Drivers, pedestrians warned of icy conditions

LBFD and other departments respond to numerous calls amid freezing rain


The Nassau County Police Department issued a traffic advisory this morning warning motorists of icy conditions as a wintry mix of freezing rain fell throughout the area. Police said that while all roads are passable, icy road conditions are causing minor accidents and spinouts. Motorists are being advised to reduce speed, leave ample room between themselves and the vehicles in front of them and give themselves extra time for their commute.

The advisory came on the same day that the National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement in regards to patchy, freezing rain in the area through Friday afternoon, creating slippery conditions on untreated surfaces. The weather service also urged motorists to use extra caution.

But motorists weren't the only ones affected by the slippery surfaces.

At noon on Friday, Shelley Lotenberg, the director of public affairs at the Nassau University Medical Center, said the hospital received approximately 30 patients within a one-hour span as a result of slip and falls.

Premier Care's 13 walk-in urgent care centers across Long Island have seen hundreds of icy weather related injuries today alone, according to Dr. Vincent Campasano, who practices out of the Lynbrook location on Merrick Road.

"We have slips and falls with broken wrists, ankles and back and rib injuries. It's a huge spike."

The Long Beach Fire Department handled 14 ambulance calls within two hours, all related to the icy conditions. Most of the calls involved pedestrians who sustained injuries when they slipped on their steps or on sidewalks. None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening, said Long Beach Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins.

“It was mostly pedestrians but we did have once car accident — nobody was injured in the car,” Kemins said.

Kemins said that two LBFD ambulances were responding to calls throughout Long Beach on Friday, with help from the Island Park and Atlantic Beach Fire Departments and the Nassau County Police Department, who were running ambulances in the area as well. The Point Lookout-Lido Fire Department was busy as well, Kemins said, and had two ambulance calls at the same time on Friday morning.

“We all help each other out,” Kemins said. “Long Beach has sanders out — the streets weren’t as bad as people’s sidewalks and steps. It’s a lot better now, but the pavement was so cold that everything turned to ice."

With Long Beach Medical Center closed, Kemins said that most patients were transported to South Nassau Communities Hospital on Friday.

“I’m assuming South Nassau is packed,” Kemins said.

Mary Malloy contributed to this story.