New York

Tri-State Grinds Back to Life After Nor'easter, But Perilous Black Ice Remains

A westward shift in the models led to lower snow totals but more rain, which was expected to freeze overnight

What to Know

  • Initial forecasts for the storm called for more than 12" of snow for NYC, but after it tracked west, snowfall predictions were cut by half
  • The nasty Nor'easter has pulled away, but the wind and cold aren't going anywhere, and black ice could complicate the morning commute
  • Mass transit was returning to normal, and states of emergency were being lifted

The ferocious nor'easter that tore through the tri-state area Tuesday, leaving more than a foot of snow, flooding coastal streets and ripping down poles and wires with 60 mph-plus gusts, has moved out of the region as concerns grow about a potential black ice threat that could hamper Wednesday's commute.

MTA subways and METRO North are running again following the storm. Andrew Siff Reports.

Wind chills were in the single digits early Wednesday morning, and gusts topped 25 mph at times, Storm Team 4 says. Temperatures were forecast to stay at or below freezing for most of the tri-state Wednesday as winds gust up to 30 mph.

Photos: Nor'easter Cripples the Tri-State Tuesday

Mass transit was slowly chugging back to life after widespread service suspensions and delays Tuesday. Above-ground subway service and limited Metro-North service resumed Tuesday evening, and mass transit was mostly expected to return to normal in time for the morning rush Wednesday. Check the latest transit changes here.

Missing Attachment City residents weigh in on how New York City responded to the storm. Melissa Russo reports.

People who plan to catch a flight Wednesday after nearly 3,000 flights were canceled at the three major area airports Tuesday are being warned to expect heavy traffic on roads leading there. The Port Authority also says all flights at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports are completely booked for Wednesday.

Missing Attachment The Nor’easter didn’t stop tourists and some New Yorkers from putting on their snow gear and heading to Times Square. Natalie Pasquarella reports.

Meanwhile, schools across the region were expected to reopen Wednesday following Tuesday's closure, though many delayed openings were possible. Check latest school closings and delays here. 

Missing Attachment With the city spared the brunt of Tuesday’s nor’easter, it was a fun day to be a kid in the park. Gus Rosendale’s reports from Central Park.

The governors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut had declared states of emergency for Tuesday. New Jersey lifted its state of emergency by 6 p.m. Tuesday, and state employees are expected to report to work as normal Wednesday. All state offices will maintain regular operating hours, Gov. Christie says. 

A statewide travel ban in Connecticut was lifted by 5 p.m., and a travel ban on the I-84 in New York was lifted at 8 p.m. A tractor-trailer ban remains in place on I-81, I-86, the Northway, I-88 and the Thruway. Check the latest travel advisories here.

There weren't many serious crashes Tuesday considering the treacherous road conditions, though there were several reported in Suffolk County. A car crashed into a tree in Mastic Beach, fire officials said. Two people were hurt, though the extent of their injuries wasn't immediately known. Another car flipped and hit a natural gas post on Montauk Highway in Brookhaven, officials said. Both passengers refused medical treatment. The highway remained closed shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Officials caution that the ice threat would linger into Wednesday, still making road travel difficult. 

Initial forecasts had predicted a foot and a half of snow for New York City, but models early Tuesday shifted west. That meant lower snow totals but more sleet and rain, which was expected to freeze overnight as temperatures plunge into the low 20s.

A 47-year-old Staten Island man was out shoveling snow around 1 p.m. Tuesday when he suffered a heart attack. He was taken the hospital, where he died just before 5 p.m.

Missing Attachment In a Facebook Live chat, Storm Team 4’s Erica Grow and Steve Sosna explain how the forecast played out with the worst-case scenarios in some spots and why it did not in other spots. The range of snowfall totals comes from the team’s best determination of what the storm’s track would be — and the forecast ended up having a very different outcome over a very short distance.

But areas that were predicted to get the heaviest snowfall did get walloped: Orange County was slammed with nearly 2 feet of snow -- Montgomery was buried under 23.5 inches of snow -- and in Rockland County, Stony Point got 18 inches of snow while Suffern saw over 11 inches. Westchester's Mount Kisco got 14 inches of snow, and White Plains saw just over 10. 

Check the latest snow totals in your neighborhood.

Missing Attachment Parts of Westchester County was buried under more than a foot of snow. Ray Villeda Reports.

In New York City, Central Park ultimately got about 7 inches of snow, while JFK Airport in Queens saw nearly 5 inches. Parkchester in the Bronx saw about 8 inches. Staten Island reported 4 inches. 

Missing Attachment The storm made a mark in Far Rockaway, with wind gusts of up to 40 mph doing some damage to two luxury homes that were being built. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

Northern New Jersey cities saw over a foot of snow, with Mahwah in Bergen County reporting 13 inches, Hoboken in Hudson County nearly 8. Wayne in Passaic County got 11.5 inches, while Elizabeth in Union County had over 9. 

Missing Attachment The clean up from the storm is well underway in Bergen County, New Jersey. Jen Maxfield reports.

In Connecticut, snow totals ranged from 7 to just over 11 inches in Fairfield County, and 7 to 11 inches in New Haven. 

Missing Attachment Parts of Connecticut saw some of the highest snow totals in our area. Marc Santia reports.

Long Island only saw about 3 to 5 inches of snow but dealt with flooded roadways at high tide, as did towns along the Jersey Shore. 

Missing Attachment Flooding and black ice remain a concern along Long Island’s South Shore. Greg Cergol reports.
Missing Attachment Chris Cimino and Raphael Miranda’s forecast for Tuesday, March 14.

Garbage collection remains suspended in New York City Wednesday, but beginning Wednesday evening, properly packaged material should be placed on the curb. The sanitation department says there will be delays as it catches up, and New Yorkers should clear snow and ice from sidewalks and from trash that's already out. 

Light snow showers are in the forecast for Wednesday ahead of a blustery and sunny day Thursday. Highs will be in the 30s throughout the week, with St. Patrick's Day seeing the warmest temperatures and a mix of clouds and sun. 

Snow-dorable! Kids and Pets Playing in the Snowstorm

Last Friday, a winter storm system dropped half a foot of snow on parts of the tri-state. It's not unusual for significant snow to fall in March in New York City. According to the National Weather Service, the city has seen storms with accumulations of at least 10 inches in March five times since 1888.

Looking Back: New York Paralyzed by Snowstorms in March

New York City has seen significantly less snow this winter compared to last year. It has snowed 20.5 inches so far this season compared to 32.3 inches by this time in 2016, an amount that was buoyed by one of the largest snowstorms in the city's history last January.

Historic Images of NYC Snowstorms

Bergen police officers didn’t let the snowstorm chill their senses of humor, with the police department tweeting that its officers Arrigo and Enriquez had ‘located kids in the street’ which in turn led to a snowball fight.
Ponies get loose on Staten Island as residents deal with snow from storm. Erica Byfield reports.
Authorities were called to two different crashes on Long Island Tuesday following treacherous driving conditions in Suffolk County. 
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