Thursday evening’s storm that pummeled the region caused gridlock throughout the Hudson Valley that hasn’t been seen in years.
Forecasters had predicted a 2-3 inch snowfall, however, the National Weather Service reported three inches of snow quickly fell across Putnam within an hour snarling traffic on major highways as well as local and tertiary roads. More snow fell overnight. By Friday morning, all Putnam schools ultimately had to close.
The problem was exacerbated by a lack of sufficient highway crews plowing roads early on. Then, wrecks and cars clogged the roads, ensuring a long delay.
Take, for instance, the drive for a Carmel man who left his residence off Route 301 at 5:30 pm, and saw a normal eight minute drive to Simpson Road turned into a 90 minute slog when all roads leading to the destination were blocked with traffic. Fair Street was closed due to a tractor trailer stuck on a hill outside Carmel High School. The “S” turn along Fair Street was shuttered as well due to a crash. Route 52 became impassable as a result of several crashes in Lake Carmel that backed traffic up for miles. Route 6 was no better with traffic stalled from Simpson Road due to a crash.
Richie, who plows parking lots and driveways for a living, reported his trip from White Plains to Kent took him 4.5 hours. Hef said the dearth of plows “made the night totally miserable.”
Matthew of Brewster said it took him five hours to go from Ossining to his home 23 miles away.
Police reported “dozens and dozens” of vehicle mishaps. One deputy said the freezing and refreezing of the roadbeds due to a lack of sand and salt and insufficient plowing made the roads virtually impassable even with four wheel drive.
Snow totals reported by the weather service included: Brewster– 7.4 inches, Carmel—9 inches; Cold Spring—6.9 inches; Patterson—9.4 inches; Kent Cliffs—10 inches; Putnam Valley—9.2 inches.
And winter doesn’t officially arrive for more than a month from now!