NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A sudden spring freeze had residents in parts of the Tr-State area scraping snow and ice off their cars Wednesday morning, but it also posed a serious danger to pedestrians walking in New York City.
As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, Christian Rouanet, a tourist from Belgium, was among at least five people who were struck by falling ice from the GE Building on West 50th Street outside Rockefeller Center.
Rouanet was struck shortly after 11 a.m. and suffered a small cut on the top of his head. He refused medical attention.
“A big lump of ice just fell on the skull of my dad, and that was it. Yeah, he’s a little hurt, and nothing more,” Rouanet’s daughter told Aiello.
The Rouanet family took the hit in stride and continued with their day touring Manhattan.
Firefighters arrived at the scene to check on several others who were hit by the falling ice.
Some of the ice, which appeared to be originating from flat parts of the roof, fell from as high as 70 stories up, Aiello reported.
One piece of ice barely missed the Digiovanni family visiting from Philadelphia.
“(How close did it come?) Like right there, like two inches away from me. I thought it was a rock! (It was ice) I know!”
Rockefeller Center security closed part of the West 50th Street sidewalk for several hours due to the danger the falling ice posed.
The springtime ice came as New Yorkers woke up to an unusually cold April morning. Temperatures fell from highs in the mid-60s Tuesday to the 20s in some spots of the region.
Around the corner from Rockefeller Center, tulips were in bloom and people basked in rays of sunshine as temperatures already began to rise Wednesday afternoon.
An odd turn on a day that, for many, started with the sound of a scraper removing ice — a tool that by rights should have been put in storage last month.
You may also be interested in these stories: