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Monster Snowstorm Bears Down On Tri-State Area; Blizzard Warning Issued (page 3)

Worst Of The Storm Expected To Strike Friday Evening Into Saturday Morning
Two storms were set to collide over the Tri-State Area on Feb. 8, 2013, leading to huge amounts of snowfall and blizzard conditions throughout the region. (Graphic: CBS 2)

Two storms were set to collide over the Tri-State Area on Feb. 8, 2013, leading to huge amounts of snowfall and blizzard conditions throughout the region. (Graphic: CBS 2)

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Trucks that barely finished cleaning up down trees from Superstorm Sandy are now being outfitted as plows.

“The great storm of October, also known as Hurricane Sandy, has really broken down a lot of our natural defenses against storms of this magnitude,” Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto said. “Where once we would not be as concerned about this storm we really are terribly concerned.”

In Yaphank, snow plow trucks are gassed up and crews are planning to work overtime to fight old man winter.

“We have about 1,600 miles… of road that we have to cover. We’re processing about 20,000 tons of salt,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

While he acknowledged that LIPA is preparing for the storm, he is concerned in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

“I’m very concerned. In the aftermath of that, a lot of the electrical infrastructure is put together in a patchwork fashion just to get the lights back on. What will be the impact of a significant storm now hitting us again?” he said.

The Long Island Power Authority has promised to be ready and is closely monitoring the incoming storm. The governor’s office has warned National Grid they need to be ready, but residents said they’ve taken their own steps to prepare.

“After the storm that we just had we have a generator,” one woman told CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff. “Hopefully we won’t lose anything out on the island.”

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano was also advising homeowners to get ready.

“During just the last weather event there was significant power outages and residents could expect power outages,” Mangano said. “We ask them to prepare themselves now, obviously with a battery-operated radio and flash light. Certainly if they have generators this is the time to ready those generators if they’re gas powered.”

Other local utilities such as Con Edison in New York and PSE&G in New Jersey are also making emergency preparations to respond to any outages that may occur as a result of the storm.

Heavy snow, icing and strong winds can increase the possibility of downed wires and power outages.

Across Connecticut, officials are anticipating that 10 percent of customers could lose power, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Thursday evening.

The state Department of Transportation said it is ready for the storm, with 800 plow trucks ready to go. The trucks have also been pretreating bridges and roads with a salt-brine solution.

Badly hit by Superstorm Sandy, the town of Fairfield is now bracing for another powerful storm, this one with the added ingredients of a lot of snow and frigid temperatures.

First Selectman Mike Tetreau said losing power in any winter storm is a huge concern.

“Certainly in a winter storm, when you’re out of power, you’re also out of heat and that would be one of my primary concerns and that’s when we want kind of of our neighborhoods and neighbors to look after others on the street and make sure everybody’s doing okay,” he told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

Tetreau said plans are being made to open shelters if necessary to provide heat, but he says a lot snow coming in certainly could delay efforts to repair downed power lines.

At Connecticut Light & Power, workers are putting chains on the tires and stocking equipment ahead of the storm.

But officials warn that if the power gets knocked out by the heavy, wet snow and high winds, it could stay out for quite a while in some areas.

“There is the potential, sure. There could be some major challenges due to the snowfall amounts and possible whiteout driving conditions from the very high winds, obviously. If it is not safe to do so, they won’t put those buckets up into the air to go to work,” CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross told Schneidau.

Gross said the linemen will make the call when it’s safe to raise those buckets and get to work on the downed power wires.

In Westchester County, New Castle Public Works Commissioner Anthony Vaccaro said they are also gearing up for the snowstorm.

“Our entire crew is working today, either preparing their trucks or checking out their snow plow routes,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell.

They’re trying to get ahead of the storm as well.

“We also have a crew pre-treating our roads with liquid brine,” he said. That creates a barrier between the asphalt and the first flakes.

In Armonk, residents who still have not fully recovered from Sandy said they are not ready for another round of severe weather.

“We have tons of food, plenty to drink, stuff for the fireplace, flashlights just in case,” Armonk resident Kim Leary told Haskell.

“Am I happy about it? No. What are you going to do? You have to make sure you have plenty of wood and good wine,” Beverly Kezsbom told Haskell.

Airlines are getting ahead of the storm, too. Some flights have already been canceled, and many airlines are waiving the fee to change your flight. Travelers are urged to contact their carriers before going to airport or bus terminals to check departure times.

Are you gearing up ahead of the powerful winter storm? Tell us about it in the comments section below.