The city was told it would be bad, and it was – especially for Maspeth and Middle Village. The Blizzard of 2016 given the name Jonas came roaring up the East Coast and into New York City living up to and in many cases surpassing the pre-storm hype. It was the second-biggest snowstorm in New York City history, with 26.8 inches – just 1/10 of an inch shy of the previous record set in February of 2006 of 26.9 inches – and it was the single biggest snowstorm on record for at least six locations in the East. For the city as a whole, there was plenty to be thankful for as sanitation crews hit the streets as soon as the 2-inch mark was reached, sending five hundred salt spreaders, and two thousand, five hundred plows into battle. And despite near record snow amounts, many streets around the city were passable relatively soon due in part to the efforts of the sanitation workers themselves but also because of the travel ban imposed Saturday afternoon that kept many streets clear for efficient snow removal.
By Monday morning much of the city was getting back to a semblance of normalcy but unfortunately such was not the case for several sections in Queens; Maspeth and Middle Village in particular.
Although snow amounts in other boroughs were impressive as the top totals in each borough were Harlem in Manhattan at 27 inches, Belmont in the Bronx at 27.6 inches, Williamsburg in Brooklyn at 29 inches and Port Richmond in Staten Island at 31 inches, it was Jackson Heights in Queens with the grand daddy total of them all coming in with 34 whopping inches that gave a clue as to the uphill battle nearby Queens neighborhoods would face. Queens also saw some internal records where LaGuardia Airport’s 27.9 inches topped the previous record of 25.4 inches that fell in February, 2006 and JFK’s 30.5 inches beat the previous record of 26 inches back in February, 2003. While acknowledging the herculean efforts needed by the city, residents from the often forgotten borough of Queens felt as though the borough was again forgotten.
On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio took a tour through hard hit sections of Corona and Flushing but did not make a stop to one of the hardest hit sections being Maspeth and Middle Village where residents could be seen standing outside unplowed and impassable streets more than 24 hours after the storm had ended. Thus, Maspeth and Middle Village received the distinction of being the forgotten section within the forgotten borough.
De Blasio responded as to why many of the Queens streets were still impassable more than a day after the snow had stopped by stating that the streets in the large borough of Queens are narrower than other boroughs and that many people were seen putting snow they removed from their cars back onto the street and added that this accumulated an additional 27 inches of snow and was literally blocking themselves and their neighbors in. Some Queens residents agreed with the Mayor that there were people seen shoveling snow back into the street hindering plowing efforts and causing vehicles to become stuck and that it was inconsiderate to everyone else to behave in such a manner but also wanted to know why some Maspeth and Middle Village streets never saw a plow until Monday.