NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It seems like everyone in the Tri-State Area is still talking about the brutal commute many faced during Thursday’s snowstorm. Drivers were stuck for hours in true nightmare scenarios.
Police said it serves as a reminder to prepare for emergencies when there’s snow in the forecast, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday.
The commute during Thursday’s storm was more than inconvenient. It was incomprehensible for those stuck hour after hour.
At Safeway Towing in New Rochelle, truck operators were so swamped with rescues they didn’t even bill many drivers. They just towed them to a safe place and rushed to the next call.
“They’re happy to see us. Everybody’s hungry, tired, they want to get home. They’ve been out there for hours,” Safeway’s Bobby Pantore said.
Westchester County Police say it happens every year, drivers forget basic snowstorm safety precautions, like preparing a kit with a flashlight, water and non-perishables to snack on if you’re stuck.
“We refer to it as ‘winter’s Groundhog Day,'” Westchester County Police Chief Chris Calabrese said.
Cops said many drivers failed to dress for the mess they found themselves in last Thursday.
“People have a tendency, especially this time of year, you go from the building, you go to the car. You don’t have boots. You don’t have jackets. You don’t have warmer clothes. That stuff should all be in the car,” Calabrese said.
Another huge issue on Thursday was drivers who didn’t check their tires, fill their tanks or charge their phones.
“We got calls from people all day long: ‘My phone’s going dead. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have enough gas in the car.’ You need to have the gas filled up ahead of time. It’s preparation,” Calabrese said.
Granted, even drivers who prepared had a difficult time on Thursday, but those who didn’t prepare had it worse.
Police said numerous accidents were caused because drivers had trouble seeing due to worn windshield wipers. So that’s one more thing to put on your safety checklist.