Another winter storm blasts New York area; concerns over black ice

Carolina Leid reports from South Beach.
February 5, 2014 8:32:13 PM PST
A winter weather advisory is in effect for the New York area due to concerns over black ice after this latest storm.

Snow that began overnight transitioned to sleet and freezing rain across the Tri-State area Wednesday, making for extremely dangerous conditions on the roads and sidewalks.

4 inches of snow and a quarter inch of ice fell in Central Park.

Parts of New Jersey saw close to 6 inches. Danbury, Ct. had 9 inches, and accumulations reached upwards of a foot in areas in higher elevations. The highest reported total was 12.5 inches in Newburgh.


The ice associated with the storm brought down numerous trees and power lines, many in central and western portions of New Jersey. Power was knocked out to nearly 44,000 homes and businesses in New Jersey.

Hundreds of accidents were reported, and drivers were urged to use extreme caution and stick to main roads, where plows and salters focused their efforts.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and announced a ban on both commercial and passenger vehicles on Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders, but the ban was lifted Wednesday afternoon.

"State crews have been working diligently to clear snow and ice from roadways across the State," Governor Cuomo said. "It is important to note that while the vehicle ban on I-84 has been lifted all motorists should proceed with caution as slippery road conditions may remain in certain areas."

Cuomo also ordered 3,500 tons of stockpiled road salt to be trucked to the New York City area, where supplies are running low.

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.


Mayor Bill de Blasio urged commuters to use mass transit. Alternate side parking regulations remain suspended through Thursday, though metered rules remain in effect. Trash and recycling pickup was also suspended.

PlowNYC was activated so that New Yorkers can track the progress of salt spreaders in their neighborhood. PlowNYC will be available at


Freezing rain began to edge out the snow over northern New Jersey on Wednesday. Nearly 9 inches fell in Wantage in Sussex County, and there was 5 inches in Butler in Morris County. Downed power lines were causing outages across the state, and many schools closed or delayed opening. There were several delays listed for Thursday morning as well.

NJ Transit was operating on a storm schedule, with buses and trains cross-honoring tickets. But delays and service suspensions were still being reported due to overhead wire issues.

The icy storm caused power lines and tree limbs to snap, leaving many in the dark. The state's largest utility, PSE&G, reported 35,490 customers without service, mostly in Mercer County.

JCP&L had 8,286, mainly in Middlesex County.


On Long Island, a winter weather advisory is in effect for Nassau and Suffolk counties until Thursday morning due to black ice on the roads.

The LIRR is operating a normal schedule, but temporary service suspensions have been reported due to icing conditions, downed power lines and/or trees.


Gov. Dan Malloy said state police responded to more than 1,200 calls for assistance Wednesday. There were about 70 serious accidents with 12 people injured.

Metro-North was operating at 75 percent of its normal evening rush hour schedule on Wednesday on its Harlem, Hudson and New Haven rail lines.

More severe weather information can be found at or by calling 311. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for the Notify NYC, the City's free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can sign up for receive phone calls, text messages, and emails alerts about severe weather events and emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit, or follow @ NotifyNYC on Twitter.