By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
As Jonas, the second most severe blizzard on record, buried the East Coast, hundreds of dedicated public employees dug deep for New York City to survive the storm.
The Nor’easter dumped a record-setting 26.8 inches of snow between Friday night on Jan. 22 and 12 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, blanketing the Big Apple in still, pristine whiteness.
Early on Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo heeded warnings of a winter whiteout and declared a state of emergency that kept most New Yorkers indoors and imposed driving bans that kept traffic off main roads and shuttered bridges and tunnels.
Public employees in many DC 37 locals worked around the clock to clear snow and ice that choked the city. The coordinated effort called for city employees to work longer shifts protecting New Yorkers and their pets from snow drifts, freezing temperatures and rising tides.
Social Workers gathered the homeless in from the cold. Caseworkers kept shelter residents and their children safe, warm and fed. Emergency Medical Technicians answered the high volume of calls, and Emergency and 311 Operators handled during the storm.
On the bright Monday after the blizzard, New Yorkers rushed into the normalcy of another workweek. School Crossing Guards escorted kids across slushy streets and past waist-high snow piles.
“No matter the cause of emergency–whether manmade or by Mother Nature–our dedicated members are here. They make personal sacrifices to keep New Yorkers safe. They are the engine that makes our city run,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said.