Icy Mess On Roads, Sidewalks A Night After Snowstorm

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Plunging temperatures ushered in by the storm that hit the Tri-State area turned snow and sleet into ice Wednesday, leaving roads and sidewalks treacherous Wednesday and making shoveling seem like hard labor.

The air temperature was 26 degrees Wednesday night with the wind chill making it feel like 19, and as CBS2’s Lonnie Quinn reported, there is no light at the end of the frigid tunnel anytime soon.

On Thursday morning, wind chills will make it feel like 10 degrees in New York City; 9 degrees in Sea Cliff, Paramus and Ossining; 8 degrees in Freehold; 7 degrees in Bernardsville; 5 degrees in Goshen, and 3 degrees in Andover.

As CBS2’s Raegan Medgie reported, people were slipping, sliding and getting stuck as they tried to dig out in the bitter cold. For some, it was more of a challenge than others.

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For some, it was more of a challenge than for others. CBS2’s cameras were there as one driver became so frustrated by the snow and ice trapping his car in his parking space that he decided to drive on the sidewalk to the nearest intersection.

“You’ve got be really careful and walk a little gingerly and be sure to just don’t underestimate what’s beneath your feet,” one woman on upper Broadway told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

“There’s the thick snow that’s hard and dry, and there’s the water snow,” Florida resident Carson Harris told CBS2’s Medgie. “That’s the worst. That soaks your feet.”

For drivers, it was all about making sure they kept their eyes on the pedestrians dodging mounds of snow, or removing the ice covering their cars and sidewalks.

In front of a pizzeria on West 97th Street, a man was seen using a sledgehammer to break up the ice on the sidewalk.

It was a similar scene for Joseph Privitelli in Brooklyn, who was just trying to get to work.

“It’s just ice — hard as a rock,” he said. “Can’t use a snow shovel. You need a construction shovel.”

Others on Astoria Boulevard in Queens were seen chopping the ice around their cars and sidewalks.

“They’re taking out the axe picks to break up the ice, but that’s what you’ve got to do,” resident Phyllis Robinson told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.

Throughout Manhattan, commuters were sloshing and slipping through the slush – and some even decided to carry loved ones over the sloppy street corners.

Lenny Basta and his wife, Susan, were not pleased with their visit to Manhattan from Brooklyn Wednesday afternoon.

“What kind of baloney is this?” Lenny Basta said.

They found that the intersection of Seventh Avenue and 51st Street was a slippery mess to traverse on all sides.

“The Department of Sanitation — they got the machines doing the streets, but they don’t do the sidewalks with the shovels like the old days?” Lenny Basta said. “What’s going on? Why?”

“It was way too much snow on the corners to get across,” added Susan Basta. “I should have had better boots on.”

Others were not as unhappy with the conditions, but were anxiously waiting for it to be back to normal.

“I think they did a decent job cleaning up here,” said Stacey Richman. “I hope this is gone by this time tomorrow.”

But everyone was trying to find a creative way to get around. One man in a wheelchair traversed across 49th Street, while a woman in a motorized wheelchair opted for the only paved path she could find – going against traffic down Tenth Avenue.

Department of Sanitation workers were seen shoveling snow, ice and slush – saying there are 557 workers taking care of crosswalks, bus stops, and fire hydrants with more heading out Wednesday night.

New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said crews have been focused on “quality of life issues.”

“This morning, we’ve been focused on crosswalks, bus stops, bike lanes, step streets and more around schools,” she told 1010 WINS.

Garcia said workers will also be spending the day melting and hauling away snow.

“We aren’t allowed to push it into the harbor anymore, so we will be melting it or we will be using our snow dumps where we pile it up and wait for the sunshine to melt it away,” she said.

Due to snow removal operations, alternate side parking regulations are suspended through Saturday, but meters remain in effect.

Tuesday’s storm dumped more than a foot of snow in many places, but fell short of the predicted snowfall totals in New York City.

The city got anywhere from a few inches of snow to around half a foot before it switched over to sleet. Forecasters had predicted a foot or more.

In New Jersey, which saw rain or just a little snow, Gov. Chris Christie called the storm an “underperformer.” But officials still warned of dangerous ice.

The number of flight cancellations reached more than 3,000 in the New York City area alone, stranding hundreds of passengers. Airlines grounded more than 1,000 U.S. flights again on Wednesday.

Inland areas, meanwhile, got hit hard. The Binghamton, New York, area got over 2 feet, while Vernon, New Jersey, had at least 19 inches.

The storm came just days after the region saw temperatures climb into the 60s, and less than a week before the official start of spring.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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