Snow fell on the city for 31 consecutive hours, shutting down the city's public schools on Friday and making a mess of the roadways.
By the time the snowfall ended at 1:30 p.m., there were at least 20 inches of snow in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, 20.9 inches in Central Park in Manhattan, 14.5 inches in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, 11.8 inches at LaGuardia Airport in Queens and 26 inches in Great Kills, Staten Island.
The storm was the fourth-heaviest on record, and the largest storm since 2006. It makes this February the snowiest month ever recorded for Central Park since 1869, with a total of 36.9 inches of snowfall.
At 5:30 a.m. on Friday, the Department of Education made the decision to close schools, after more than a half-foot of snow had accumulated in parts of the city overnight.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said that safety comes first, education second, but that it is never an easy decision to close schools.
"It really is an imposition when we close schools, and particularly when we do it at the last moment, but we'll always try to make the decision as early as we can,” said the mayor. “But we're gonna make the decision and err on the side of safety every time."
All after-school activities and PSAL events were canceled on Friday, but administrative offices remained open.
Other program and schools announced closings for Saturday as well. (See list below.)
Bloomberg is advising New Yorkers to be very careful on the roads and, if at all possible, stay out of the way of the more than 1,600 plows dispatched by the Department of Sanitation.
DOS workers are on 12-hour shifts until the majority of the snow has been removed, and there is no trash and recycling collection due to the weather.
Alternate side of the street parking rules are suspended for the snow removal on Saturday, but parking meters must still be fed.
In Queens, NY1 witnessed drivers slipping and sliding, and in general having a hard time getting around.
"It's a lot worse than it looks inside, watching it on TV. It's really wicked. It's cold," said one Queens resident.
"It's slippery. It's icy. Definitely stay home," said a third. "You don't have to go out."
Trying to make it easier for their Brooklyn neighbors to get around, some children spent their day off from school shoveling sidewalks and making some extra cash.
"It's cool because we can all make a few bucks to spend on whatever," said one student.
"We're hoping to make a $70," said another. "We made $70 last time and it was pretty good."
Also, Friday's snow did not deter some Bronx residents from shopping on Fordham Road and some Fordham University students took advantage of their snow day.
View NY1's snowstorm photo gallery.
Storm Causes Transit Delays
The storm also severely impacted transportation.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority reported service delays on its subway and bus lines and put its cold weather service plan in effect.
Service was also intermittently canceled on the Staten Island Railway due to heavy snow and drifting conditions.
For details go to mta.info.
New Jersey Transit buses are once again running in and out of the Port Authority after service was canceled for most of the morning.
The Staten Island Ferry operated on a three-boat schedule.
The Long Island Rail Road experienced delays system-wide. As a result of the storm, the railroad added extra service during the afternoon for those trying to leave work early.
All three area airports were open but canceled more than 1,000 flights. Travelers should call their airline before heading out.
Falling Tree Branches Pose Danger
New Yorkers are also advised to stay out of city parks during this weather.
Police say Elmaz Qyra, 46, was walking near East 67th Street and 5th Avenue around 4 p.m. Thursday when he was struck and killed by a snow-covered tree limb.
Traffic along a stretch of Fifth Avenue was also shut down after a fallen tree branch hit a BxM3 express bus at 63rd Street.
The avenue has since reopened.
The Parks Department is advising people to report fallen trees by calling 311.
Closings For Saturday, February 27
P.S. 129 Saturday program has been canceled
Department of Citywide Administrative Services canceled all scheduled civil service exams