Tri-State Shivers From Blast of Snow, Drivers Warned of Icy Roads

A wintry storm brought a burst of snow to the area Tuesday, complicating road and air travel throughout the day and icing roads at night.

The snow started heavy and thick in the morning, delighting holiday tourists around the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, but changed to light snow by midday and mostly tapered off by afternoon.

Temperatures plunged into the night transforming the wintry mix on the roads into ice.

New York City's Officer of Emergency Management is urging people to stay off the roads, but if they must drive, to use major streets or highways for travel. Several other counties in the tri-state also issued travel advisories.

"I think the biggest concern I have -- and people should be aware of it -- as the temperature drops....we may have some black ice and icy conditions around the city," New York City Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said.

A heavier band of snow lingered over part of New Jersey, bypassed the city and hit Long Island later in the afternoon, dumping another couple inches. In some places, snowfall was as heavy as as 1/2 to 1 inch per hour. 

Whitehouse Station, N.J., got 4.3 inches, Long Island had 3 inches, the Bronx and Queens had 2.5 inches and Danbury, Conn. had 2.4 inches. Central Park reached 1.4 inches, breaking the daily Dec. 10 record of 1.3 inches set in 1932.

Road and air travel were complicated throughout the day.

In New Jersey, some cars spun out and at least one accident was reported.

"People are just not taking the time and the proper precautions when they're driving," said Louie Petrone, who got into a fender-bender as he was driving his son to school. "I think the problem is a lot of people get very nervous ... and they're not sure what they're doing."

On Long Island, police reported a higher number of fender-benders than usual. Suffolk County police said nearly 30 crashes were reported before noon.

Travelers at area airports also faced delays.

"They haven't told me anything," said Corin Guest, who was trying to get from Boston to Nashville, with a stop at LaGuardia. "I'm just looking at the board and it's all yellow,"

The skies should be clear through Friday, but another wintry mix could come this weekend. 

Tuesday's storm comes on the heels of a system that dumped snow and freezing rain throughout the area overnight into Monday, about 1 to 3 inches in most places.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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