WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Two days after winter storm Hercules turned Westchester County into a winter wonderland, residents are still feeling the effects of the cold spell that dropped as many as eight inches in certain areas.
Although most major roads throughout the county were promptly cleared and salted shortly after the storm hit on Thursday night, many side roads continued to make travel trouble for motorists Saturday. Frigid temperatures have also made it more difficult to clear snow and ice from roads and vehicles.
Temperatures settled close to 30 degrees for most of the day on Saturday, with winds peaking at nearly 15 miles per hour. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures should dip slightly overnight, with a possible freezing drizzle. Temperatures are expected to rise on Sunday to 40 degrees, with freezing drizzle possible in the morning followed by a likelihood of rain.
A woman escaped injury in North Salem when her car skidded off Route 116 and landed into the Titicus Reservoir on Saturday morning, according to LoHud.com.
New Rochelle resident Jordan Levy said that she hoped to avoid the roads on Friday, so she waited until Saturday to attempt to dig out her car, not suspecting that overnight temperatures – which reached the single digits – would essentially freeze her Honda in place.
“An hour ago, when [my mother and I] started this, I thought I was a genius for waiting until some of the snow melted off and the roads were safe,” she lamented. “It’s been less like shoveling snow away and more like hacking away at ice.”
After being forced to cancel all of its flights on Thursday – to the displeasure of many New Year’s travelers – the Westchester County Airport continued to improve service, though several Jet Blue flights arriving and departing from Florida had to be cancelled or delayed, according to airport operations personnel.
According to spokesman Andrew Ziegler, Bee-Line bus service and Paratransit vehicles operated near schedule, although operations on Route 9, 30 and 45 continued to experience slight snow detours.
Metro-North trains operated on a normal Saturday schedule, similar to what it did during Friday’s commute, and there were limited delays on major Westchester County Parkways.
Bernard King, who was hard at work clearing snow in front of an Eastchester gas station, said that during his commute, he encountered no weather related incidents.
“I had to drive from the Bronx to work and it was smooth sailing,” he said. “It usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes on a good day, and that’s what it did today.”
While many parents were dealing with the snow on the roads, their yards, driveways and cars, Westchester children made the most of Mother Nature’s “present.” Kids could be seen all over, cavorting, sledding and playing in the snow.
“It can be a hassle, sure, but we can’t keep them cooped up inside all day. We’d all go nuts,” Dave Norris said while his three children sledded down a hill at the Immaculate Conception School in Tuckahoe. “We were able to get them to help out by warning them we couldn’t come down until the driveway was cleared of snow.”