Winter Storm Gail wallops NYC, scares away outdoor diners

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The season’s first major snowstorm began walloping the Big Apple Wednesday evening — leaving the city a ghost town of treacherous roadways and empty outdoor restaurants.

Winter Storm Gail pounded the city as temperatures dropped to 27 degrees with frigid sustained winds up to 35 mph — making dining outdoors unbearable amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has already crippled the restaurant industry.

“I was really looking forward to drinking something hot and alcoholic in one of those outdoor plastic [restaurant] bubbles — my own little winter wonderland. But alas, the city always finds a way to kill the fun doesn’t it?” said Olivia Bolat, 23, a student who was out for a snowy stroll in Williamsburg. “So I guess I’ll be mixing my own hot toddy and drink it looking out my window.”

Orpha Peterson, 39, a teacher from  Williamsburg added, “The snow is a guilty pleasure because I know it’s bringing a lot of pain and suffering to businesses that are just barely hanging on.”

Thankfully, the powerful storm is expected to taper off around noon Thursday, AccuWeather senior meteorologist John Feerick said.

“There will be a few leftover flurries in the afternoon but it will be winding down,” said Feerick, noting temperatures will rise slightly to the low 30s. “It’s still going to feel very cold —  more like the teens — for the next few days.”

He added, “Stay in if you can, travel is going to be rough.”

The storm is expected to be completely over by early Friday — which will be partly sunny with a high of 32 degrees. Saturday is forecast to be cloudy with a high of 32.

But the snow isn’t expected to be melting off until Sunday, which will reach temperatures up to 39 degrees, Feerick said. “It looks like it’s here to stay for at least a few days,” he said

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