two tennis bubbles. Beginning at 2am, this dedicated team worked to remove snow from the top of the bubble in order to reduce the sagging and risk of collapse. They were literally tethered by ropes for safety reasons. This morning we went with a short staff inside while we continued to remove drifted snow from the bubbles. Members began to arrive that afternoon for tennis and squash, plus fitness. We simply responded in a safe and timely fashion to the actual conditions.”
New Yorkers may feel disgruntled that their everyday routines were put on hold for the sake of a few inches of snow. But with memories of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation still fresh in the minds of many, Monday night was a lesson in being better off safe than sorry.
“We dodged a bullet,” de Blasio said. “Two feet of snow would have paralyzed this city.”