Long Island may have ducked “Snowmageddon,” the storm that blanketed the East Coast with the white stuff last weekend, but the region may not be so fortunate the second time around with up to a foot of snow being predicted—unless you’re pro-snow, in which case, Wednesday may be your lucky day.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning for Nassau and Suffolk counties, with “significant snowfall” predicted to start at 12 a.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday, with snowfall possibly starting as early as 8 p.m. Tuesday. With predicted snow accumulations of between 6 and 12 inches and east to northeast wind gusts from 25 to 35 miles per hour, near-blizzard conditions and snow drifts should be expected.
Forecasters also warned of possible power outages and hazardous road conditions, suggesting drivers stay off of the roads except in the case of an emergency. Residents should keep an extra flashlight, food and water in case of the possibility of being snowed in, forecasters say.
Thoe snow will fall “more heavily starting in the morning and then throughout the day and tapering off around midnight,” says Marcie Katcher, spokeswoman for the NWS’s eastern region. “The final track of the storm and the intensity of the storm will really determine the impact.”
Because there’s a new moon on Saturday and Wednesday evening high tide, there may be some minor coastal flooding, possibly reaching moderate levels, she added.
The Long Island Rail Road is alerting passengers that in the event that the storm dumps more than 10 inches of snow on the Island, train service may be temporarily suspended while snow drifts are cleared.
“These temporary suspensions, if necessary, may continue until safe and reliable travel conditions can be restored,” the LIRR said in a service advisory.
Airlines had canceled hundreds of flights in anticipation of the blast of winter weather, said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokeswoman Jennifer Friedberg. As of early Tuesday evening, US Airways had canceled all the following day’s operations at LaGuardia Airport, and Continental Airlines had canceled all flights out of Newark Liberty International Airport and most out of LaGuardia.
Long Island MacArthur Airport had canceled all flights for Wednesday.
The snow blew across the Midwest on Tuesday and headed for the hard-hit Mid-Atlantic region, where federal government offices have been closed since last week and utility workers struggled to restore power already knocked out by a weekend blizzard.
The latest storm hit the Midwest early, closing schools and greeting commuters with slick, slushy roads from Minneapolis and Chicago to Louisville, Ky. Hundreds of flights were canceled at Chicago’s airports as the storm moved across Illinois, where up to a foot of snow was forecast.
Powerful winds and snow were expected to hit Mid-Atlantic states by the afternoon, and could leave as much as 20 inches of new snow in Washington and 18 inches near Philadelphia — a Northeast travel hub — by Wednesday night. New York City announced students would have a rare snow day Wednesday, only the third in six years. Parts of the region were already buried under nearly 3 feet.
Some spots, including parts of Maryland, had nearly 3 feet of snow from the earlier storm. One scientist said if all that fell on the East Coast were melted, it would fill 12 million Olympic swimming pools or 30,000 Empire State buildings. Philadelphia and Washington each need about 9 more inches to give the cities their snowiest winters since 1884, the first year records were kept.
The storm that began Friday closed schools, and some 230,000 federal workers in Washington had Monday and Tuesday off. Power was still out for tens of thousands of homes and businesses, and utilities said deep snow was hindering some crews trying to fix damaged power lines before the next storm hits.
Nassau County Emergency Numbers:
Nassau County Department of Social Services: (516) 227-8519 (after 6 p.m.) OR (516) 227-8519
Social Services Emergency Hotline: (516) 572-3143
Nassau County Department of Public Works Emergency Hotline (24 hours): (516) 571-6900
For Emergency Housing: 1-866-WARM BED
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): 516-227-7386
Suffolk County Emergency Numbers:
Suffolk County Department of Social Services: (631) 854-9935, Emergencies (After 4:30 p.m.) (631) 854-9100
Suffolk County Department of Public Works: (631) 852-4010
SCPD non-emergency number: (631) 852-COPS (852-2677)
Suffolk County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services: (631) 852-4900.