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Melting Snow, Ice Make For Dangers On Sidewalks And Streets

CALDWELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The Tri-State Area experienced a meltdown as the temperatures rose Thursday, leaving sidewalks sloppy and slushy – and creating dangerous conditions.

As CBS 2's Janelle Burrell reported Thursday, many towns have welcomed the warm-up so they could clean up the sloppy streets and sidewalks.

In Caldwell, N.J., Donna Lee was petrified as she navigated a slick sidewalk – the fact that she was wearing boots notwithstanding.

Lee gladly accepted help from Conception Gonzalez, whom she does not know, to make it safely across.

"I'm scared to death," Lee said. "I fell twice last year and landed right on my tuckus."

"It's slippery," Gonzalez added.

Lee and Gonzalez were relieved to see a fleet of front-loaders, which plowed through the mini-mountains of ice and hauled them away.

Until they arrived, on parking was not even allowed on Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell. All of the spaces were covered with mounds of hardened snow and ice.

"They don't even know if we're open or not open," said Kelly Mangione, an employee of the Eurogrill on Bloomfield Avenue.

Mangione said the snow piles outside the Eurogrill have left the dining room nearly empty. And the few customers who have come in have had to navigate deepening puddles and slushy sidewalks – which have become even worse with the melt.

"It's been very difficult," Mangione said.

As for where they're putting all of the snow, some of it has ended up in a 15-foot mound in West Caldwell – completely blocking views of the nearby highway.

"I've pretty much fallen all over the place. I've seen my friends fall. It's pretty much just like a lawsuit waiting to happen," a man said.

In South Orange, N.J., residents said dodging the fallen ice has not been easy. NJ TRANSIT crews even had to tape off an area around the train station there as a precaution.

And on the platform, hardened snow has been slipping from the roof right onto the tracks.

"It's really bad, but nice people like this who help me, and I appreciate it," Lee said.

Residents hoped the rain in the forecast for Friday will help wash away some of the snow banks, and their winter frustration.

But the difficulties are expected to continue. New Jersey State Police said with the deep cold and the warm-up, they are expecting more pothole troubles in the coming days.

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