Primary roadways in the Hudson Valley were mostly reopened by late Tuesday afternoon, a day after Hurricane Sandy barreled through the region. However, secondary routes remained clogged with downed trees and power lines.
The Cross County Parkway fully reopened Tuesday morning, and the Saw Mill River and Hutchinson River parkways in Westchester reopened Tuesday afternoon, county officials said.
Efforts to reopen the Taconic State Parkway were slow, but the highway reopened just after noon, News12 reported. The Bronx River Parkway was also essentially closed Tuesday morning, though portions of the highway, including the route from Yonkers to New York City, were open, a Westchester County spokesman said. It was not immediately clear whether the parkway would be fully open in time for Wednesday morning's commute.
The Tappan Zee Bridge reopened at 9 a.m., 19 hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the unprecedented step of closing the Westchester-Rockland connection, along with the closure of the state's network of other bridges and canals after winds topped 60 mph and the region was pelted with heavy rain.
Among the challenges facing authorities Tuesday were trees entangled in power lines, a problem which first requires utility companies to shut down the electricity before work crews can clear the area. Downed trees and flooded roadways also remained factors during the storm's cleanup.
In a Tuesday afternoon news conference, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino stressed that opening the roadways was a priority for department of public works crews and utility companies. He said there were some 500 streets blocked by debris in the county and that there were twice as many homes without power as in the aftermath of 2011's Tropical Storm Irene.
"The first process is not restoration of power," Astorino said. "The first process is opening the roadways for emergency personnel."
Communities like Lewisboro, Pound Ridge and Bedford were almost completely without power, the county executive said. "Major roads and secondary roads have trees everywhere."
In Rockland County, Route 9W was closed from Sparkill to Upper Nyack and Route 202 in Pomona was closed from Wilder Road to Route 306.
As of midday Tuesday, county roads were closed throughout Rockland due to fallen trees and electrical wires, said Andrew Connors, the county's deputy superintendent of highways. Some of the more notable thoroughfares closed included Beach Road in Stony Point and Haverstraw, River Road from Nyack into Piermont, and South Airmont Road in the western part of the county.
Connors said authorities opened up Veterans Memorial Drive and Middletown Road, giving the county available north-south and east-west thoroughfares, but he cautioned that many traffic lights remain disabled, and that drivers should stay home due to loose wires and low-hanging trees.
"It's really not safe to be out there right now," he said.
He added that authorities have cleared all roads blocked by fallen trees, but were waiting on utility crews to disable electrical wires in other areas.
In Orange County, two dozen county roads remained closed partially or in full as of 3:30 p.m., mostly because of fallen trees and wires, authorities said in a statement. Among the affected roads were Lakes Road in Monroe and Greenwood Lake, and Albany Post Road in Montgomery.
Nearly 80 town and county roads were closed in Ulster County, including Route 28 at Winchells Corner near the intersection of Reservoir Road in Shokan and a section of Route 209 in Stone Ridge, according to the county's website.
Below is a closure roundup supplied by News12's Gloria Chapa:
Rte. 139 in Somers has closures with downed trees/wires.
Rte. 116 in Somers has closures.
Rte. 118 in Somers has closures.
Rte. 202 in Somers has closures.
Rte. 100 in Somers has closures.
Rte. 117 in Mount Pleasant is closed.
Rte. 120 in Mount Pleasant is closed.
Rte. 141 in Mount Pleasant.
Rte. 9A northbound in Mt Pleasant.
Rte. 9 in Mt Pleasant.
Rte. 6 in Cortlandt is closed from Rte. 9D to Rte. 9 with numerous downed trees.
Rte. 9 in Cortlandt.
Rte. 116 in North Salem has closures.
Rte. 22 in North Salem has closures.
Rte. 121 in North Salem.
Rte. 35 in Bedford.
Rte. 22 in Bedford.
Rte. 137 in Bedford.
Rte. 22 in North Castle has closures.
Rte. 138 in Lewisboro has closures.
Rte. 35 in Lewisboro.
Rte. 100A in Greenburgh.
Rte. 9W in Clarkstown, Nyack, Conger, Orangetown, Stony Point, Piermont.
Rte. 202 in Ramapo.
Rte. 303 in Orangetown.
Rte. 340 in Orangetown.
Rte. 32 in Newburgh.
Rte. 211 in Montgomery.
Rte. 52 in Montgomery.
Rte. 17M in Wallkill, Blooming Grove, Middletown.
Rte. 42 in Deerpark.
Rte. 208 in Hamptonburgh.
Rte. 199 in Pine Plains.
Rte. 115 in Pleasant Valley.
Rte. 6 in Carmel.
Rte. 52 in Kent.
Rte. 164 in Patterson.