It finally snowed yesterday, but it wasn't quite the Winter Wonderland we'd been waiting for. Because being pelted by sleet/freezing rain does not make the heart happy, nor does slipping on what looks like a cleared patch of sidewalk. There were winds in at least the 30+ m.p.h. zone, which also made it worse. Many roads were unplowed, and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty admitted, "Sometimes I'd rather try and control a 12-inch snowstorm than a storm where we got a lot of sleet and ice coming down. This freezing rain and sleet is a particular problem because... you can never seem to get ahead."
Of course, traipsing through the slushy streets seems easy compared to what some jetBlue passengers to warmer destinations had to go through. As flights were being canceled left and right at area airports, jetBlue passengers were stuck on planes on the tarmac for 11+ hours - reasons varied from planes' wheels were frozen to the ice to gates not opening up at JFK for planes to return. A passenger called WABC 7 to report there was no power or heat and that the flight attendants had to open the doors every so often for fresh air! (The passenger also sent in this cameraphone picture.)
On a jetBlue flight from Fort Myers that deplaned about 11 hours after landing at 10AM, one passenger told the Post that the airline gave out pretzels and peanuts, but couldn't dispense alcohol since it was against the rules. Plus a woman had a panic attack and locked herself in bathroom for an hour. jetBlue says that their actions were not acceptable and will be refunding passengers as well as giving them free flights. We bet passengers take those flights in fairer weather!
How was your first day of 2007 snow? Were you able to celebrate your Valentine's Day? Today will be in the 20s - no snow in sight.
Photograph of 14th Street at Union Square by Amauri Aguiar on Flickr