Caution: Be On The Lookout For Black Ice Overnight
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The ice storm that struck the Tri-State area Wednesday morning not only caused problems for commuters, but it also had the potential to flare back up into a problem overnight into Thursday.
SEE: Ice Storm Photos
Forecasters warned travel conditions would continue to be extremely dangerous through the night, with untreated roadways becoming a sheet of ice.
AccuWeather said temperatures would drop Wednesday night and wet and slushy areas could refreeze, leading to continued dangerous conditions.
New York City Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said the department had a pretty good handle on the roads, but refreezing was a major concern.
“We’ll be salting the secondary roads and the tertiaries through most of the day, and I think people have to realize – even with the temperature going up – those streets are going to be slippery,” Doherty said.
Nearly everywhere New Yorkers looked on Wednesday, the roads were in good shape, with very little ice to deal with.
As the temperatures dropped, though, the pockets of puddles meant the prospect of black ice would rear its head again.
“You can’t see it, you don’t know it’s there,” Teaneck resident Tanya Smith told CBS 2′s Sean Hennessey. “I mean, you consciously may be paying attention, but you can still slip.”
The potential driving dangers, like slush that can become slick, were on the minds of many Tri-State residents Wednesday night.
“You can spin out in a heartbeat,” Matt Faivre, of Tenafly, said. “You never know with black ice, so I’m concerned about accidents happening.
“I get concerned if I start to brake, people in front of me, I won’t have enough time to brake in time, so I might hit them,” Englewood resident Kascey Frank said.
To avoid that, delivery driver Ronald Altenor said the only thing you can do is take your time.
“You’ve just got to drive slowly – you cannot rush to do anything,” Altenor said. “Just be careful when you drive, that’s what you’ve got to do.”
It wasn’t just the roads that were expected to give New Yorkers trouble for their travels.
While many sidewalks in New York City were salted and cleared, patches of ice remained, leaving pedestrians to brave dangerously slick sidewalks.
“It’s challenging to be a New Yorker, more than ever,” Linda Gelman, of the Upper West Side, told CBS 2′s Dave Carlin.
Also creating problems for pedestrians were invisible puddles, the slushy messes left behind as the mountains of snow continued to melt.
“I invested in waterproof boots, and that’s my advice to every New Yorker, and have traction on the bottom of them too,” Gelman said.
Earlier in the day motorists faced a slushy and dangerous mess on the roads – that is, only after they managed to free their cars from the ice. Vehicles all across the city were covered in a half-inch thick layer of ice.
“I’m just trying to chip and scrape so I can go home,” one man told 1010 WINS’ Alice Stockton-Rossini.
More than 500 Long Island schools or organizations were closed or issued delayed openings. The LIRR transitioned back to a weekday schedule after running on a weekend schedule during the early morning hours. The railroad fitted its trains with a “record amount” of ice scraper shoes that remove ice from the third rail.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 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.)