The season’s latest winter storm was a royal pain for the Borough of Kings, dumping more than 10 inches of snow and driving temperatures down to single digits.
When Winter Storm Hercules dumped more than a foot of snow on Brooklyn two weeks ago, the drudgery of clearing streets and the bitterness of the cold were eased by the sweet relief of school cancellations and weekday sledding. But there was no such redemption for Hercules’s successor — dubbed Winter Storm Janus by our pals at the Weather Channel — when it struck on Tuesday morning.
City officials demanded kids show up for school despite Janus being nearly identical to 2014’s first storm, irking some parents.
“My son had to wait 15 minutes in the cold for the bus — which was late — I had to clean the driveway and the car, which took a half hour, and it would have been much easier if it was canceled,” said Marine Park mom Abigail Fastag.
The city did hedge the school call, saying parents should “use their own judgement,” in deciding whether or not to send their children out into the storm — but for many parents it did not seem right to keep their kids out of class while others went to class.
“You can’t keep them out of school while others are attending,” said Fastag. “It pressures you to follow along.”
Tuesday’s thick snowfall and frigid temperatures hit 13 degrees during the day and plummeted to an abysmal 7 degrees on Wednesday morning. The nasty weather also caused havoc for commuters on Tuesday night.
One Bedford-Stuyvesant resident hopped off a J train at the Flushing Avenue station near Woodhull Medical Center shortly after 6 pm on Tuesday and headed over to the nearby B15 bus stop at Broadway and Marcus Garvey Boulevard, expecting a ride toward his house.
But he and dozens of other would-be straphangers were left hanging as a string of B15 buses stopped just long enough to unload their passengers, before switching on their “Out of Service” signs, and driving off empty into the snowstorm.
“I saw at least eight buses go by,” Abi Hassen said.
“At first it was kind of funny, then it was just ridiculous. They just kept coming, and then going out of service.”
Eventually, some among the miserable crowd grew unruly and started hurling snowballs and insults at the fleeing buses.
“It was mostly a lot of yelling and frustration,” Hassen recounted. “But there were a few snowballs thrown.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the buses should have been running normally, and plans to investigate.
“B15 bus service was never suspended during the storm,” said transit spokeswoman Judie Glave. “We’re are going to be looking into the matter further.”
Meanwhile, in Southern Brooklyn, people with homes on side streets spent the day stewing over their lack of plowing, salt, and sand coverage. The the main streets got attention, but the side streets looked like the “Macy’s parking lot,” according to Sheepshead Bay resident Rob Hagen.
“Crawford Avenue is a disaster,” said Hagen, who owns a home there between Ocean Parkway and E. Seventh Street.
In Marine Park, the side-street coverage wasn’t much better, and the neighborhood’s one-way streets were still blanketed with snow more than twelve hours after the final flake had fallen.
“I had assumed they would have it plowed by the afternoon,” said Fastag, who lives on E. 32nd between Quentin Road and Avenue P. “The mayor didn’t consider this important enough to plow.”