2014-01-02 / Front Page

Crazy Winter Weather Continues

Updated Monday at 7:30 am
Eric Gross

Residents of Putnam County awakened to spring like conditions Monday with balmy temperatures of 50 degrees after an ice age event Sunday evening that caused dozens of crashes and headaches for emergency responders and highway crews.

Freezing drizzle began falling around 4:30 p.m. and within minutes many roads became impassable.

The Putnam 9-1-1 Center received more than 200 calls from people needing assistance resulting from the icy conditions. Crashes were reported in Mahopac, Putnam Valley, Garrison, Continental Village, Putnam Lake, Brewster, Patterson and Carmel.

Ice covered sidewalks, paths and stoops resulted in many falls. Ambulances were summoned for victims in Cold Spring, Lake Carmel, Patterson, Putnam Valley, Putnam Lake, Brewster and Mahopac Falls.

The Town of Kent was the hardest hit when according to police “roads suddenly turned to ice.” Nichols Street became impassable. Three simultaneous crashes sent two people to the hospital. Police cars and rescue vehicles had great difficulty in reaching their destination.

The Taconic State Parkway in Putnam Valley and Kent also resembled an ice skating rink for a time until highway crews salted the road and the mercury began to climb.

With the warmth came the fog and torrential overnight rains. Police reported zero visibility in many sections of the region overnight and early Monday due to the foggy conditions.

Speaking from his car at 5:45 a.m. enroot to work in Manhattan, Andy Carter of Patterson said the fog was the “worst” he had ever seen: “You can’t see 10 feet in front of you. High beams—low beams—nothing is helping.”

All public schools throughout Putnam opened on time for the first time in a long time Monday. Only the Lakeland and Yorktown Districts operated on a two hour delay. Police warned the public to exercise caution nevertheless since many children will be waiting for their school buses in dense fog with poor visibility.

Forecasters have advised the public to enjoy the warmth of winter since it will be short lived. Another arctic cold front that dropped temperatures in the mid-west to minus 33 degrees Sunday is headed east with Tuesday’s daytime HIGH temperature predicted at only 8 degrees.

Earlier report, from the weekend

More cold is on the way, with freezing rain Sunday and cold temps later in the week (forecast) (freezing rain advisory). The bad weather follows up on the substantial storm Thursday night into Friday, from which the region has just dug out.

In last week's storm, police reported “extremely” quiet shifts with virtually no traffic on area roads overnight Thursday. I-84 was closed to all vehicular traffic by an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Brewster State Police and troopers from the East Fishkill barracks who patrol the interstate from the New York-Connecticut line to the Hamilton Fish Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, reported an eerie site with not a car in  view. “It was definitely weird,” said one trooper.

The Tappan Zee Bridge reopened to traffic at 5 am, but commercial traffic was prohibited until 8 am Friday. I-84 reopened to all traffic at 8 am; it was closed to cars at midnight and commercial traffic as of 5 pm Thursday. The Thruway from Albany south was also closed from midnight until 5 am Friday.Dangerously cold temperatures accompanied a steady snowfall throughout the region overnight that dumped as much as 5 inches of snow across Putnam County.

A UPS delivery man makes his rounds in Carmel on Friday morning. Photo/Eric GrossA UPS delivery man makes his rounds in Carmel on Friday morning. Photo/Eric Gross

Police tracked down a private plow driver who struck several parked vehicles while removing snow in Patterson and took off. A house fire was reported on McLaughlin Acres in Mahopac that was quickly extinguished.

All public schools and most private and parochial schools in Putnam are closed today due to the storm.

Putnam Office for the Aging Senior Centers are closed today and Adult Day Care Services have been cancelled.

Putnam Area Rapid Transit (PART) will not operate buses this morning with service commencing at12-noon.

All Putnam County governmental facilities will be opening two hours late today. All schools in the county canceled classes for today.

The mercury reads a bone chilling minus-2 in Carmel on Friday at 7:30 a.m. Photo/Eric GrossThe mercury reads a bone chilling minus-2 in Carmel on Friday at 7:30 a.m. Photo/Eric Gross

While the amount of snow fallen has not posed any great concern locally, today’s arctic-like temperatures are extremely dangerous.

At 6 a.m. the mercury was recorded at a bone chilling 0 in Carmel while Kent Cliffs checked in at -3 and Stormville had a reading of -5.

Forecasters say the temperatures will not break the 11 degree mark all day with tonight’s mercury dropping to anywhere from -5 to minus 10. Wind chills, the weather service said, will be 10 below zero to 20 below zero this morning. Here's the storm warning for Carmel, which remains in effect until 1 pm.

Earlier story from 8 pm Thursday: We have this new transit info in as of 7:50 pm:

Gov. Cuomo and transit officials announced a host of steps to deal with the storm, as of early Thursday evening. Cuomo said that I-84, the Thruway from Albany into the Bronx, and the Long Island Expressway beginning at the Queens border would all be closed as of midnight, and would remain closed at least until 5 a.m. Friday. They will reopen when conditions warrant, he said. I-84 was closed to commercial traffic, in fact, as of 5 p.m. Thursday. Conditions were extremely bad, with maximum speeds of 40 mph and less typical at 5 and 6 pm.

Transit officials said that Metro-North would maintain hourly service after the Thursday PM rush, but otherwise cut back to maintain as much equipment as possible underneath Grand Central during the storm. That would allow a faster recovery post-storm. And subway officials said that only local subways would be offered. Express trains would be sheltered from the storm, again to provide a faster post-storm recovery.

In addition, the North Salem School District has cancelled classes, the Putnam Office for the Aging's Senior Centers will be closed, as will the county's Adult Day Care programs.

And, schools in Brewster, Carmel, Mahopac and Putnam Valley will all be closed due to the storm, joining Haldane and Garrison, which announced earlier.

Earlier story, 1 pm Thursday: Putnam County’s school districts dismissed early today in the wake of winter’s latest pending storm.

While the Lakeland and Pawling School Districts and a number of schools in Dutchess and Orange counties cancelled classes in anticipation of heavy snow and arctic cold forecast for later in the day, the Brewster, Carmel, Mahopac, Haldane, North Salem and Putnam Valley districts all decided to dismiss early in order for children and employees to arrive home safely before the heavy snows begin to fall.

Other cancellations have been reported:

The Carmel Town Board Organizational meeting planned for tonight has been rescheduled until next Wednesday at 7 p.m. while the Putnam Valley Town Board session also scheduled for this evening has been postponed until tomorrow at 5 p.m.

Philipstown Recreation has cancelled its activities today while the Equestrian Center in Cold Spring has also cancelled its programs. Putnam Head Start is also cancelled while the Brewster Library is closed.

 A light dusting of snow early this morning slickened secondary roads in the Carmel-Mahopac area with police reporting several skidding mishaps—none with personal injury. Conditions have been steadily worsening at mid-day, however.

Police on the state, county, town and village levels are all urging the motoring public to exercise extreme caution today due to anticipated heavy traffic as shoppers flock to area grocery stores and stock up on food staples.

Earlier story, 7:40 am Thursday: Putnam County’s six school districts will open on time today (Thursday) despite the winter’s latest pending storm.

Only the Lakeland and Pawling School Districts and a number of schools in Dutchess and Orange counties have cancelled classes in anticipation of heavy snow and arctic cold forecast for later in the day.

The North Salem School District will be dismissing children early today (10:30 a.m. for middle and high school youngsters and 11:30 a.m. for elementary school children).

A light dusting of snow early this morning slickened secondary roads in the Carmel-Mahopac area with police reporting several skidding mishaps—none with personal injury.

Police on the state, county, town and village levels are all urging the motoring public to exercise extreme caution today due to anticipated heavy traffic as shoppers flock to area grocery stores and stock up on food staples.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2014-01-02 digital edition

Weekly Quotation

‘Get off your horse and drink your milk.’ ~John Wayne