Snowstorm Impacts New York Subway Passengers

For some travelers who got stuck during the nightmare snowstorm, the airport was just the beginning of the long journey home. One New York couple tells of a 14-mile trek from their airplane at Kennedy Airport to the door of a Brooklyn apartment that took 18 hours.

Christopher Mullen tells Associated Press he and his girlfriend had already spent hours trying to get off a plane from Cancun, Mexico that arrived two hours late, when Mullen attempted to dig his car out from long-term parking. With no luck, soaked feet and legs, and Mullen only wearing a light jacket, the couple decided to take the A train home.

With their diving gear and luggage in tow, the couple finally boarded the train at 1 a.m. It seemed like it would be easy going from that point on, but the train only moved one stop before a stuck car ahead forced them to stay put. Although the train was in the station on an elevated track, the chill of the storm overpowered the subway car's heaters.

Mullen and his girlfriend were among 400 other passengers on the train. No one got aggressive, but some forcefully demanded to be rescued by city transit authorities as hours went by. Many passengers voiced concern about getting sick from the cold, while a mother with four children was worried the family had no water. Men started urinating onto the tracks from the platforms between cars until finally train workers allowed passengers into the bathroom.

Passengers called emergency operators twice, but were told they had to stay where they were. Morning came, but the windows were too iced over for the passengers to even see the sun rise.

At around 9 a.m., the train finally began to move.

For Mullen and his girlfriend, it was still another 3 1/2 hours before the couple arrived at his apartment. They had to take another train, and then tried in vain to find a car service to take them home before a generous couple offered them a ride. With streets closed they still had to drag their luggage three blocks through snow that sometimes reached 3 feet high.

The Mullen's weren't the only ones who had to endure such conditions in New York. At least one other train was left stranded on an elevated track. Besides that, all three of the metropolitan area's airports were closed, buses struggled to push through snowdrifts, and taxi drivers abandoned their cabs in the middle of the streets.

Photo, Tomas Fano, Flickr
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