Black ice caused a massive pileup in Brooklyn and shut down a stretch of the Long Island Expressway after Tuesday's burst of snow left behind slush on the roads that quickly froze over with the nighttime dip in temperature.
The accident in Brooklyn Tuesday night involved at least 21 vehicles on the Gowanus Expressway near 6th Avenue in Bay Ridge, the NYPD says. Several people had minor injuries.
Part of the expressway was closed for hours Tuesday night as police responded, heavily backing up traffic. Tow trucks were on scene overnight removing vehicles to clear the road for morning commuters.(Photos below)
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Police in Suffolk had to close the Long Island Expressway from exits 68 to 71 in both directions during the evening rush because of black ice. Crews salted the roads, and the expressway was reopened by by 8 p.m.
The snow that fell Tuesday was the fourth measurable snowfall in the past nine days, and winter hasn't even officially begun.
Essex County in New Jersey got 5 inches, Orange County in New York had more than 4, Westchester had 3 inches and Connecticut's Fairfield County got 3.6 inches. In New York City, totals ranged from less than an inch on Staten Island to 1.5 in Queens.
Wet, pin-sized flakes started falling just before the morning rush hour in New York City as a slightly heavier blast of snow stretched across northern New Jersey. The snow grew heavier throughout the day, and moved out by the evening rush but left behind slick roads that quickly iced over.
Winter doesn't even officially begin until Saturday, and New York City is already above average for snowfall. Before Tuesday's storm, Central Park had already seen 7.1 inches in December, 3 inches more than normal for the month.
Last December, Central Park only had .4 inches the entire month. In an average winter season, Central Parky gets 25.1 inches.
Temperatures will plummet into the 20s overnight, but rise above freezing Wednesday amid sunny skies. Clouds return late Thursday, but not before temperatures climb into the lower 40s.
Temperatures are expected to soar into the 50s Friday into Saturday, with a chance for 60-degree temperatures on Sunday.
Gowanus pileup Tuesday: