Snow storm blankets New York, disrupts air traffic

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NEW YORK - The second major winter storm since Christmas blanketed the New York region with deep snow Wednesday, but was less severe in the city where public schools remained open and public transport was mostly running.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled as the fierce storm hit the region Tuesday night.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged not to repeat mistakes made during the snow storm which gripped the city the day after Christmas, dumping 60 cm of snow on New York and paralysing it and surrounding areas.

This time City Hall declared a weather emergency and sent out thousands of sanitation workers backed by heavy snow plows and salt trucks to the city’s five boroughs.

Bloomberg and his administration were roundly criticised in December for a series of mishaps when snow-clogged streets prevented emergency ambulances from reaching sick people in the boroughs.

“We recognise that we did not do the job that New Yorkers rightly expected of us in the last storm,” he said Tuesday night, when snow began falling on the city of more than eight million inhabitants. “We intend to make sure that does not happen.”

New York received 22 cm of snow. But New Jersey, Connecticut and Long Island got over 50 cm in some parts.

New York region’s three major airports, including the John F. Kennedy International Airport, remained open while airline companies were trying to deal with overnight cancelled flights.

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