By Howard Schwach
Rockaway virtually came to a standstill on Monday, February 17, as a slow-moving blizzard dropped nearly two feet of snow on the peninsula as well as on the remainder of the city.
As the snow began on Sunday evening and as meteorologists on both radio and television predicted a near- record snowfall, most of the supermarkets and food stores on the peninsula were jammed with shoppers looking for staples such as milk, bread and water. Candles were big sellers, as was anything connected with snow and ice removal.
By midnight on Sunday, there was heavy snow covering most of Rockaway's streets, even though the storm was still several hours away.
The Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) closed the A Subway Line to Rockaway at 1:20 a.m. on Monday morning. The entire line remained closed until the Rockaway Park Shuttle was reopened at about 11:25 a.m. on Wednesday.
At that time, the Far Rockaway A Line remained closed. It reopened late Wednesday afternoon.
"We had trouble with all of our above-ground lines, particularly the Rockaway line" a spokesperson for the MTA told The Wave. "There were many frozen switches and tons of snow on the tracks."
The MTA said that it was running shuttle buses for riders who usually use the A Line to Far Rockaway.
And, while the Green Bus Line resumed service on Tuesday, many of the bus stops were crowded with people who had to wait an hour or more for a bus.
Mike Lowndes, a spokesperson for the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) said that a bad buss at a Rockaway substation on Tuesday caused "scattered single outages" on the peninsula. According to Lowndes, nobody was without electricity for more than an hour or so.
While most Rockaway streets were plowed at least once by Tuesday afternoon, many of the streets, especially those leading to the beach, were down to one lane with cars dug in under two feet or more of snow along the curb.
Many residents were forced to park on those major streets and boulevards that were reasonably clean, such as Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Seagirt Boulevard, Shore Front Parkway and Beach Channel Drive.
Because of the expected high tides on Thursday and Friday, many Broad Channel residents moved their autos to Cross Bay Boulevard.
On Wednesday, however, reports started coming into the Wave that police officers from the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach were ticketing cars on those main arteries for illegal parking.
One man came to The Wave with a $105 ticket that he had received when he moved his car from his parking spot in Dayton Towers to Shore Front Parkway so that the parking lot could be plowed.
The heavy rains predicted for Saturday, along with the expected high temperature of fifty degrees, were expected to melt much of the remaining snow.