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Full LIRR Service Restored Following Cleanup From Massive Storm

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The Long Island Rail Road resumed full service Tuesday morning for the first time since Saturday's storm dumped more than two feet of snow in some spots.

Officials said workers have cleared the remaining branches that had been suspended.

"Got my fingers crossed. Hopefully I'll make it in relatively on time," commuter Karen Boldizar told CBS2's Andrea Grymes.

Trains are now running on the Long Beach, Hempstead, Far Rockaway and West Hempstead branches, as well as the Atlantic branch from Jamaica to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. Service on the other seven branches was restored on Monday.

"It seems like it's running pretty well. I saw a train when I got here, which I was surprised, I was expecting some delays," said Jim Griffin.

"They just said they were on time and now we came here and obviously they're not on time," said Jamie Cortese.

But Tuesday morning's scene at the Mineola train station was still better than Monday's mess when riders packed the platform for what turned into a nightmare commute for thousands who braved it.

"Oh it was miserable. Everyone was just pushing everyone; dog eat dog world," said Heather Arning.

Commuters are sharing mixed reactions to the MTA's handling of the blizzard.

"They should really prepare themselves much better than they do," said Frank Callovi.

"I don't want to be too critical. They got a tough job to do, I mean, 27 inches is a lot," said Jim Griffin.

Some complained about a lack of communication from the railroad.

But MTA press officer Meredith Daniels disagreed with claims of lacking communication.

"We have very aggressive communication. We do real-time communication via social media. If you look at Twitter it will give you train-by-train delays, if you follow @LIRR. Please sign up for the emails and the text alerts. That's the way to get this information," said Daniels.

Officials said riders should allow extra travel time for potential delays. The LIRR is urging commuters to check their website and Twitter page for live updates on all train lines.

Despite all their storm-related service problems, commuters are offering the LIRR praise for one thing: parking lot snow removal.

"It wasn't bad today," commuter Steve, who takes the train at the Ronkonkoma Station, told WCBS 880's Mike Xirinachs.

Steve said the parking lot cleanup is a step up from last year.

Riders told WCBS 880 that the plowing is typically horrible when massive snow covers the parking lots, but this time many commuters said the LIRR has earned a solid "B" in its efforts.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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