Motorists Contend With Icy Road Conditions, Courtesy Of Saturday’s Snowfall
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The first snowstorm to hit the Tri-state area this year has come and gone, leaving behind several inches of snow in many parts of the region, as well as dangerous driving conditions.
Across Nassau and Suffolk Counties, some drivers wish they listened when officials said to stay off the road.
“No one likes to drive in this weather but I thought the town did a great job this time cleaning the roads,” said Linda Toscano of Huntington resident.
“We’re due. We got off easy for a while. End of January, not so bad,” said Lesley Rafuce of Huntington.
LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Monica Miller reports
As Sgt. Brian Polite from the New Jersey State Police tells WCBS 880′s Monica Miller, drivers in New Jersey also aren’t completely out of the woods yet.
“We’re still going to have icy road conditions and I want people to know that the same rules apply when you’re driving in icy weather. You just want to make sure you slow down,” he said.
“You also want to make sure you have things like a shovel in your vehicle. Also maybe some kiddy litter inside of your vehicle in case you get stuck on some ice and you have to find your way off of that road,” Polite added.
The first flakes started falling in New York City about 2:30 a.m. When the snow stopped, this is how the totals broke down in New York City: 5 inches in Fieldston, 4.3 inches in Central Park, 4 inches in Great Kills, 3.5 inches in Astoria, and 2.1 inches in Sheepshead Bay.
New Jersey saw the following snowfall numbers: 8 inches in Ringwood, 7.3 inches in West Milford, 6 inches in Mahwah, 4.7 inches in Ridgewood, and 3 inches in Hoboken.
As for Connecticut, Shelton saw 9.5 inches, 8 inches in Greenwich, 6.5 inches in New Canaan, 6.2 inches in Bridgeport, and 5 inches in Stamford.
PHOTOS: Tri-State Winter Wonderland
For snow crews in Oyster Bay, the snow fall was significant enough to keep them busy without overwhelming them.
“We’ve got a good handle on it. We’re going to be working into the night and we’ll have it buttoned up by, I’m predicting sometime around supper time, maybe a couple hours later,” said Highway Commissioner Richard Betz.
On the rails, the MTA worked Saturday to clear snow from subway tracks.
LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell reports
For those who stayed home, there were chilly chores keeping them busy, while for others, it’s an opportunity to make some money for those with private snow plows.
Eileen Lehpamer spoke with several shoveling snow up in Yonkers.
“Actually it’s a nice, light snow fall. It’s a nice one to break in with,” resident Steve said.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Eileen Lehpamer reports
“It’s going to save my back. It’s a lot of fun to use. It was a gift,” Joe Hartig of Huntington said of his snow blower. “And she’s enjoying watching me from the window.”
AccuWeather says as temperatures rise throughout the day, accumulating snow will begin to melt. But as temperatures fall below freezing later tonight, the moisture will re-freeze creating a potential for black ice.
The city’s Sanitation Department has 1,500 snow plows and 1,300 workers on the job and another 700 on call.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reports
At a news conference this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city’s plows are each equipped with global positioning systems, allowing supervisors to see their approximate location on maps that are updated every 30 seconds.
Bloomberg said having the snow fall on a weekend makes clean up a little easier.
“Because it’s the weekend, it has less effect on commerce and traffic, fewer cars on the street so the plows and the salt spreaders have fewer impediments,” he said.
Alternate side of the street parking regulations have been suspended.
Road crews in the city and the suburbs were hard at work spreading sand and salt to keep road travel safe.
LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman reports
“Everybody’s got a route. You just stay on your same route and keep pushing. Keep pushing till the sun comes up and when it’s done,” said snow plow driver Ray Korver.
But slick road conditions have caused some accidents. One wreck on Victory Boulevard on Staten Island left a teenage girl with severe head trauma while police say a 26-year-old man was struck and killed by a car on Third Avenue at 111th Street in Manhattan. The driver remained on the scene.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports
A truck hit an overpass in New Jersey on I-78 around 5 a.m. near Hillside, spilling a load of salt all over the road. No word on exactly what caused the crash or if anyone was hurt.
The snowstorm also had an impact on airports, creating problems for air travelers heading into New York.
Newark Liberty, JFK and LaGuardia reported canceled and delayed inbound flights from airports farther west that were hit earlier by the snowstorm.
While you’re out shoveling or outside playing in the wintry weather, don’t forget to take a video or snap a pic and upload it to our Facebook page.
Please share your thoughts below….