Credit: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News via USA TODAY NETWORK

Second Nor’easter In A Week Slams Tri-State With Wind, Rain & Thundersnow

March 07, 2018 - 11:49 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Well, that wasn't fun.

The New York area was slammed with its second nor'easter in a week.

Nor'easter Part II: Get The Latest Post-Storm Updates With WINS and Accuweather | Forecast | Traffic | NJ TRANSIT | MTA | Photos

New York City issued a snow alert, and New Jersey declared a state of emergency for a storm that ramped up Wednesday afternoon and made a mess of mass transit, airports and roads for most of the evening.

Stong winds, heavy rain and thundersnow -- yes thundersnow -- all made an appearance on Wednesday.

In case you were wondering, thundersnow is rare and is snowfall accompanied by thunder and lightning.  A New Jersey school teacher was struck by lightning as she held an umbrella. Luckily, she did not suffer life-threatening injuries. 

Hundreds of flights were canceled out of Newark, LaGuardia, and Kennedy airports. Metro-North operated on an hourly schedule for the balance of the storm and Amtrak had a modified schedule in place. NJ TRANSIT bus service was suspended as of 4:30 p.m., but was getting back to a normal schedule at 4 a.m. Thursday.

NJ TRANSIT, the LIRR and Metro-North were all experiencing delays and cancellations. More On Airport Cancellations, Delays & Transit Changes Here

Wind conditions suspended the Rockaway Ferry, and the Staten Island Ferry was operating on a modified schedule.

The first part of the storm was manageable, but conditions deteriorated rapidly. Heavy, wet snow began to stick and winds picked up as well. Visibility was very poor on snow packed roads, making for treacherous travel as some areas got hit with almost two feet of snow. The snow was falling so fast at one point, that plows couldn't keep up with it.

The bulk of the snow tapered off by early evening with northern Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan getting hit the hardest. Mayor de Blasio urged motorists to stay off the roads.

"Use common sense. If you can leave work earlier, please do. Use mass transit and if you can stay off the roads, please do," de Blasio said. 

The mayor also told New Yorkers to call 311 if they are out of heat and hot water, and urged them to check on neighbors.

Speaking with 1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo echoed the mayor's guidance to avoid the roads.

"The rate of snowfall at 4 inches per hour is problematic, and it would be problematic in the metropolitan area. We're dealing with 1 to 2 inches per hour now, so just double the rate of snowfall, and that would be a serious problem. The plows can't move, the traffic backs up, as soon as one car gets stuck that backs up the entire line. So, if you do not have to be on the roads, this is not the time to be on the road. It's a good day to go home early," he said.

1010 WINS' Samantha Liebman began the day in the Bronx, where some people just weren't phased by the forecast.

"I don't really think about it. If it snows I put on the boots, if it's cold I put on an extra coat," Owen said.

Judy was waiting to get to her school bus depot. No snow day for her, she has to drive pre-k kids in this weather.

"If it's gonna be real bad they'll close up everything, you don't have to work. But right now they say you have to work, so you gotta work," she said.

New York City issued a snow alert, and suspended alternate side of the street parking for Wednesday and Thursday, but Mayor de Blasio decided to keep public schools open. Some parents didn't take any chances, and kept their children home anyway.

NYC Public Schools will also be open on Thursday. 

Some parents didnt agree with the mayor's decision.

Vanessa doesn't have to walk far to take her kids to P.S.-35, but she knows others do.

"I just live across the street. It's gonna get bad, so I think they should have left them home," she said.

Newark public schools were closed for the day.

WINS' Roger Stern spent the morning in Westchester, where some customers could be without power until Friday night. Bonnie Katz in New Rochelle doesn't even believe that estimate.

"First started out that it would be back on Sunday, then it was moved to Tuesday," she said.

If it gets too windy, repairs will have to stop altogether.

Westchester County Executive George Lattimer said the utility blew it.

"They waited too long to get mutual aid from distant states. They couldn't restore quickly enough on Saturday and Sunday when the weather was in our favor, now the weather has turned against us," he said.

Governor Cuomo has asked the state's Public Service Commission to review Con Ed's response.

"My instinct is, this is wholly unacceptable," he said.

Both Con Ed and NYSEG said they've brought in workers from around the country and are doing their best given how many power lines went down.

Al Jones was in Mount Vernon where residents still without power got hit again.

Out on the New Jersey Turnpike, 1010 WINS' John Montone was with plow drivers who had their game faces on long before the storm moved in.

"Hopefully not too bad," said one driver.

The drivers have a love-hate relationship with winter storms. They love the overtime pay, but hate the hours. Some drivers expected to put in 24 hours of work. One said he'd been on the job for 37 hours already.

Although the worst of the second storm is over, we may be in store for round three early next week. Stay tuned...