News

Commuters Stranded As Ice, Snow Wreaks Havoc On Mass Transit

Commuters walk through the MTA Subway at 42nd St/Times Square after there were delays with some of the trains due to inclement weather on February 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Amy Robertson/Getty Images)

Commuters walk through the MTA Subway at 42nd St/Times Square after there were delays with some of the trains due to inclement weather on February 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Amy Robertson/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A winter storm that dumped snow and ice across the Tri-State area wreaked havoc Wednesday morning on mass transit.

The National Weather Service  has issued a winter weather advisory for freezing rain and black ice for our area . This advisory is in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday.

The winter storm warning has been cancelled.

Airplane flights were canceled by the hundreds. Commuter train and subway services were erratic. Buses were delayed. Cars slid off the suburban parkways and an interstate highway was closed.

CHECK: Forecast & Warnings | Airports | Traffic | Transit

A power problem caused problems on the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 subway lines in Manhattan and a track fire at Grand Central Terminal stopped a line between Manhattan and Queens for a time.

On Metro-North, early service was reduced 18 percent for a time and ice buildup on power lines caused some disruptions.

Long Island Rail Road passengers got stuck in Mineola after service was suspended for nearly two hours because of a fuse box fire under a train.

No one was hurt, but passengers on that train had to be transferred to another train.

“At this point, I’m just going to cut my losses and come back and work from home, which is what I should’ve done from the beginning,” one passenger told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

“It’s crazy this winter,” another commuter told CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff. “Between trying to get to work, make sure I make it in on time.”

Service was also suspended for a time on the Hempstead branch after a tree fell on the tracks west of the Nassau Boulevard station.

However, the MTA said at noon that the subway and the LIRR were operating on regular schedules. New York City buses will run at 85 to 90 percent during the evening rush hour and Metro-North will operate 75 percent of its normal evening rush hour schedule across all lines, officials said.

Metro-North will run hourly service beginning at 9 p.m. and should return to its normal schedule by Thursday’s morning rush.

and two of Metro-North’s three lines were operating on regular schedules. The New Haven line downshifted to hourly service because of icing on overhead wires. New York City buses will run at 85 to 90 percent capacity during evening rush hour, officials said.

In New Jersey, it was ice on the overhead wires that caused problems for NJ TRANSIT trains.

Service was temporarily suspended on Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line trains, but was restored shortly before 1:30 a.m.

“Heavy snow and freezing rain is a lethal combination for overhead power lines,” spokesman John Durso Jr. told WCBS 880. “We are offering cross-honoring on private bus carriers, NJ TRANSIT bus, as well as PATH.”

NJ TRANSIT said all other trains, except the Atlantic City Line, are subject to 30 minute delays. Buses are also running late because of the weather.

Earlier Wednesday, service was suspended on the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines for about 90 minutes due to Amtrak overhead wire problems.

Workers repaired the wires and service was restored by 5:30 a.m.

On the roads, Gov. Andrew Cuomo implemented a full vehicle ban on Interstate 84 between the Connecticut and Pennsylvania borders for about 6 hours. The ban was lifted around 2:15 Wednesday afternoon.

It’s not just the roads and the rails.

Snow and freezing rain caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights at airports, 40 percent of flights at LaGuardia Airport and 36 percent at John F. Kennedy Airport.

Passengers are advised to check with their airline before heading out to the airport.

Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 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.)