“It’s a War Zone Out There!”

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By Barrett Seaman – 

Friday was not a good day in the Rivertowns—nor anyplace else along the eastern seaboard, as a brutal nor’easter ripped its way from the Carolinas through Maine throughout the day and into the evening. Winds clocked at over 60 m.p.h. downed trees and power lines throughout the area. Rain, then snow, then rain again deluged the region.

A semi-tractor trailer overturned on the Mario Cuomo Bridge, halting traffic for hours until the State Police eventually banned all trucks from using the span. Six barges used in the deconstruction of the old Tappan Zee Bridge broke from their moorings and careened down the Hudson; one crashed into the dock of the Irvington Boat Club. The Coast Guard set out to round the strays up. The Army Corps of Engineers prepared to launch an underwater survey between the Tappan Zee and the George Washington bridges to identify debris that might obstruct maritime traffic.

By nightfall, over 200,000 homes in the region were without power. Con Ed told Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner on Saturday that 81,000 in Westchester alone lost power, with fewer than 20,000 restorations by mid-afternoon. With so much damage, it was impossible to predict when any area would get power back, but given the shortage of crews available, many would remain in the dark into Sunday, perhaps beyond.

Frantic exchanges swept through social media throughout the day, with many posting photos and videos of the storm’s effects. Irvngton resident Noah Lang was in the process of photographing a downed tree on West Clinton Avenue when a second large tree toppled beside it. Anthony Taricone managed to capture a video of one of the loose barges as it splintered a section of the Irvington Boat Club dock.

Water was everywhere. The National Weather Service reported three inches of rain in Sleepy Hollow—the most in the area. In Phoenicia NY,  Ulster County, 20 inches of snow accumulated. Wind speed reached 65 m.p.h. midday at the Tappan Zee Light, while across the county in Larchmont Harbor, it hit 66 mph a few hours later.

UPDATES:
Sunday 3/4: ConEdison is sill restoring power in a number of Westchester communities, some of which did not even have an estimated date as of late afternoon Sunday. Governor Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in four counties, including Westchester, and asked for National Guard members to be sent to assist with debris clearance and power restoration. Some communities have designated warming/charging centers to help local residents – check with local police.

Tuesday 3/6: ConEdison stated that all power outages in Westchester should be repaired by the end of the day. As a new work week began with reports of yet another, snowier nor’easter expected Wednesday, Westchester County announced that it would keep the County Center open through Tuesday evening for those seeking warmth, coffee and movies for children. The Center is located at the intersection of Central Avenue, Route 119 and the Bronx River Parkway.

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