The City of Long Beach continued to dig out from nearly two feet of snow on Monday after a post-Christmas blizzard blanketed the area.
"It's an awful lot of snow, with significant and massive drifts, and we've got every available plow truck trying to deal with it," said Department of Public Works Commissioner Kevin Mulligan.
He said 21 trucks have been on the roads clearing primary, secondary and then tertiary roads.
"Every road has seen a plow at least twice," said Mulligan, who added that some residents have complained about the condition of their roads.
"But with the drifts of snow, it keeps piling up again. It's going to be an on-going issue throughout the day."
Emergency service units were kept busy during the storm, officials said.
RELATED: Check out Long Beach Patch's winter storm 2010 gallery
"We've had a lot of calls, but nothing storm-related," said Scott Kemins, chief of the Long Beach Fire Department. "We got a lot of ambulance calls and some fire calls."
Kemins said no one had to be evacuated because of the lack of heat and there were no complaints about freezing pipes in homes.
He said the department responded to between 20 and 25 calls for service, which is a slightly above normal. The most serious incident involved a 25-year-old woman who was struck by a car as she was walking near Nevada and West Beech Street in the West End at the very outset of the storm at about 11 a.m. on Sunday, he said. She was listed in critical condition at Long Beach Medical Center, said Kemins.
He said when the department's fire and ambulance personnel responded to calls, mounds of snow in front of homes blocked their progress.
"People were calling for ambulances and there was four feet of snow in front of their homes," said Kemins. "We had to shovel our way into these homes. It's been very labor intensive."
He added that making their jobs even tougher were vehicles that were abandoned by motorists because of the large amounts of snow, especially on side streets. These abandoned vehicles were blocking the path of emergency vehicles, Kemins said.
"We had people in their little Volkswagens and little Toyotas trying to drive around when all the news channels told them not to drive and they got stuck in the street," the fire chief said.
"There were cars abandoned all over the place," he added. "Some people just don't listen and they don't understand. It just makes our job harder when an ambulance has to get down the street."
Mulligan said residents had been urged to stay off the roads unless it was an emergency.
"It's an extreme four-wheel drive kind of day," said Mulligan. "People are encouraged to stay home. It just makes it easier for everyone."
Kemins said all fire department personnel were called in Sunday to man the stations in preparation for emergencies.
He said the main streets, such as Park Avenue, were cleared of snow, but some side streets presented challenges navigating them. One of the problems arose when plows cleared streets and residents used a shovel or snow blower to clear their property, dumping the snow back into the street.
"It became a tug-of-war," Kemins said.
Mulligan added, "We've been fighting with the public who want to clear their cars. And there are cars all over the place stopped or trapped, preventing us from clearing the snow."
Kemins said many of the abandoned vehicles also blocked snowplows from completing their tours of the neighborhood.
"Obviously it was a lot of snow to clear," he said. "Luckily school was closed [for the winter break]. A lot of people were home and everybody got to take a deep breath and tried to deal with it."
One Long Beach couple trying to deal with it were Jesse and Rachel Sherer, who were supposed to catch a Jet Blue flight to Fort Lauderdale out of JFK Airport at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.
Jesse Sherer said that at 9:30 a.m. the previous day their flight was confirmed, but about three hours later they were notified that it would be cancelled.
"After two hours we finally got to talk to someone at Jet Blue," he said.
He said they had planned the trip for a month to spend a few days under the Florida sun, and their plans were suddenly dashed by the blizzard.
The couple said they were surprised the flight was not just delayed but cancelled altogether because Monday was drenched in beautiful sunshine a good portion of the day.
They were told that the earliest they could book another flight was on Thursday, but Jesse Sherer is in his first year of teaching social studies at Manhasset High School, so the delay would not be worth it because he is due back in class next Monday.
"It was supposed to be a nice getaway," Rachel said, adding that they would have to wait until February for the next opportunity to leave on vacation.