Big headache for Big Apple: New York City grinds to a halt
Friday, November 16, 2018, 11:32 AM - One system, one big mess. While drivers in southern Ontario may have been cursing their commutes in the first widespread snowfall of the season on Thursday, they weren't the only ones doing battle with the return of winter driving.
The same system -- now steaming into Atlantic Canada -- is also making a mess of parts of the northeastern United States, and that includes turning the 'City that Never Sleeps' into the 'City that Never Finishes its Commute'.
Central Park recorded a total 6.4 inches (16 cm) of snow through Thursday night, but only about half of that had fallen by the time the city ground to a halt heading into the evening hours.
While it may not seem like a dramatic amount of snow, this storm was only the fifth November storm on record to drop 6 inches of snow or more on Central Park, where records date back to 1869.
Traffic was so bad in many spots that people abandoned their cars, according to local news reports, with some would-be commuters reporting being trapped in traffic gridlock for upwards of 7 hours in what was dubbed by many 'the commute from hell'.
And it wasn't just cars blocking the streets in many places, as trees and branches were also felled by wet, heavy snow and gusty winds.
Those who didn't have to face the commute, however, took the opportunity to enjoy the early-season snow.
While snow had tapered off in the city as of Friday morning, the lasting effects of the snow are lingering. Strong gusts from the northwest combined with trees still laden with heavy snow have prompted city officials to warn residents to stay out of all New York City parks on Friday, due to the threat of falling branches and trees. The Parks Department says nearly 150 trees were felled in Thursday's storm, according to NBC News.