News

Heavy, Wet Snow Smacks Long Island

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Dozens of school districts declared a snow day Monday and plows were back out clearing highways as the latest winter storm smacked Long Island.

As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, those who could work from home stayed close to the nest, making the slushy roads lightly traveled. But Jesse Desmond, of Levittown, had to venture out for medicine for her baby.

“I can’t even go through the side streets by my house,” she said. “It’s like nobody went to shovel at all.”

The steady snow falling all day made for another marathon for plow operators.

The Town of Hempstead, halfway through its snow-plowing budget for the year, declared a snow emergency to get cars off side streets.

CHECKForecast & Alerts | Traffic & Transit | School Closings & Delays

“Its simply to … put people in a mind-set, that this is serious business that we need their cooperation, and I have to tell you they’ve been well-trained this winter with all the snow that we’ve had,” said Town Supervisor Kate Murray.

As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported from Huntington, some drivers said they were caught off-guard by the sloppy snowstorm.

But even with plenty of practice, driving conditions were still treacherous.

“This is real bad, slipping and sliding everywhere,” one motorist told Gusoff.

“Terrible,” added another man. “Very slippery. You’ve got to be careful. You’ve just got to go slow.”

“Farmers Almanac said it’s going to be the worst winter in 14 years,” said Margie Restivo, of Levittown. “And I think they’re right on the money.”

It’s been such a snowy winter that schoolchildren are enjoying their third snow day in the past month, but they may ultimately have to give up vacation days because most school districts only budget for three snow days for the academic year.

Some Long Islanders appeared to be growing tired of the repeated snowstorms.

“What are we going to do about it?” one driver from Westbury told Xirinachs. “Just gotta stay safe.”

“I had enough of the snow. … No more,” one woman said.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera said most of the main roads on Long Island were in good shape Monday afternoon, although she did witness a car spin out and hit a guardrail on the Jericho Turnpike.

Officials reported numerous fender benders on Long Island, but no major accidents. Some isolated road closures were also reported.

Nassau County closed all park activities, the aquatic center and the rifle range because of the inclement weather.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano activated the county’s nonemergency hotline. Residents with non-life-threatening emergencies should dial 888-684-4274 for assistance through the duration of the storm.

On eastern Long Island, the Suffolk County Legislature canceled all scheduled committee meetings for Monday.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone warned residents to be aware of ice conditions during the evening commute.

“The roads are in tough shape,” Bellone told 1010 WINS. “This is a heavy snow, makes driving difficult. People really need to take their time out there. We’re looking at freezing and black ice conditions,so people as they come home from this commute, they’re going to have to take things real slow and do the best they can to get in as quickly as possible.”

The Town of Riverhead urged residents to shovel out fire hydrants near their homes so they’re visible in case of emergency and to remove their vehicles from the streets to make way for plows.

The town also said that police can impound parked or abandoned vehicles that affect the roadways during a snowstorm.

Meanwhile, as TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported, many people ended up stuck at home, and could barely keep up clearing the snow drifts that kept blowing along their driveways.

“I had a meeting today, but it was canceled, so now I’m here shoveling snow,” said Burak Tohumco of Melville.

Natasha Beswick spent over an hour shoveling the snow from her property.

“It’s the worst; backbreaking,” she said.

And doctors at the Melville Surgical Center said they have indeed frequently had to set broken bones following big snowstorms.

“Slips and falls, knee injuries and fractures are very common,” said Dan Forsberg of the center.

Surgeons also treat terrible injuries from people putting their hands into snowblowers to clear blades that get stuck. That is a no-no, as is using one’s back to shovel snow.

And in an apartment complex in Farmingdale, maintenance handyman Kenny Dorfmeister has to clear out more than 50 parking spaces every time a storm his. He said he takes brakes, and doesn’t try to do too much. But it is getting to him.

“You feel it,” he said. “You feel it in your feet, and you feel it in your back.”

Experts advise pushing, not lifting, the heavy, wet snow.

PHOTOS: Feb. 3 Snowstorm

Meanwhile, PSEG Long Island is monitoring the storm because the heavy, wet snow can cause trees and branches to fall onto power lines, leading to outages.

“PSEG Long Island has a full contingency of crews, tree trimmers, and support personnel to address any outages,” the utility said in a press release.

The utility reported that more than 5,000 of its approximately 1.1 million customers across Long Island and the Rockaways lost power Monday, but most had been resolved by the evening.

To report downed wires or power outages, customers should call PSEG Long Island’s Customer Service line at 800-490-0075.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories:

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 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.)