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Freezing Rain, Accumulating Ice Make Slushy Mess In NJ

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Freezing rain is the latest weapon in winter's arsenal slowing motorists and pedestrians in New Jersey Wednesday.

Ice built up on untreated roads and sidewalks and made trees and power lines appear as if they were encased in crystal.


WCBS 880's Paul Murnane on getting around Bergen County on foot

The freezing rain and ice made it very difficult to get around in New Jersey on Wednesday, and fed-up residents said they can't wait for it to thaw.

SEE:Ice Storm Photos

Roads were covered with ice and cars were frozen in the slippery mess left across New Jersey by this latest winter storm.

"Enough with this already, it's dangerous," Woodland Park resident Jimmy Carioter told CBS 2's Christine Sloan. "I am waiting for summer now."

New Jersey officials reported vehicles spinning out on I-78 in Newark, and salt spreaders were out in full force. Transportation Department spokesman Joe Dee says there's ponding from melting snow on roads in the southern part of the state.

Drivers in northern New Jersey were left dealing with multiple forms of precipitation including sleet, freezing rain and some snow.

While sanitation plows were doing their best to clear the roads, one man told 1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg in some spots they've made matters worse.


Frustrated NJ motorists vent to 1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg

"The sleet that's on there is giving the vehicles more traction. With the blacktop you're not sure whether you're driving on black ice or if you're driving on the sleet. At least you know you have some traction there," he said.

For many Garden State residents, it felt like they were skating through the slushy mess rather than walking.

"Very slippery, very dangerous," Christine Cirelli, also from Woodland Park, said. "Definitely with no salt, you shouldn't be on it."

Radar Forecast & Alerts | School Closings | Traffic & Transit Guide | On-Air: 1010 WINS | WCBS 880

Many schools in the Garden State closed or delayed opening on Wednesday. State government offices in New Jersey  delayed opening by two hours.

NJ Transit said normal rail service was restored system wide by late morning.

"We know that storms like this are almost worse, from our perspective, than heavy snowfall. It's the ice that we really worry about, and the weight of it on power lines and on trees that are near power lines," PSE&G spokesperson Jenn Kramer said. "We've had extra folks at  the ready and on standby, ready to make repairs as needed, and we're out there doing that now. We're simply not out of the woods yet."

Travelers should check with their airlines for cancellations.

There is some good news to be had in all of this, though: at least Staten Island Chuck predicted an early spring.

Have you had enough of winter? Sound off in our comments section.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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