LI Sees Flooding, High Winds As Snow Storm Slams Nassau, Suffolk

LONG ISLAND (CBSNewYork/AP) — The National Weather Service has cancelled its blizzard warning for northern Nassau and northwestern Suffolk Counties, Tuesday morning, issuing a winter weather advisories for those areas instead.

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The National Weather Service says the dividing line between snow and a wintry mix from a nor’easter pushing through the southern New Jersey-Pennsylvania region has moved farther inland, cutting down the anticipated snow accumulation, but increasing the chance of icing.

As CBS2’s John Elliott reported, totals in Eastern Suffolk could possibly drop to as low as three to six inches, down from the initial 18 to 24 inches predicted throughout the region.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said there is still uncertainty as to what Tuesday’s storm will bring.

“What is clear is that there is less accumulation than forecasters have predicted,” Bellone said. “But as we’ve said, the storm could shift either way.”

According to Bellone, the eastern end of Long Island appears to be receiving less snow because the storm has remained on a westward track, with northwestern Suffolk getting hit the hardest.

“This is different than the trend for most storms we’ve seen this season,” Bellone said.

Bellone urged residents to stay off the roads, as winter storm conditions and winds create a dangerous driving conditions. Health centers and some government offices have been closed, and bus service has been suspended.

High winds ripped through both Nassau and Suffolk counties, with wind gust up to 61 mph in Hither Hills, and 51 mph recorded at Point Lookout. A downed tree also caused some hassle in East Hampton, blocking off a section of Main Street late Tuesday morning.

Coastal flooding is also a concern on the southern shores of Suffolk County, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported. Babylon residents headed out early to check on their boats tied up on the harbor ahead of high tide at noon, while a slushy, wintry mix accumulated on the streets.

“It’s changing by the minute here you know, 0ne moment it’s rain, then sleet, snow — so it’s very, very messy,” Suffolk County Police Chief Timothy Sini told CBS2. “…While we didn’t get the accumulation in certain parts that we expected, the roads are dangerous as a result of ice, sleet and rain.”

During low tide the water was high on the Great South Bay where streets were flooded and folks were forced to stay inside.

Cars caught in salt water became a big problem.

Even several hours after noon’s high tide on the South Shore, streets in low lying areas were impassable.

“We’re worried it’s going to come up and get in the yard,” one resident said.

In Nassau County, one commuter who traveled to Syosset from Queens told CBS2’s Jessica Borg they witnessed a few spin-outs on the way.

“There was an accident, and I think there were two accidents on the L.I.E that they were clearing up as we were passing by,” Vidim Nayman, of Queens, told CBS2’s Jessica Borg.

According to Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, there were several incidents of downed trees and power lines blocking roadways across the county, including near Exit 42 on the L.I.E. near Woodmere.

“Those are the type of events that the weather is adding in terms of gusty winds creating a degree of havoc for our county,” Mangano said.

Flooding was also a concern in Long Beach, with area roads filled with snow, water and ice.

“Some roads have become impassable due to localized street flooding and are in the process of being closed. Please stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary!” the Long Beach City Fire Department said on their Facebook page.

“The road conditions are unbelievable,” Joe, who was heading out in a snow plow pick-up truck in Syosset, said. “You’re going to need a plow truck to get through the roads. We have sand in the back to keep us planted down. It’s very slushy, I hope everything will go all right.”

According to Mangano, around 538 power outages were reported throughout the county as of 10:30 a.m., with the number of outages expected to vary throughout the day.

PSEG Long Island reported 5,582 power outages on Long Island as of 12 p.m. Most of the outages were reported in the Hamptons, Huntington and Hempstead areas.

As of Tuesday morning, the Long Island Rail Road was running on a normal schedule, but said they were expecting delays and cancellations as conditions worsen.

Bus service in Suffolk County was cancelled. In Nassau, NICE bus service has remained in service.

Mangano said to expect possible icy conditions into the Wednesday morning commute.

Roads have been treated with a brine and beet juice solution in the Town of Hempstead. The state has issued emergency members to drivers who are being asked to gas up, secure boats, protect pets, and dash out to the grocery store before the storm.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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