County exec: Roads passable, but drivers must slow down


Municipal crews were at work last night and this morning clearing roads of the 10 to 15 inches of snow which blanketed most of Long Island yesterday, but freezing temperatures and strong wind gusts were a challenge.

The National Weather Service extended a winterstorm warning for the area from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., cautioning that travel is “dangerous” and that residents should travel only in an emergency. The NWS also predicted temperatures of 10 to 16 degrees this morning, sustained winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour, and visibility reduced to a half mile. Temperatures hit 7 degrees, with wind chill making it feel like -14 degrees, at Republic Airport in Farmingdale shortly before 7 a.m., according to the NWS. The colder it is, the less effective salt is in melting snow.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said the county’s snow removal operations have gone “very well” so far, making roads passable, but he urged drivers to reduce their speeds.

“We ask motorists to slow down,” Mangano said at 7 a.m. He added that he had received reports of 148 accidents, most of them “minor fender benders.” He also requested that residents make an effort to clear snow from around fire hydrants near them and avoid using their hands to clear snow from snow blowers, which he said was the “number one cause” of snowstorm-related emergency calls.

Some 200 county workers and 100 pieces of equipment were hard at work clearing roads, according to Mangano. He reported no county roads closures.

Mangano said PSEG Long Island officials had informed him that just a handful of local power outages, numbering fewer than five, occurred during the storm.

The county’s WARMBED program placed several homeless individuals into shelter overnight, and 18 warming centers that the county opened received light usage.

The county’s courts will open later than usual today at 11 a.m. Visiting hours at the Nassau County Correctional Center are cancelled for the day, but the county’s parks will open to sledders.