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Snow, Ice Create Messy Conditions As Winter Storm Blasts Tri-State

Winter Weather Advisory In Effect Through Sunday A.M.

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) –The Tri-State area was dealing with another winter storm that dumped several inches of snow and sleet on Saturday.

A winter weather advisory was in effect through 6 a.m. Sunday for parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

CHECK: Forecast & Alerts | Radar | Traffic & Transit | Real-Time Plow Tracker | Winter Safety Tips

By 11 p.m., 7.6 inches of snow had fallen in Armonk, NY, 6.2 inches accumulated in Stamford, the Bronx saw 4.7 inches, and Massepequa had received 1.9 inches, CBS 2′s Lonnie Quinn reported.

As the evening progressed snow began to taper off and turned into freezing rain creating messy conditions on Tri-State area roads.

More than 300 flights were canceled at Newark Liberty International Airport while planes at John F. Kennedy Airport were arriving about an hour late and 30 minutes at LaGuardia Airport.

Road crews did not waste any time getting ready for the snowfall.  Many state and local agencies had prepared for days ahead of the storm’s arrival.

Plow operators in Rockland County told WCBS 880′s Jim Smith that drivers, not snow, are typically the biggest problem during this type of storm.

“You get the crazy taxi drivers that come down the hill doing forty because they have to get somewhere,” Rockland County Highway Department Foreman Ed Beaty said

As CBS 2′s Amy Dardashtian reported, the sanitation department had its so-called GPS room up and running in advance of the storm.  The department monitors the streets with cameras on main roads and tracks their trucks on a block-by-block basis.

“It’s a central hub for some of the latest technologies the department has,” said Shari Pardiny, of the sanitation department.

New York City Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb that even though the department tracks its trucks with GPS, they also take into account calls from residents via 311.

“As people call in on 311 during a storm or even after a storm complaining about snowy streets or it [a street] hasn’t been plowed or icy streets, we take those complaints and put them on a map,” Doherty said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced its snow prep plans Friday.  Snow-blowers, de-icers, snow throwers and other winter weather equipment have been deployed underground, on the rails, on city streets and on bridges, the MTA said.

The agency activated its Incident Command Center Saturday morning and said all weekend work has been canceled with the following exceptions:

5 Trains will bypass Pelham Parkway station in both directions due to asbestos abatement work.   Free shuttle buses operate between Pelham Parkway and Morris Park stations.

6 Trains skip Middletown Road and Castle Hill Avenue in both directions due to station renewal work.

D From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 14 to 5 a.m. Monday, December 16, trains operate in two sections between Stillwell Avenue and Bedford Park Boulevard, and between Bedford Park Blvd and 205th Street due to track maintenance north of Bedford Park Boulevard.

G From 11:45 p.m. Friday, December 13 to 5 a.m. Monday, December 16, trains are suspended between Court Square and Nassau Avenue due to Sandy Recovery Work in the Greenpoint Tube.  Free shuttle buses operate in two sections between Nassau Avenue and Court Square on the G Line, and between Lorimer Street L and Court Square G stations.

NR (Montague Tubes Closed)

No trains running between Court Street in Brooklyn and Whitehall Street in Manhattan.  Late night N and weekend R service are rerouted over the Manhattan Bridge.

No N or R trains in either direction at Jay Street-MetroTech, Court Street, Whitehall Street, Rector Street, Cortlandt Street and City Hall.

Late night R shuttle in Brooklyn is unaffected.

The MTA also replaced 230 articulated buses with standard buses and said the rest of the articulated fleet will be equipped with tire chains, as will 530 standard buses.

The Metro-North and Long Island Railroads intend to operate on normal weekend schedules, but travelers are advised to monitor MTA.info, sign up for email and text alerts at mymtaalerts.com, and check media reports before traveling in case there are any service disruptions.

New Yorkers were encouraged to sign up for the Notify NYC system, which sends information through phone calls, text messages and email alerts.

In the city some people told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez that they were doing their best to stay off of the roads as the storm moved through.

Bronx resident Patrick Morrison spent his evening shoveling his sidewalk and driveway and trying to stay ahead of the snow.

“I get a free workout. I don’t have to pay for a gym and the air seems a little cleaner,” Morrison said.

Others didn’t have a choice and had to hit the road to get home. Sam Michael had to rent an SUV to get from Astoria to New Jersey.

“Having a car like this one’s the worst. I got stuck like 10 times,” Michael said.

In Connecticut, crews weren’t able to treat roads with a saltwater solution ahead of storm because temperatures were too low, said Kevin Nursick, spokesman at the state Department of Transportation.  However, crews have treated highways before recent snowfalls with salt, helping to keep snow from bonding.

The wintry weather also forced the Department of Motor Vehicles to cancel all road tests for the remainder of Saturday, citing treacherous road conditions.

Officials Urge New Jersey Residents To Stay Inside

Meanwhile in Ridgewood, N.J., crews mounted machines onto trucks to spray tons of salt on the roads ahead of the snowfall. Officials also bulked up on staff to expedite clean up after the storm.

By nightfall there was very little traffic on New Jersey’s highways, CBS 2′s Don Champion reported, but some residents did brave the elements for a quick food run.

“It’s a little bad but we have 4-wheel drive so we don’t have a problem with that,” one person said.

In Morris County, officials called on all available crews to clear roadways.

“Without having to maneuver around cars, whether they’re on the street and parked on the side of the road, it just helps us,” John Ramirez said.

In Westchester Shoppers Chased Bargains Ahead Of Heavy Snowfall

Officials around the area urged residents to stay inside and off the roads whenever possible but the snowy conditions were not enough to keep some people from heading out.

“We just trying to catch some discounts because I’m not guaranteed how tomorrow is gonna be,” Alex told 1010 WINS reporter Eileen Lehpamer as he took care of some shopping in Yonkers.

Residents hurried to prepare for the storm.  Droves of people headed out to grocery stores in anticipation of hunkering down for the weekend.

“We have snacks, we have cookies, we’re ready for the storm,” one woman told Dardashtian.

By early evening communities across the lower Hudson Valley were covered in snow which made some people very happy.

“I don’t know how to explain it but I think it’s amazing. The lights. The snow,” Nicole Rafferty told CBS 2′s Elise Finch in Mt. Kisco.

But not everyone was happy to see a winter wonderland outside of their windows. Mt. Kisco pizza shop owner Mario Carillo had to close up three-hours early.

“We were actually very busy at lunch time, then in the evening we quieted down,” Carillo said.

Determined Shoppers Hit The Mall On Long Island

Plows cleared the wet, messy parking lots, at the Walt Whitman Shops on Long Island, where determined shoppers were intent on getting Santas work done ahead of time.

“I was getting cabin fever and I convinced my husband to do some last-minute Christmas shopping,” Donna McCormack told CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff.

The snow looked pretty but to the dismay of many merchants it did keep a number of shoppers home on Saturday. That was not the case for Oyster Bay resident Donna Galgano.

“Puts you in the Christmas spirit. Snow coming down, we have the holiday bug,” she said.

Shoppers who braved the blustery snowfall found plenty of room inside the mall which would typically be packed as Christmas approaches.

“Today is really the weekend everyone relies on, but we still have one more weekend left. It didn’t affect early in the day but the snow definitely took away night traffic,” Kurt Brigandi said.

Merchants on Main Street in Huntington were also feeling the heat as snow fell.

“The snow hurt but we are hoping tomorrow will be better. We have another eight days,” Lily Burgh, Little Switzerland Dolls And Toys said.

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