First Winter Storm Causes Gridlock and School Closing

BronxRiverParkwayThe Bronx River Parkway came to a complete halt on Thursday night.The first winter storm of the season wreaked havoc on drivers on Thursday night November 16. The original forecast was for two to three inches of snow, but as the sun went down temperatures dropped and a slick, wet snow fell heavily atop wet leaves in the street and caused treacherous driving conditions.

The Scarsdale Schools suspended after school activities on Thursday and originally announced a two-hour delay for the opening of school on Friday November 16. However at 8:15 am a second email was sent, announcing that schools would be closed for the day.

According to Scarsdale Police Captain Thomas Altizio, Scarsdale Police received 84 calls for help from drivers during the storm. Alitzio reports that a full complement of police were out, directing traffic, pushing cars out of ditches and attempting to clear a host of minor accidents that occurred.

Police manned intersections to try to alleviate the traffic but stuck cars caused gridlock and little could be done. The intersection of Fenimore and Fox Meadow Roads came to a stop, and the Popham Road bridge was blocked as well. When a rush of commuters attempted to drive home from parking garages in Hartsdale and Scarsdale, stuck cars blocked their way. Altizio says that intersections at the Post Road, Mamaroneck Road and Saxon Woods Road were also snarled.

Cars stalled and fishtailed on the icy surface. One Greenacres man reported that he was stuck in his car on the Bronx River Parkway for an hour, just a half mile from his home but unable to get off the road.

The Department of Public Works was unable to clear many of the blocked roadways as plows could not bypass the stuck cars. Plows worked through the night and as of Friday morning most roads are wet but clear.

Fortunately no one was hurt and Altizio has not heard of any big trees downed by the storm. However his own 40-minute commute home last night took five and a half hours. Many cars were abandoned along the highway. Conditions were no better at rush hour in downtown White Plains which also came to a complete stop when so many left their offices at once.