NEW YORK — Big cot encampments and huge lines gave way to orderly, single-file queues and thawing tensions as flights left New York-area airports on time Wednesday, but clusters of tired, resigned passengers were still camped out waiting to go home.
Meanwhile, work crews continued to struggle to free the still-snowbound city. New York's sanitation commissioner vowed that most streets would be plowed by Wednesday evening, with every last one done by Thursday morning.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the snow-removal efforts, but acknowledged that the city's usual plan for dealing with big storms failed this time. He said he was "extremely dissatisfied" with the way the city's emergency response system performed during the post-Christmas blizzard, and promised an inquiry.
Runways at the area's three major airports — Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark — were all open Wednesday morning, officials said, but they cautioned that it might take days for all the passengers who've been camping out to get flights.