Despite dire warnings from forecasters and the media, the winter storm that blew in to the borough and rest of the city last weekend was pretty much a dud as far as blizzards go.
It dumped about a foot of snow, with a major city response, helped by rain and warm temps, to make it more of a weekend wonderland for kids.
The digout began one day after Winter Storm Nemo roared into the Bronx, with neighbors excavating their cars and driveways, removing mounds of snow.
They certainly hunkered down when Nemo reached maximum strength during the early morning hours of Feb. 8, heeding the warning from Mayor Bloomberg who called Nemo the perfect time to “cook a meal, stay home, read a good book, watch a movie, just take it easy.”
But the day after, homeowners from Throggs Neck to Kingsbridge began shoveling and plowing their way out of the snow.
Boroughwide, an army of Department of Sanitation crews worked round the clock to clear high-priority streets, utilizing salt spreaders and frontend loaders.
The City’s Strongest was certainly ready this time compared to the blizzard of 2010 when crews were blamed for the slow cleanup process that forced Bronxites to abandon their cars in the middle of streets.
But the timely cleanup this time around allowed kids to get out of the house to bask in the winter wonderland, schlepping to Pelham Bay Park for a day of sledding last weekend.
Crowds of thrillseekers skidded down the hills of Crotona Park where city Park’s Department staffers doled out warm cocoa. The amount of snow was enough for families to square off in snowball fights, build snowmen, or plop themselves on the ground to create a family of snow angels.
But some young entrepreneurs saw the white stuff as white gold, venturing out with a shovel in hand to dig out their neighbors driveways for some pocket money.
By Feb. 11 the streets were passable thanks to a daylong rainstorm, turning much of the remaining snow into slush.
Calm before the storm
Hours before the storm made landfall in the Bronx, city agencies prepped for the big storm.
While Metro-North service was scaled back, institutions like the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Garden closed early.
David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383