The Blizzard of 2010 has left thousands of people stranded in airports, on roadways and in unplowed neighborhoods throughout the northeast.
No deaths due to the storm have, as yet, been reported.
There's a lot of snow, every place, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. And it was accompanied by high winds.
Airports are still dealing with flight delays on Tuesday. Thousands of flights have been canceled, leaving many holiday travelers stranded for days.
Many Metropolitan Transit Authority and NJ Transit rail lines are operating on limited schedules. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reports that PATH train service between Newark and New York City remains suspended. Buses are operating on a much reduced schedule. People should contact the appropriate transit authority for updates.
State and local officials throughout the New York metropolitan area have been sending out phone calls and posting notices on websites for residents to stop calling 911 for any reason other than an emergency, because many people were calling for information on snow plowing.
Please do not call 911 unless it's a life threatening emergency, Bloomberg said. People's lives depend on it.
Bloomberg said that plows had not gotten as yet to secondary and tertiary streets because of the sheer volume of snow that fell so rapidly on the city.
Primary streets often had to be plowed two and three times to keep them open because the snow was falling so quickly, the mayor said.
According to the National Weather Service, New Jersey got the most snow, with New York and Massachusetts also reporting huge downfalls. Rahway, in Union County in the center of the state, got 32 inches. Elizabeth, also in Union County, got 31.8 inches. Brick Township on the Jersey Shore got 30 inches. Towns in Cape May County at the southern tip of the state got over 26 inches, and towns in northern New Jersey got as much, New York City received nearly 20 inches.
Winds gusted up to 59 miles per hour across the region, weather service officials said.
Mary Beth Jahn, mayor of Neptune Township, about 50 miles south of Manhattan on the Atlantic shore, this morning summarized some of the problems municipal officials are dealing with throughout the northeast.
We had a huge problem with four of our ambulances stuck on Route 18 last night, and the state would not send resources to get them free and clear the road,' she said. We had to divert a ton of our resources up there, most of which got stuck themselves. We did eventually get most of them free, but overnight nine of our 22 plows needed service, which was being done at the Municipal Complex today to get them on the road tonight. The state and county are still not taking care of their roads, putting an even bigger burden on the Township.
We are getting absolutely bombarded with medical emergency calls, and since the ambulances sit so low, a plow has to accompany them to the home and then the hospital. That is a huge diversion of plow resources, but we can't ignore them, she said.
Jahn said another problem is that the snow is so high that our police cars, just like all non-SUVs, are getting stuck because the drifts come up over the engines. We've put any and all 4x4s we own in the township into service.
The township could also find no tow companies willing to work with us because they are making more money working on their own, the mayor said.
We have resorted to using an Office of Emergency Management vehicle to try to move these vehicles out of the way. This takes a huge amount of time and is pushing plow operations way, way back. At this time, we have over 120 abandoned vehicles all over the Township.
Close to 10,000 New Jerseyans temporarily lost power due to the storm.
Officials throughout the region are advising people to travel only if necessary. Mayor Bloomberg noted that it was lucky that school children were off this week and that many workers also had holidays, or the situation would be worse.
While this storm hit us much worse than anticipated, the cleanup is well underway, said New Jersey State Sen. Stephen Sweeney, who is acting governor while Gov. Chris Christie is out of the state.
Sweeney lifted New Jersey's state of emergency last night, and opened state offices today.
Even though the storm is now passed, it will be several days before we have totally cleaned up the mess left for us by Mother Nature. I encourage all residents to continue to use common sense and caution when venturing outdoors, as some roads may still be hard to navigate, temperatures will continue to hold below freezing and blowing snow will still be a concern.