Winter storm wallops northern suburbs

Joe Torres checks out the snowfall in Orange County
February 5, 2014 3:35:02 PM PST
The northern suburbs took a direct hit from Wednesday's winter storm with a heavy dose of snow.

And getting anywhere by car was a challenge.

Snow-covered roads and highways greeted morning commuters, and the 65-mile stretch of Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders was closed to all vehicles until early afternoon.

State troopers stopped and ticketed drivers in Putnam County who, for one reason or another, didn't get the message.

"I was already close to the exit so I just said let me go around this accident, but then he started, he chased me down and he's like, 'You saw me!' I was like, I didn't know," said driver Denny Nikolopoulos.

"The cop was here and he stopped everybody. He said 84 is closed. It was closed when I left at 3 in the morning but now I didn't hear anything on the radio that it was closed. I thought it was open now," said driver Jose Azevedo.

In Westchester County, Interstate 684 in North Salem was icy and virtually deserted, and that gave plow trucks a clear path to clear the roads.

Cuomo said New York state had deployed more than 2,000 plows and other pieces of heavy equipment to keep roads clear.

In the Orange County city of Newburgh, people had a back-breaking day digging out from a foot of snow, the highest snowfall in the area.

"The most snow? I wish it would have gone somewhere else, besides here. (You don't want to win that prize? ) No, ha ha ha," said Newburgh resident Rob Stevens.

The storm also affected mass transit commuters, with Metro-North operating at 75 percent of its normal evening rush hour schedule on Wednesday on its Harlem, Hudson and New Haven rail lines.

Some local and express trains were being combined and will make additional stops. Consolidated trains will depart from Grand Central Terminal at the later of the two times to help passengers avoid missing trains.

Spokesman Aaron Donovan says Metro-North officials worry that rain arriving in the region may turn to ice, posing a problem for rails, platforms and overhead electric lines.