Traffic was backed up on a stretch of Lido Boulevard for hours after a motorist struck a utility pole and caused a transformer fire at around 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday, fire officials said.
The collision occurred on the westbound side of Lido Boulevard near Buxton Street — just east of Long Beach Middle School — and Point Lookout/Lido Fire Department firefighters and Nassau County police rushed to the scene.
“The primary wires were down enough to block the roadway,” Point Lookout/Lido Fire Department Chief Brian Guerin said. “It was hazardous for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Plus the school is there too, so we had be careful.”
Fire officials were working on repairing the transformer and fallen wires, he said, adding that he wasn’t aware of any power outages in the area.
Guerin said the cause of the crash had yet to be determined. The driver was not seriously injured.
Additionally, two vehicles on the eastbound side of Lido Boulevard collided shortly after the first incident. Guerin said both drivers were transported to South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside for minor injuries.
The incidents caused headaches and snarled commutes for drivers during the morning rush, with many saying that their morning drives took more than two hours.
Guerin said that traffic was backed up to Maple Boulevard for two- to three-hours, and added that the morning rush hour contributed to the congestion in the area.
“[Drivers were] being redirected through side streets around the incident,” Guerin said.
“Over an hour late for work,” resident Jaimie Gennusa told Project 11561, a local Facebook group. “Been driving for two hours to drive [what is normally] 45 minutes away.”
“Yikes, this was a bad one!” Liz Degen said. “Left Long Beach at 9:20 a.m., just got to Mineola at 10:40 a.m. — and I witnessed a mini accident in front of me where everyone was getting turned around.”
“I was stuck in traffic right before the middle school for 10 minutes before I turned around and went through Oceanside to get to the parkway,” Long Beach resident Alyson Goodman, who works in Roslyn, told the Herald.
Eastbound traffic moved slowly in one lane, Guerin said, while westbound traffic remained closed before both roads reopened at 10:30 a.m.