First storm of 2014 blankets Long Island
As the first storm of 2014 hit on Thursday night, Friday morning, crews from the Village of Massapequa Park and the Town of Oyster Bay worked throughout the night plowing streets and roads in the Village and Town. As temperatures continued below freezing and the winds continued to blow, officials continued to caution residents to stay indoors, if possible.
Massapequa Park Village Mayor Jeff Pravato was out at 7 a.m. this morning working with the highway department crew and often greeting residents who were out shoveling snow in front of their homes.
“Hi,’ how’s it going?” he asked one resident who approached him as he was on the phone with the Massapequa Post giving a storm update.
“I’ve met a lot of people are,” said Pravato, who reported that things were going well and that the most difficå. “But you’ve got to get dirty to get the job done.”
Pravato said that as soon as the Village finished plowing a street, the winds kicked up and blew snow back. “We just have to keep at it,” he said at about noon when he was preparing take a break, get some pizza and then be at it again.
He reminded residents that they should not throw snow into the streets.
In Oyster Bay, Town officials also reminded residents to stay indoors, if possible and not to throw snow into the streets.
Marta Kane, a Town Spokeswoman said that town workers were out last night salting and sanding streets in preparation for the storm. “Once the heavy snow came we got our plows out and began clearing the roads,” she said, adding that while the snow was light, the wind and cold temperatures made the work more difficult.
Oyster Bay had approximately 275 trucks on the road from all departments. Town officials suspended the regular garbage pick up and equipped those trucks with plows to help clear the roads.
Once the streets are cleared, Town and Village crews will be at it again, putting down salt. Drivers are reminded, however, that the salt is not effective until the temperatures reach at least 15 or 16 degrees, so roads may continue to be icy and slick. They are cautioned to drive carefully.
PSEG Long Island reported that overnight, there were as many as 822 customers without power. As of 5 a.m. today, PSEG Long Island reported that 23, of its approximately 1.1 million customers across Long Island and the Rockaways, are currently without service.
Snow, by itself, does not pose a serious problem for utilities, but heavy snow, icing and strong winds can increase the possibility of downed wires and associated power outages. Cars striking utility poles can also cause wires to come down.
To report downed wires or power outages, customers should call PSEG Long Island’s Customer Service line at 1-800-490-0075. PSEG Long Island uses an automated system to handle customer calls as efficiently as possible. Customers who get an automated response when calling PSEG Long Island are encouraged to use it, as it is designed to route their calls to the right destination. If you have specific information regarding damage to wires, transformers or poles, the utility asks that you stay on the line to speak with a representative to provide that information.
The storm arrived, pretty much as meteorologists had expected. They had predicted the storm would drop between six and ten inches of snow for Long Island before leveling off at 1 p.m. Friday. It did just that.
North Babylon reported a high of a foot of snow, while Massapequa reported 7.3 inches, according to the most recent figures.
Winds, however, were not quite as strong as the 35-50 mph predicted.
Temperatures will continue to dip throughout the afternoon and into the evening, adding discomfort to those who must be out, including workers sanding and salting streets and clearing snow. Things will warm up as we continue to Sunday when temperatures are expected to go into the 40s.
Photo by Melissa Schweikert