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Freezing Rain Gives Way to Falling Ice and Frozen Puddles

By DNAinfo Staff on February 2, 2011 6:30am  | Updated on February 2, 2011 3:42pm

By Olivia Scheck and Mariel S. Clark

DNAinfo Staff

MANHATTAN — Slick sidewalks and chunks of plummeting ice could be in store for commuters Thursday morning after the city was hit with an ice storm Wednesday.

Briefly warmer temperatures and rain melted some of the snow and ice, but as temperatures fall overnight, slush puddles could refreeze into dangerous black ice, the National Weather Service warned.

Thursday was expected to be sunny but cold with a high of just 29 meaning the icy patches would linger, meteorologists said.

Falling ice closed several streets Wednesday afternoon including William Street between Pine and Liberty Streets and Liberty Street between Nassau and William Streets, as well as part of Fulton Street by the Millennium Hotel.

"The bits I've seen falling off would definitely hurt but they wouldn't be enough to kill," said James Plaistowe, 24, as he walked down Liberty Street.

Signs in the area warned pedestrians to watch for falling ice as "quite a bit" fell from buildings Wednesday morning, according to Plaistowe.

Wednesday morning was treacherous and slippery for many commuters as they battled icy sidewalks and stairs.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the decision to keep schools open was automatic.

“Today it was inconvenient, it was slippery," he said. "But its pretty hard to argue… you couldn’t get to school.”

After morning delays the subways were running near normal Wednesday afternoon, but buses continued to experience delays, according to the MTA's website.

The MTA was busing commuters on the Waterbury Branch of the Metro North's New Haven Line, the site said.

NJ transit's Northeast Corridor line had resumed normal service by midday, according to their website.

PATH trains were also once again operating on a normal weekday schedule.

Amtrak warned of delays and cancellations between New York and Boston and residual delays between New York and Philadelphia after earlier power and signal problems, according to their website.

Travelers were urged to check their flights as LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports were all reporting delays due to the weather, according to the Port Authority's website and Federal Aviation Administration's website.

Alternate side parking rules were suspended Wednesday but parking meter rules were still in effect, according to the Department of Transportation.

Early morning commuters braved icy sidewalks as they exited the 50th Street subway station Feb. 2.
Early morning commuters braved icy sidewalks as they exited the 50th Street subway station Feb. 2.
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DNAinfo/Olivia Scheck