LEWISBORO, N.Y. – The nor’easter that swept through northern Westchester Wednesday evening left state roads around Lewisboro littered with stranded cars while frustrating police and highway departments.
“Route 35 became completely impassable,” said Lewisboro Police Chief Frank Secret. “It caught a lot of people off guard. We didn’t anticipate this much snow."
Secret said the state Department of Transportation is in charge of state roads, but its trucks got stuck in traffic.
“We were wondering where the DOT trucks and sanders were,” Secret said. “But they were caught in rush hour. You get one or two cars that start sliding off the road at rush hour and then the traffic really starts backing up.”
Secret said that in addition to the traffic jam and stranded vehicles on the shoulders, a car fire broke out on Route 35 near Four Winds Hospital.
“The South Salem Fire Department had trouble getting to it, so Katonah had to come and help out with that,” he said.
Other than the car fire, Secret said there were no major accidents in Lewisboro caused by the snow other than one fender-bender.
Supervisor Peter Parsons was critical of the DOT’s response to the snowstorm.
“The truth is that the DOT blew it,” he said. “They didn’t send their trucks out until rush hour, and by then they were stuck in traffic and everyone was stuck in the snow.”
Parsons said the backed-up traffic provided a unique challenge for his highway department.
“We had traffic backed up from Four Winds Hospital to I-684 and nobody could even get through Route 123,” he said. “So the question was, how do we get our plows around that? In the end, we did it, but it took us way longer than it normally would."
Parsons said some residents in Goldens Bridge lost their power during the storm after only recently regaining it in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. That power was quickly restored.
“I think that was from a transformer fire and didn’t have anything to do with the storm,” he said. “There were no real lingering effects [from the nor’easter] other than some annoyed motorists and highway workers who had to work later than they wanted to. It was total chaos last night, but we bounced back from it nicely.”
Secret said he hopes Mother Nature will give the town a break.
“We sure could have used one after the hurricane,” he said. “I hope things don’t come in threes.”