Icy Weather Impacts Travel Across Tri-State Area
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With more bad weather on its way to the Tri-State, area airports canceled thousands of flights and public transportation systems were advising commuters to leave extra time for their Wednesday morning commutes.
On The Rails…
The Long Island Rail Road deployed its de-icing trains Tuesday to spray anti-freeze on the rails.
LIRR said crews will be working overnight to ensure the rails were free of ice, but said the storm may affect its ability to operate safely. The agency said it may “have to reduce or temporarily suspend service.”
You can check mta.info for further service updates.
New Jersey Transit said it plans to run their rails all night to keep them from freezing over.
Metro-North said it anticipates operating on a regular weekday schedule. However, New Haven line customers are advised to expect crowded trains and delays due to ongoing weather-related equipment shortages.
Jeff Manthey, Assistant Director of Track and Structures for Metro North, said the agency would try to get a jump on the storm.
“We’ll go out and work all night and try to clear all the switches and our third rail and be prepared for the morning rush,” Manthey said.
At The Airports…
There were very few flights leaving Newark’s Terminal A on Tuesday evening. Terry Sheridan of 1010 WINS described the scene at the airport as a “ghost town.”
The few passengers inside the airport were those arriving.
“No delay. Perfect timing. All JFK flights were cancelled so it was pretty rough,” one man told Sheridan.
Other people at the airport ended up in Newark because their flight to JFK was canceled. Now they just had to figure out how to get back to Queens.
“Well we have to travel over with public transportation…over to New York and then hop on the train,” said one woman who was trying to get back to Ozone Park.
Even terminal workers were surprised by the sparsely populated airport.
“People just stayed away. There’s nobody camping out,” one worker said.
With ice on the runways in parts of the country and bad weather expected to continue, airlines canceled thousands of flights. Flight tracking service FlightAware logged almost 6,000 cancellations for the day. More were expected on Wednesday.
JetBlue canceled flights in and out of JFK Airport Tuesday, with some flights to resume Wednesday afternoon. Newark Liberty Airport had canceled more than 600 flights.
In The Subway…
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said some express subway trains could run local during the early part of the morning rush. All planned service changes scheduled through Wednesday afternoon have also been cancelled.
The agency said bus service changes would be made on a route by route basis and as conditions dictated.
The MTA also advised customers to be careful on platforms and stairs, which can get slippery, while boarding trains and buses.
“While snow is a primary concern, this storm will feature freezing rain and ice, both can have severe impacts on the roads and rails that carry MTA vehicles. It’s important to note that each storm impacts parts of our region differently, and that appears to be especially true in the case of this storm,” the MTA announced on their website.
“Bus service will be monitored for street access and some vehicles will be outfitted with chains for increased traction,” the agency said.
On The Roads…
The New York City Office of Emergency Management issued a Hazardous Travel Advisory. Dangerous conditions are expected through Wednesday evening’s rush hour and drivers are taking the warning seriously. The mix of frozen rain and sleet were causing some white-knuckle driving Tuesday.
“I hope people remember how to drive in this weather,” a man in the Bronx told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports. “You just gotta be careful, even on ice you can have the best four-wheel drive ice is ice.”
For residents using Access-A-Ride and Able-Ride, Paratransit service pick-ups scheduled before 10 a.m. on Wednesday have been cancelled.