Winter Storm Avery: Chaotic Evening Commutes Come to a Standstill; 8 Killed on Slick Roads

By Ron Brackett,

At a Glance

  • Winter Storm Avery caused huge travel problems on roads all across the East on Thursday.
  • New York drivers said they were stranded all evening on gridlocked roads.
  • At least eight people have died in accidents related to the storm.

Winter Storm Avery continued a deadly march Thursday in the Northeast, knocking out power to over 380,000 customers and leaving eight people dead after a number of accidents blamed on the ice and snow.

Passengers who rely on public transit also found themselves facing long delays or canceled services.

School buses were also caught in the chaos. Bob Kelly of Fox 29 in Philadelphia said buses from his child’s school were returning to the school about 6:30 p.m. after being dismissed at 1:30. Parents were going to have to try to reach the school to pick up their children, Kelly said.

Nationwide, more than 1,800 flights were canceled Thursday, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. USA Today said Philadelphia, Washington’s Reagan National Airport,Baltimore and New York area airports were among the hardest hit Thursday. Flights were being diverted from JFK and LaGuardia on Thursday evening.

Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of Avery’s impact:

New York

As Avery’s snow reached New York City, a multi-vehicle accident brought the George Washington Bridge to a gridlock Thursday afternoon. All lanes were blocked, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey tweeted. All lanes reopened shortly after 6:30 p.m., but travelers were advised to expect delays.

After being in line for an hour, Marlyne Page, an executive assistant who works in Midtown, was still a block away from the entrance to the bus terminal and her bus to Passaic. “And this isn’t even a real storm,” she said. “Someone didn’t plan.”

Officials were telling people to take ferries or trains. However, commuters said, Penn Station also became dangerously crowded.