- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Bitter cold and gusty winds overnight meant New Yorkers awoke Tuesday to some treacherous travel along roadways and sidewalks where winter’s precipitation had turned into an icy mess.

Temperatures plunged to as low as minus-25 degrees in parts of upstate New York early Tuesday, a day after a storm dumped more than a foot of snow from Buffalo to the Hudson Valley.

The National Weather Service said it was 25 below before dawn in Glens Falls, 45 miles north of Albany, and minus-21 in Watertown, near Lake Ontario’s eastern end. The brutal cold followed a Monday storm that resulted in snowfall totals ranging from 14 inches in the Albany area to 20 inches in parts of western New York.

Temperatures were in the teens in the New York City metro area, which received 6 inches to a foot of snow on Monday.

The weather service said the wind chill made it feel like 5 below in Manhattan on Tuesday morning and 20 to 30 below in some upstate areas.

The extreme cold, about 10 degrees lower than normal for this time of year, meant any snow-covered roads that hadn’t gotten treated or anyplace snow had melted was going to turn into dangerous black ice for commuters Tuesday morning.

Winter weather hit the state hard on Monday. Hundreds of flights were canceled in the city as trains were delayed, driving was dangerous and even the subway system struggled with the storm. A No. 7 train in Queens lost power for 2½ hours, and a rescue train had to be sent for the stranded passengers.

“Everyone on the train was in decent spirits, since there was literally nothing we could do about it,” passenger Ashley Carr said in an email.

Farther north, fast-falling snow measured 14 inches in Albany and Buffalo and 20 inches in the Rochester area by Monday evening. Schools closed across the region and plows struggled to keep up with the deluge. Temperatures barely climbed out of single digits.

“It’s challenging,” said Lisa Smoczynski, who was working at a Buffalo construction site Monday as heavy snow fell and a stiff wind made the 12-degree temperature seem much lower.

“I’ve got Under Armour, lined pants, fleece-lined jeans - let’s see, one, two, three, four, five layers. Insulated gloves, insulated boots, the heaviest socks available. Under Armour hat. All the joys of life,” Smoczynski said.

In New York City’s northern suburbs, after 6 to 12 inches of snow, the precipitation kept falling but changed intermittently from snow to sleet to rain. Icy pellets bounced off windshields as motorists slowly made their way along interstates, parkways and local streets in Westchester County. In White Plains, Estelle Windsor of the Bronx was trying to walk several blocks from one indoor shopping mall to another after being told she’d have to wait half an hour for a cab.

“I should have waited,” she shouted into a cold wind. “I’m getting this sleet in my eyes. It’s like they’re shooting BBs at you.”

State police said two people were killed in a multivehicle accident that occurred in two stages on Interstate 95 in Rye. A two-vehicle accident was being investigated when a third vehicle lost control and hit the first two vehicles, the police said.

The accident closed northbound lanes near Exit 22. Separately, three tractor-trailers jackknifed on I-95 and Interstate 87, and one flipped over on the Long Island Expressway.


Associated Press writers Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, Meghan Barr and Kiley Armstrong in New York, Jim Fitzgerald in White Plains and Frank Eltman in Farmingdale contributed to this report.

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