Updated: 3:30 p.m., March 21: For the fourth time in March, the National Weather Service was predicting that a nor’easter would sweep into the Long Island region, this time bringing with it freezing temperatures and heavy snow.
Snow was expected to begin falling between 6:30 and 7 a.m. on Wednesday. The storm was to start as a mix of snow and sleet and become all snow as temperatures dropped during the day. By 1 p.m., the temperature was predicted to fall to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chill values between 15 and 20 degrees. Gusts up to 35 mph were possible.
Nassau County could see six to ten inches of snow during the day, and more at night. Heavier snow was expected in Suffolk County, according to the NWS.
Freeport's Department of Public Works loaded dozens of trucks with pounds of salt and sand to prepare roadways the night before. Sixty DPW employees will work through the night. Plows are spread throughout the village ready to start clearing the snow as soon as possible.
By 3:25 p.m. on Wednesday, there was minor flooding in the low lying areas near the bay, according to Mayor Robert Kennedy.
"We're watching the tides and there was no issue today," Kennedy said. "But so far it’s minor flooding low lying areas near the bay."
The Freeport Memorial Library closed and canceled all of its scheduled programs and meetings. The Freeport Recreation Center will stay open until 9:30 p.m., but cancelled its fitness classes and programs for the day.
All parking regulations in the village have been suspended. Parking in municipal lots or at the Freeport Long Island Rail Road parking lot is preferred, according to Kennedy.
The village is also urging and reminding residents not to shovel snow into the streets. Residents with a fire hydrant in their yards are asked by the village to shovel the snow away from it in case the Freeport Police Department needs to access it in an emergency. Kennedy also says fines and violations for shoveling the snow back into the streets will be issued by the Freeport Police Department.
"Shoveling the snow back into the streets makes it harder for our DPW to clear up the streets and it's not fair to residents who have already cleared their driveways," Kennedy said.
Mayor Kennedy, says he will be on call throughout the storm and readily available to respond
As of 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, the following school districts and private schools within the Heralds' coverage area had closed ahead of Wednesday's storm:
• Bellmore School District
• Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District
• East Meadow School District
• Elmont School Distict
• Freeport School District
* Glen Cove School District
• Hewlett-Woodmere School District
• Island Park School District
• Lawrence-Woodmere Academy
• Long Beach School District
• Lynbrook School District
• Malverne School District
• Merrick School District
• North Bellmore School District
• North Merrick School District
• North Shore Central District
• Oceanside School District
• Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District
• Rockville Centre School District
• Seaford School District
• Sewanhaka Central School District
• St. Agnes Cathedral School, Rockville Centre
• Valley Stream School District
• Wantagh School District
• West Hempstead School District
In addition, Adelphi University, Hofstra University, LIUPost, Molloy College, Nassau Community College and NYIT all closed.
Freeport Public Schools are expected to stay closed on Thursday, but the school district has not confirmed.
This latest storm created more havoc for Nassau County high school athletics, which have been greatly impacted by the weather since spring practices began March 7. Today's schedule, which called for 20 non-league games across three sports (softball, girls' lacrosse and boys' lacrosse) were canceled in full. Thursday's schedule, which includes a handful of girls' lacrosse league openers, is also in jeopardy.
Tony Bellissimo contributed to this story. It will be updated.