Winter Storm Kenan dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the Big Apple on Saturday, paralyzing roadways and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights amid near white-out conditions.
The furious “bomb cyclone” — which appeared on satellite imagery as a mammoth swirl consuming the Northeast — stretched from the Carolinas to Maine and walloped some parts of the tri-state area with two to three feet of snow, completely shutting down the Long Island Rail Road until early Sunday morning.
But that didn’t keep some “snow angels” and other New Yorkers from having a blast.
The group of Manhattan nuns got in on the action in Central Park, tubing and sledding in their white habits and boots when they couldn’t get their cars out of the snow, said local Superior Sister Magdalene.
The flying nuns — from the Sisters of Life, who have a convent on the Upper East Side and run a crisis pregnancy center — keep the sleds at their East 66th Street convent for just such an occasion, she added.
“There were so many cars stuck, we decided to go sledding. It was really fun,” she said.
“OK. To the baptism!” one said after their quick romp in the snow.
They were allowed to stash the sleds in the back during the baptism at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, Sister Magdalene said.
Mayor Adams — keenly aware of the test such a major storm would bring to his young administration — was out and about “bright and early” as he vowed Friday, touring each borough, riding the Staten Island Ferry and making good on his pledge to The Post to shovel his own sidewalk.
He praised city workers as a “well oiled machine” and gave the Sanitation Department an “A+” as he made his rounds.
“As I moved around, I am just really impressed with how well they’re doing their job,” he said.
He said EMS had a number of runs but was able to move around because Sanitation was out in force clearing the roads, and first responders were on the lookout for anyone who was unsheltered to get them to hospitals or other facilities.
“We know this is a complicated city, but we have the tools and we have the personnel and the manpower,” the mayor said. “They’re professionals.”
There were no deaths in the city in connection with the powerful nor’easter as of Saturday evening, but it certainly left its mark:
- The “bomb cyclone,” named such because of the rapid rate the pressure at its center dropped, left an estimated 13.1 inches in Bayside, Queens, 12.7 inches in Middle Village, Queens, and 12.6 inches at JFK Airport. Most of the city had 7 to 10 inches, with 8.3 inches measured in Central Park, AccuWeather meteorologist Alan Reppert said. Measured totals in Brooklyn reached as high as 11.8 inches in Bay Ridge, with Woodrow’s 9.9 inches the highest total on Staten Island and Throgs Neck’s 9.1 inches the largest total in the Bronx, according to Reppert.
- Strong winds in the city, which at times gusted to 45 mph, sent snow blowing over roadways and slowing drivers to a crawl. Traffic on the Belt Parkway was at just 25 mph early in the day.
- NYC Transit suspended service at some aboveground subway stops and to the Rockaways, while the Long Island Rail Road tweeted that it expected to resume service at 5 am Sunday. Metro-North was to operate hourly, with some branch service suspended, officials said. Most Amtrak trains in and out of New York City were also canceled, and New Jersey Transit canceled most service.
- More than 98 percent of LaGuardia Airport’s scheduled flights, 85% of Newark’s flights and 76% of JFK’s flights were canceled. Flight tracking service FlightAware said more than 3,500 US flights were nixed, with airports in Philadelphia and Boston also virtually shut down.
- Blizzard-like conditions were seen in Suffolk County, where reports out of Islip said 20 inches had fallen shortly after noon. Long Island, which saw nearly two feet or more in some spots, recorded wind gusts of up to 60 mph, Gov. Kathy Hochul said. On the Jersey Shore, 19 inches was reported in Bayville.
- The storm may have played a role in at least one death on Long Island, where a snowplow driver found a woman dead in her care in a Uniondale parking lot, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman told The Post. Blakeman said the initial assumption was that the woman, who was found in her car with the windows open, had suffered a health related incident while trying to clear snow from the vehicle. “Originally, we thought it was storm related,” he said, but Nassau County Police are investigating. “We don’t know if it’s health related, we don’t know if it’s foul play, we don’t know it’s storm related.”
As the storm moved north, it was expected to intensify. The Boston area was forecast to get 2 to 3 feet, while totals could top three and a half in Maine.
Larry and Elaine Hoffman of Sykesville, Maryland, were in New York to visit their son, who lives in Hoboken. At Moynihan Station early Saturday, they found just one train leaving for Washington DC, with the rest canceled. “We feel so lucky to get this train!” said Elaine. “I just want to get out of here!” Larry as he boarded.
“It’s stressful,” said Grace Agostino, an 18-year-old student trying to take a train to Albany. “I don’t know how long it’s been delayed or if it’s even going to come. I need to get home.” Even getting to the station on the A train was difficult, she said.
Suman Dutta, 66, a nurse traveling home to Rochester after visiting her son in the city, was dismayed when she got to the station and there was little information about when her train would depart.
“We rushed to get to the station on time, but now it’s delayed,” Dutta said. “I have to go to work tomorrow, I have to be there. I’m upset. I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait here.”
The train headed north after a delay of several hours.
Ida Moore, 34, waited for hours at Penn Station hoping to make it across the Hudson. “The city or the train people should have warned us ahead of time that the train schedules would be so wack,” she said in frustration. “What if you need to go to work or get back to your family?”
Meanwhile, business was booming in some parts of the Big Apple.
“Shovels and sleds are flying like hot cakes today,” said Alexander Lagos, manager at Tarzian Hardware in Park Slope, which has sold “several hundred” over Friday and Saturday. “Sleds are doing really, really well.”
For kindergarten teacher Maria Chale, the snow added to the exhilaration of her regular 3.35-mile run through Prospect Park.
“This is so joyful to be able to run on this powdered surface with snow. Isn’t it wonderful to be out here?” she said with ice forming on the top of her running jacket. “It’s a surreal experience, you feel it on your face. You just keep running.”
Additional reporting by Rich Calder, Khristina Narizhnaya, Melissa Klein and Dana Kennedy