Tri-State Digs Out After Punishing Winter Storm, Arctic Chill Settles Over Region

Central Park got 11.5 inches of snow, while parts of New Jersey had more than 15 inches

By Storm Team 4
|  Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014  |  Updated 2:12 PM EDT
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    Bitter cold settled into the region Wednesday after a winter storm pummeled the area with a foot of snow in some places, wreaking havoc on travel and causing many schools to close.

    More than 15 inches of fluffy snow fell on parts of New Jersey in Tuesday's storm, with New York City, Long Island and Westchester County seeing between 10 and 14 inches of accumulation. Heavy snowfall, which at times came down as quickly as 1 to 2 inches per hour, smashed records for daily maximum snowfall at LaGuardia, Central Park and Islip, the National Weather Service said.

    "This storm was challenging in its size and intensity but the people who work for the city of New York rose to the challenge once again," Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday.

    He dismissed claims that the Upper East Side was neglected by plows, saying that was disrespectful to the crews that worked throughout the night.

    "No one was treated differently," he said of the city's neighborhoods.

    As the storm moved out of the region, it left behind bone-chilling cold that will keep snow from melting for several days. Lows hit single digits in places overnight with biting wind chills that made it feel as cold as 19 degrees below zero. Highs Wednesday across the tri-state did not get out of the teens.

    Temperatures are expected to hover in the teens and 20s through the rest of the week, with the mercury staying below the freezing mark until Monday.

    A state of emergency was declared in parts of New York and all of New Jersey. The blinding snow and massive accumulations caused numerous problems throughout the area.

    SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND EARLY DISMISSALS

    • Hundreds of schools are closed Wednesday, including Catholic elementary schools in Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx. Others have delayed starts. Check your school here.
    • New York City public schools are open Wednesday, and all after-school programs, field trips and PSAL games will operate on a normal schedule. "Travel conditions may be difficult, and families should exercise judgment when taking their children to school," Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said in a statement. 

    MASS TRANSIT, AIR/RAIL TRAVEL

    • MTA is running close to normal subway service Wednesday, with express service restored during the morning rush hour. City buses were operating at 80 to 90 percent of normal levels; most buses were outfitted with chains, but many got stuck in the snow Tuesday.
    • LIRR is operating on a weekend schedule, which provides 60 to 65 percent of the trains available on a regular weekday. 
    • Metro-North is operating at 80 to 85 percent of its normal weekday service, with some trains combined and some delays possible.
    • NJ Transit trains are operating on an enhanced weekend schedule on all lines Wednesday except the Atlantic City Rail. Buses and light rail will run on regular weekday schedules but customers should expect delays. NJT is cross-honoring systemwide on Wednesday, and will keep waiting rooms open 24/7 through Jan. 27.
    • NY Waterway ferries are operating normally. Due to ice on the Hudson River, buses are operating between Newburgh and the Metro-North station in Beacon, and between Haverstraw and the Metro-North station in Ossining. 
    • Amtrak is operating on a modified schedule on the Northeast Corridor, Empire and Keystone lines. Check amtrak.com for service alerts. 
    • Hundreds of flights have been canceled out of the area's three major airports, according to FlightAware. [PHOTO via Twitter]

    ROAD TRAFFIC AND STREET CLOSURES

    • In New York City, track snow plows here.
    • In New York City, alternate side parking is suspended Wednesday, but parking meter rules are still in effect. 
    • The Long Island Expressway remains open but drivers are urged to stay off the highway. The L.I.E. was shut down during the last storm; authorities say the snowfall stretched over a long enough period that quickly accumulating snow didn't pose as much of a threat. 

    Send us your storm photos! Email stormteam@nbcnewyork.com, tweet #NBC4NY, or upload them here. 

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