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Brrr-ooklyn slammed by another winter storm

Brrr-ooklyn slammed by another winter storm
Blizzard: A woman braves the snow in Downtown Brooklyn on Jan. 21.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

The season’s latest winter storm was a royal pain for the Borough of Kings this week, 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 the Weatther Channel — when it struck Brooklyn Tuesday morning and, despite having almost identical conditions to 2014’s first storm, city officials still demanded kids show up for school through nearly a foot of snow.

“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 mother of three, Abigail Fastag.

The city did hedge the decision with a caveat — that parents “use their own judgement,” in deciding whether or not to send their children out into the storm — although, for many parents, it didn’t seem right to keep their kids out of class, while others went to school.

“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, which hit 13 degrees during the day and plummeted to an abysmal 7 degrees Wednesday morning. The nasty weather also caused havoc for commuters Tuesday night.

Abi Hassen had just hopped off a J train at the Flushing Avenue station near Woodhull Hospital shortly after 6 pm Tuesday, when he headed over to the nearby B-15 bus stop at Broadway and Marcus-Garvey Boulevard, expecting a ride south into Bedford-Stuyvesant.

However, Hassen and dozens of other would-be straphangers were left hanging — no pun intended — as a string of B-15 busses stopped just long enough to unload their passengers, before switching on their “No Service” lights, and driving off empty into the blizzard — during rush hour.

“I saw at least eight busses go by,” said Hassen. “At first it was kind of funny, then it was just ridiculous. They just kept coming, and then going out of service.”

Eventually, the miserable crowd awaiting a ride 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 MTA spokesperson 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, while the main streets got so much attention, they 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 covered 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.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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