Wintry mix could cause icy glaze for Hudson Valley commute

Executive Boulevard traffic in Yonkers. Meteorologists are warning

Executive Boulevard traffic in Yonkers. Meteorologists are warning drivers of slippery roads due to freezing rain during the morning commute. (Feb. 11, 2013) (Credit: Matt Sartwell)

Hudson Valley commuters are facing a double-barreled hazard Monday as a mix of rain and snow threatens to flood low-lying roadways in the morning and continued ponding, and freezing temperatures could create conditions for black ice for the morning rush hour, forecasters say. Some local schools are reporting delayed starts due to the rain.

News12 meteorologists are advising drivers to get an early start Monday in case they encounter delays.

The light freezing rain could leave an icy glaze on roads and sidewalks, causing slick and wet driving conditions.


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The snowpack left from the deadly weekend nor'easter could turn Monday morning's precipitation into a commuting predicament, particularly on low-lying roads with chronic ponding problems such as the Saw Mill River Parkway.

"This is problematic. Where is all the water going to go?" asked News12 meteorologist Darryl Green. "This could trigger some flooding."

By 7 a.m., the icy mix turned to light rain but meteoroogists continued to caution drivers, as freezing temperatures could leave an icy glaze on road surfaces.

Fears of icy roads forced schools throughout the region to delay classes Monday morning with a few cancelling session altogether.

The rain is expected to last into the afternoon, forecasters said. 

Monday's high is expected to reach the 40s, but as the mercury drops in the evening, roads and sidewalks could refreeze, causing hazardous conditions for the evening rush hour, he added.

"Black ice, that's definitely going to be a problem," Green said.

Metro-North officials said normal weekday schedules would be in effect for the Hudson and Harlem lines, as well as the New Haven line between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal.

Metro-North will provide about half its usual Monday morning rush-hour service between New Haven and Stamford, officials said, with service resuming on the Danbury and New Canaan lines, but not the Waterbury branch.

Crews were removing snow from train yards in New Haven and Bridgeport, Conn., and were working to clear track switches. Workers also were removing snow from the roof of each train car to free pantographs, the mechanical arms that capture electricity from overhead wires.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was moving snowblowers on flatbed trucks from New York City Transit on the Metro-North's lines in Connecticut.

Officials said train schedules would be posted Sunday night on mta.info.

Power outages were negligible in the Hudson Valley. On Sunday, Con Edison was reporting zero outages in Westchester County, and Orange & Rockland had no outages throughout its coverage. New York State Electric and Gas reported a single customer without power in Westchester County, and Central Hudson Gas & Electric had seven customers without power in Dutchess County.

One shoveler, Andrew Tymocz, was hastily shoveling out his house on Farragut Avenue in Hastings-on-Hudson before prospective home buyers arrived for an open house.

"Once it's winter ice, you're done," Tymocz said. "This is a great day to do it," he said of the sunny weather.

A neighbor, Michael Saposnick, was shoveling with his 12-year-old daughter, Lily.

"Yesterday was a little bit more brutal than today," he said. "The snow was heavier, and it was much colder."

Flights were moving normally at Stewart International and Westchester County airports, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, but weather was causing delays for flights destined for Newark Liberty International Airport.

Municipal workers from New York to Boston labored through the night Saturday in snowbound communities, where some motorists had to be rescued after spending hours stuck in wet, heavy snow. President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for Connecticut, allowing federal aid to be used in recovery, and utilities in some hard-hit New England states predicted that the storm could leave some customers in the dark at least until Monday.

"We've never seen anything like this," said Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone, which got more than 2 1/2 feet of snow in the storm dubbed Nemo.

The storm that slammed into New England with up to 3 feet of snow was blamed for at least 14 deaths in the Northeast and Canada, and brought some of the highest accumulations ever recorded.

Utility crews, some brought in from as far away as Georgia, Oklahoma and Quebec, raced to restore power to more than 300,000 customers -- down from 650,000 in eight states at the height of the storm.

In Westchester County, Bronxville was buried under more than 21 inches. Mount Vernon got at least 17 inches. In Orange County, Warwick reported a foot of snow.

With Newsday's Faye Murman and John Dyer and The Associated Press

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