Mass Transit Troubles Await Commuters After Rare October Snowstorm Continue Throughout Tri-State


snowThe massive and rare October snow storm that slammed into the Tri-State Area region on Shabbos is gone, but its effects will continue to be felt, starting with headaches for commuters this morning.

NJ TRANSIT service on the Morris and Essex lines, including the Gladstone Branch and Montclair-Boonton lines, is suspended as crews remove trees and repair wiring.

Other lines will be on or close to schedule.

On the MetroNorth, there will be no service from North White Plans to Wassaic, and only local service will be available from North White Plains to Grand Central.

The storm smashed record snowfall totals for October, and several officials called its ferocity “historic.”

Compounding the storm’s impact were still-leafy trees, which gave the snow something to hang onto and that put tremendous weight on branches, said National Weather Service spokesman Chris Vaccaro. That led to limbs breaking off and contributed to the widespread outages.

Governors have declared states of emergency in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and parts of New York, and at least three deaths were blamed on the weather.

There are many downed wires that may not be visible at night. They should always be considered live. Children and teens should stay in Sunday night for their safety and the safety of others and parents should ensure they do so.

Central Park set a record for both the date and the month of October with 2.9 inches of snow.

West Milford, N.J., about 45 miles northwest of New York City, had received 19 inches of snow by early Sunday.

Shabbos marked just the fourth October day with measurable snowfall in Central Park since record-keeping began 135 years ago, the National Weather Service said.

In Westchester, power lines fell into the streets, trees snapped under the weight of the snow and ice was still blocking many roads Sunday. Local officials are advising motorists to stay off the roads.

The downed lines led to huge outages, like in Passaic where there was an electrical fire Saturday night.

In New York City, fallen trees are making city parks dangerous. Everyone is urged to stay out of the parks.

PSE&G reported 271,000 customers in the dark. Some of those homes could be without power until mid-week. JCP&L reported 275,000 outages in northern New Jersey.

Con Edison was reporting 68,001 outages – 379 on Staten Island, 35 in Brooklyn, zero in Manhattan, 60 in Queens, 3,024 in the Bronx, and 64,495 in Westchester County.

NYSEG was reporting 81,000 customers without power with the largest number of outages in Putnam and Westchester counties.

Up in Orange and Rockland counties, 111,957 remained powerless.

By Sunday afternoon on Long Island, LIPA was down to 679 customers without power after making headway overnight.

In Connecticut, 773,036 lost power and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy cautioned that some homes and business without electricity may be in for a long haul.

“If you are without power, you should expect to be without power for a prolonged period of time,” Malloy said Saturday night.

The town of Ridgefield, which got up to 15 inches of snow, was completely without power Sunday and officials say it could be a while before power is restored.

“They’re going to need water to be able to flush their toilets and survive, so we need water and we need ice and that has been something that we have received no words from the state of Connecticut in terms of commodity availability,” said First Selectman Rudy Marconi.

“It looks like January, not October,” one resident told 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan.

Connecticut Light & Power told customers it could be a week or more before power is fully restored.

“This will not be a ‘quick fix’…this may take more than a week to restore all of our customers. There are reports of trees down practically everywhere,” Jeff Butler, president and chief operating officer of CL&P said in a statement on its website. “To help with damage assessments, we’re using two helicopters. Our other priorities today are handling emergency situations and working in partnership with the towns to clear the blocked roads.”

CL&P says the number of outages from Saturday’s snowstorm surpasses the number of outages from Tropical Storm Irene.

{CBS Local/}