New Yorkers adapt to brutal winter conditions

New Yorker's avoid giant slushy puddles after a string of winter storms. Photo by Rachel Vianna.
New Yorker’s avoid giant slushy puddles after a string of winter storms. Photo by Rachel Vianna.

HOST INTRO: Today the sky is bright blue, as the city rushes to dig itself out of yesterday’s storm. Residents and businesses continue to struggle to adapt to a season of reoccurring weather obstacles. Rachel Vianna reports.

The streets glistened with melted snow. Snowplows had done their work, but cars were still barricaded by piles of snow. For pedestrians, the biggest problem were giant puddles of slush. Some came up to their ankles.

Julie cantor was having a great time heading back home from her morning walk.

JULIE CANTOR: I have my LL Bean totally rubber boots. It’s fun!

Another woman was wearing a pair of fancy leather boots. She contemplated her jump over a gigantic puddle on the corner of Broadway and 113th st.

NAMELESS WOMAN: I find it a little perplexing and try to find the correct route so that I don’t get soaked. I wore the wrong boots today.

As of this morning the city had received more than 12 inches of snow. This is twice as much snow as new york would normally get at this time of year. This strong nor’easter came from the south on Wednesday.

Despite the large volume of snow, climate scientist, Jake Crouch says this winter will not be the coldest on record.

JAKE CROUCH: Over recent years we have had warmer winters and now that this winter is closer to the long-term average, it seems colder than it actually is.

Yesterday afternoon people were still trying to work despite the ongoing snow, sleet and gusty winds.

Construction worker, Matt Zalla, struggled to carry large planks of wood across the slippery sidewalks.

MATT ZALLA: I’ve been in NY 18 years and it’s definitely the highest volume of snow that I can remember…  it’s just been relentless…one week after another.

The consistent bad weather has been impacting the economy across the country. Retail sales dipped 0.4 percent in January.

Grocery stores and other businesses tried their best to keep their doors open by shoveling their sidewalks during the day.

Chris Libegatos, store manager at westside market, stuggled to keep the fruits and vegetables he had on display outside the store in good condition.

CHRIS LIBEGATOS: We even bought awnings, blankets, heaters, still we have to bring everything inside some days inside…it’s been so cold. We deal with it. NY – it never stops, we never sleep, we’re part of it.

Plumbing and heating businesses had a good day. There were lots of calls to fix frozen pipes and broken boilers. But contractors would not have been able to get around in their trucks if the city hadn’t responded well to the storm.

Plumber Girlo Churchio praised the way mayor de Blasio has been handling the string of storms that almost paralyzed the east throughout this winter.

GIRLO CHURCHIO: I think he is not doing a bad job at all at keeping this down.  I look at the sanitation department here and I started out at 7 in the morning and by 11 o’clock I’ve seen these fellas hauling, plowing and working hard – I gotta tip my hat to them.

Today was the calm before the next stormy day. Lina from Russia doesn’t remember a winter this bad in her 40 years living in new york.

LINA: The snow is lovely. It’s the mess we don’t like. There is a lot more snow. The quantity of snow is overwhelming. It never stops.

More snow is forecast for Saturday. But there is no promise that even that storm will be the last one of this season.

Rachel Vianna, Columbia Radio News.

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