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Winter storm continues to make travel treacherous in Northeast

A strong winter storm has grounded flights and made travel treacherous in the Northeast.

The Associated Press

1/3/2014

Below are more weather updates from the Associated Press regarding winter storms, particularly in the North and Northeast parts of the U.S. Keep checking back to The Trucker for more updates.

Snow, ice cause problems on Michigan roadways

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Snow and ice on Michigan roadways continue to cause problems for drivers.

The Ann Arbor News reports at least 22 crashes by midmorning Friday on highways in Washtenaw County near Ann Arbor.

The National Weather Service reports Ann Arbor got 9 inches of snow during the Tuesday to Thursday storm.

In the Muskegon area, highways were icy on Friday morning. The Muskegon Chronicle reports drifting snow is a potential problem.

Officials are urging caution while driving. On Thursday, crashes were reported across the state due to the weather.

New Jersey bus slides into building

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say a New Jersey Transit bus with only the driver aboard crashed backward through the wall of a building in Paterson after sliding on an icy hill.

Officials say that the driver received only minor injuries.

NJ Transit spokesman John Durso says the accident occurred at about 7 a.m. Friday at the end of the route for the bus.

The damaged one-story building houses a carpet store, Barefoot Rug. Officials say no one was inside at the time.

NJ Transit buses are running with delays and light ridership as the region digs out from a storm that dumped up to 10 inches of snow in parts of the state.

NYC mayor says all primary roads plowed

JONATHAN LEMIRE, VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio greeted the first winter storm of his new administration Friday by shoveling the sidewalk in front of his own Brooklyn home, then announced that every primary road in the city had been plowed.

Asked to give himself a grade for handling the snow in his first week in office, the mayor said, "I feel great about the response." But he quickly added, "We are not out of this yet."

"Based on the information I have right now, I give everyone an A for extraordinary effort and extraordinary effectiveness," de Blasio said. "Ask me my grade again in a few hours."

The snowstorm came about three years after de Blasio criticized his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, for failing to lead a quick snow cleanup in all parts of the city.

He said all primary streets, 92 percent of secondary roads and 93 percent of tertiary roads had been plowed by Friday morning. He cautioned, however, that because of high winds blowing snow, some of the streets may have to be plowed again.

The mayor said travel is still difficult because of wind and cold temperatures and he asked New Yorkers to stay home or use mass transit.

De Blasio said the cold was the deciding factor in closing public schools Friday and he warned New Yorkers of subzero wind chills temperatures Friday night.

Later Friday, de Blasio's son, Dante, took a turn at shoveling. De Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, had tweeted a picture of a shovel on Thursday and said Dante would get snow duty if school were canceled. The mayor gave his son "an A for effort and a D for punctuality."

Also Friday morning, flights resumed in and out of Kennedy Airport after being suspended due to poor visibility and blowing snow. About 750 flights had been canceled at the three New York-area airports.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday he made "the right call" in closing close several major highways overnight because it allowed plow crews to keep up with the falling snow before motorists started their morning commutes.

"We had far fewer people stranded on roads than we had experienced in the past," the governor said.

The highways reopened by 8 a.m. but driving on many roads remained difficult.

In midtown Manhattan, bicycle messenger Chris Diaz awkwardly steered down snow-covered streets.

"I'm just trying to make some money," he said, nearly wobbling off his bike. "If I stop moving, I freeze!"

The National Weather Service said snowfall totals ranged from 6 inches in Central Park to 11 inches in Oceanside, on Long Island. Amounts were greater upstate, where 19 inches fell in Fulton and 18 in Rochester, the weather service said. A foot fell in the Albany area.

A weather service forecaster said cold temperatures would be as significant as the snowfall because of wind chills. The agency said wind chills would remain below zero throughout the day.

"It's a two-story storm," said meteorologist Joseph Pollina. "The snow and the cold." He said a high of 15 was predicted for Friday in New York City, which would make it the coldest day since Jan. 10, 2004.

Outreach teams were searching New York City streets for homeless people at risk of freezing to death. The Department of Homeless Services guarantees shelter when temperatures reach 32 degrees or below.

The Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany was housing 214 homeless people on Friday, officials said, including 21 "code blue" cases — people for whom the mission's usual standards are relaxed when temperatures become dangerous.

In upstate Byron, authorities said a 71-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease walked out of her home Thursday while her husband slept and froze to death.

State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico said two people were killed in highway accidents: a Troy man on the Adirondack Northway and a woman on the Southern State Parkway in Babylon.

Commuter rail lines were running on weekend schedules Friday. Chains were placed on city buses Friday morning so they would not get stuck in drifts.

In Times Square on Friday, Misty Marin, on her way home to California, dragged her luggage through the snow and said, "I love it. I think it is beautiful. I have been waiting for it for 2½ weeks. And it finally snowed. It's beautiful."

Associated Press writers Jim Fitzgerald in White Plains, David Caruso, Ula Ilnytzky and Karen Matthews in New York City and Chris Carola and Mary Esch in Albany, and AP videographer Joe Frederick contributed to this story.

 

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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