Snow New York
NEW YORK (AP) _ The first major storm of the season hit New York City on Friday, blanketing the area in several inches of wet snow.
The fast-moving snowstorm struck in the early hours, shutting down schools and causing minor traffic accidents throughout the tri-state area as commuters headed to work on slippery roads. But by midmorning, the snow continued in Westchester County but had tapered off in Manhattan and Long Island and turned to rain, making for a slushy mess.
"Bring on the rain," said Alfred Gomez, 28, of Yonkers, as he slogged through the snow on a White Plains sidewalk. "If it turns to rain, maybe I won't have to shovel it when I get home." Michael Silva, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said snow showers would return over the next few hours but skies would clear by late afternoon or early evening and it would become windy.
He said Manhattan got four to five inches of snow. Commuter Dean Brown said he wasn't too bothered by having to deal with the snow on his way to his job at JP Morgan Chase and Co. in midtown Manhattan. "It's not too bad," he said, coming out of Penn Station after taking a train into the city from Marlboro, N.J. "When you see a foot, that's bad." The rain in Brooklyn turned streets into a gooey, slippery mess.
"This slop is awful," said Mauro Bacolo as he shoveled piles of slush in front of his apartment house in the borough's Carroll Gardens section. "I'll take snow any day over this. This stuff isn't pretty and it's a menace to walk on." Icy puddles trapped people on street corners. Christmas trees sagged under blankets of goop. A woman in an elegant coat leaped into a doorway to avoid a fountain of slush spewing from a machine clearing a sidewalk near Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan.
"I don't think it's going to turn out to be as bad as some people had worried about it," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on his morning radio program. The snow closed virtually all public schools in the northern suburbs and most schools on Long Island. On Long Island, the snow also quickly turned to rain, leaving slushy roads for the morning rush-hour. On Tuesday, up to six inches fell on eastern Long Island, while the city got no snow.
LaGuardia Airport on Friday experienced delays of up to 90 minutes on arrivals and departures, said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Alan Hicks. Sixty-four flights were canceled. The bistate agency also reported 25 mph speed restrictions at the Staten Island crossings _ the Goethals and Bayonne bridges and the Outerbridge Crossing. Jean Simeon, who drove into Manhattan from Brooklyn early in the morning said, "I could hardly keep my car on the road. It was slipping this way and then that way. But it's not as bad as I expected." Ken Shanahan, a carpenter from Maspeth, Queens, was struggling as he rolled a dolly filled with his tools through the slushy sidewalks on Manhattan's East Side. "I almost went flying," Shanahan said. But he said he didn't mind because "I like the snow. Mostly because I work inside." Paul Ugactz, a United Parcel Service manager, said driving was treacherous.
"The local streets are very bad," said Ugactz, who was stopped at East 20th Street. "None of them had been plowed. I saw only one sand truck." But he said he didn't think the snow would deter any UPS deliveries. "Our drivers are being very cautious and taking it easy," he said, "but I don't anticipate any problems. We always get through."
Source: Associated Press