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Fierce Winter Storm Hits Tri-State Area

As CBS 2’s Sonia Moghe reported, the 4,000 pounds of salt at a Yonkers salt station has been steadily diminishing as trucks stopped in to fill up all day Thursday.

Crews treated roads before the temperatures dropped and snow came in. They’ll continue to be out there removing the snow once the storm settles in.

The city of Yonkers has urged people to stay off the roads so road crews can do their job. Residents will be allowed to park in school parking lots to keep local streets clear for the plows.

Towns across New Jersey spent Thursday, getting salt and plow trucks ready. In North Bergen most of the roads had already been pretreated.

“This is the second hilliest town in the country,” North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco said, “You talk about San Francisco, we are number two.”

The state has 3,200 trucks on standby.

‘It’s Showtime’

Power companies are also getting ready for the storm.

PSEG says it’s ready to tackle expected outages and downed power lines. It’s the company’s first test since taking over LIPA operations on Wednesday.

The utility said it has 2,200 employees on call who will handle service restoration and tree cleanup if needed. Some are even manning call center operations.

“We’re fully staffed, fully ready to go with all the equipment here on the island,” PSEG spokesman Jeff Weir said.

“It’s showtime. We’re ready to go,” David Daly, president and chief operating officer of PSEG Long Island, told 1010 WINS. “We’re confident that we understand what’s coming, and we’ve got a storm process in place that will deal with it very effectively.”

The utility’s fleet of vehicles are fueled, additional supplies and contractors are in place and all available staff are ready, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported.

On Long Island’s east end, it’s the wind and the drifting of snow that is of great concern for those on the front lines of storm clean-up.

“The snow, I’m not worried about. It’s the drifting later tonight when we get 30 to 40 mile an hour winds,” Riverhead Highway Superintendent George Woodson told Xirinachs. “The wind blows, we plow it one minute, you come back a half hour later it’s like you never did it.”

He urged the public to heed warnings and stay off the roads as much as possible.

“It hampers us when we have to pull cars off the road, out of the way,” said Woodson.

In Greenwich, Conn., officials said the tide schedule will further complicate the snow, high winds and freezing temperatures.

“We are also synced with this event a very high astronomical tide,” Greenwich Emergency Management chief Dan Warzoha said. “This happens to be one of the highest tides that we will experience due to moon cycles during the year of 2014 and, of course our luck being what it is, it comes right at the peak of the storm.”

Warzoha alerted shoreline residents to be especially tuned in once the storm hits. He has urged all Greenwich residents to stay off the roads when the storm hits Thursday evening.

Residents Get Ready

In Yonkers, Joseph Grayson was filling up a gas can Thursday morning to make sure his snowblower will be ready when the storm moves in.

“It will last me probably about three storms, once it’s filled up,” he said. “It doesn’t take much.”

Other Yonkers residents have been stocking up on shovels, ice melt and groceries before conditions deteriorate.

“We feeling pretty good but we’re hoping for another delivery tomorrow morning,” said Greg Speight of Grassy Sprain Paint and Hardware.

In New Jersey, many were hitting the REI store in Bergen County where hats, gloves and foot and hand warmers were flying off the shelves.

“We don’t have any waterproof gloves and any snow pants,” said Jackie Edwards from Glen Rock. “Usually get away with it, but this winter has been awful.”

Shoppers were also stocking up on shovels and ice melt at the Home Depot in Secaucus on Thursday, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

“We already went shopping, groceries and everything. Now my next step is to fill both cars with gas,” one man buying calcium chloride told Diamond.

Customers at Home Depot in Secaucus, NJ (Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Customers at Home Depot in Secaucus, NJ (Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

That type of ice melt works better in the colder temperatures than salt, said the store’s manager.

“We’ve been pretty busy today. This is about the third time we’ve reloaded already,” store manager Tony Mesonatti said.

The Home Depot in Clifton, New Jersey ran out of shovels so quickly it had to order more and the employees assembled them instead, CBS 2’s Carlos Carrasco reported.

“They were in such a demand we told the vendor ship them to us, we’ll do what we got to do for the customers and that’s what we’re doing, we’re assembling them,” Home Depot worker Greg Garciano said.

As WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported, workers were busily repairing and selling snow removal equipment at Brandman’s Equipment in Norwalk, Conn. on Thursday.

Brandman's Equipment repair shop in Norwak, Conn., Jan. 2, 2014. (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

Brandman’s Equipment repair shop in Norwak, Conn., Jan. 2, 2014. (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

“People get frantic. They want their snow throwers, they want their chain saws, they want their generators,” Ross Brandman told Murnane.

Mechanic Mike Landesberg said it’s a great feeling to be able to help people at crunch time.

“You’re not a big hero…but we’ll take it for one day,” he told Murnane.

On Long Island, Rockville Centre residents were stocking up on supplies at a King Kullen supermarket Sunday.

“A must-have — I’ve got to have some bread,” Jackie Silkiss told Champion. “I have to have some coffee, a couple of snacks.”

The store ran out of bread, juice and water.

Darcy Gray and her friends said they plan on riding out the storm with a movie party.

“We’ve got a lot of ice cream. It’s cold like the snow, I guess,” she said. “I don’t know, what else did we get? Food. A lot of food.”

In Queens, residents heading out to stock up on necessities were cautious on the roads, 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported.

“That’s why I’m taking precautions.  Just driving slow, taking our time,” one resident told Baumgarten.

In Bogota, N.J. students were dismissed from school early because of the impending storm, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.

“We didn’t get to do a lot today because the classes were shorter. Just seems pretty useless to me,” Emily Inserra said.

School officials were waiting to decide whether to cancel classes and planned to being Friday with a delayed opening.

“I don’t want to call a closure until i see some flakes on the ground but with the delayed opening it gives us some time to assess the situation,” Superintendent Letizia Pantoliano said.

Thursday’s early closure also meant that parents would have more time to stock up on supplies ahead of the storm.

Charles Osgood Event

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