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Winter storm hits NY, NJ: Dangerous roads, thousands without power

Posted at 4:31 AM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-03 07:41:21-05

NEW YORK — A seemingly endless winter storm that hindered travel across most of the country over the long holiday weekend delivered a last wallop as it swooped through the tri-state region, dumping heavy snow, shuttering many schools and bedeviling commuters Monday into early Tuesday.

The complex storm system slowly departed our area overnight. Tuesday morning will remain chilly and blustery, but at least the day should be dry, with partly-to-mostly sunny skies. We remain cool for the rest of the week, but there are indications of a warm-up heading into next week.

While New York City only saw around 1 to 2 inches of snow, more suburban areas north of the city saw between 5 and 13 inches by Tuesday morning.

New Jersey was perhaps hardest hit in our area, with parts of Bergen and Essex counties seeing up to 6 or 7 inches, Passaic County seeing over 9 inches in some areas, and parts of Sussex County seeing over 10 inches.

Thousands across New Jersey and New York were without power early Tuesday. Before 7 a.m., Jersey Central Power & Light reported over 37,300 customers without power, nearly 24,000 of those in Sussex County alone. PSE&G reported just 37 of their customers without power in the Garden State.

Here in New York, Con Edison reported over 800 customers in NYC without power just before 7 a.m., including 679 in Brooklyn, 85 in Queens and 56 in the Bronx. North of the city, Orange and Rockland counties saw about 5,722 customers with outages.

Out on Long Island, PSEG said Suffolk County had only about 5 customers without power by 7 a.m, while Nassau County customers had power restored.

The storm also brought flight delays and cancelations to the area. By early Tuesday, John F. Kennedy Airport had about 33 delays and 11 flight cancelations, while LaGuardia had 13 delays and 17 cancelations. Over in New Jersey, Newark Airport started the day with 18 delays and 27 flight cancelations.

More than 780 flights into or out of the U.S. were canceled Monday, with more than 5,600 delays, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware. Airports in the New York and Boston areas accounted for many of them.

Before the worst of the storm moved in Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for seven counties in eastern New York and assigned 300 National Guard members to assist with snow removal. State police had responded to more than 740 storm-related crashes statewide since the snow started falling.

“We’re tough, we’ve seen it all, we can handle it all,” Cuomo said Monday at a storm briefing before urging people to stay off the roads.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday at a news conference that the worst was still ahead. He closed state government for nonessential workers at noon.

The storm also caused major traffic disruptions. Tractor-trailers were banned or lower speed limits put in place on stretches of highway in New Jersey.

New York, where a bus carrying about 30 people collided with a tractor-trailer late Monday, also posted lower speed limits on some highways. Gov. Cuomo said there were some injuries in the crash but that they don’t appear to be life-threatening.

Many buses from New York City to Pennsylvania and upstate destinations such as Ithaca and Binghamton were canceled.

Dangerous roads in Westchester County after winter storm