Two predawn bomb threats Wednesday morning disrupted traffic to and from Long Beach, forcing the police to shut down the city's major bridge and its Long Island Rail Road station, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
Nassau police got two separate calls, one saying there were 15 bombs in the train station, and a later call saying there were bombs on the bridge, the source said. Police divers checked the bridge pillars to make sure there were no explosives and the bridge was reopened by 9 a.m., the source said.
The city learned of the threats before dawn, Long Beach City Manager Charles Theofan said. The shutdown of the bridge and railroad caused a nightmarish commute.
"The Nassau police called me at 5 a.m. to tell me that they were closing the bridge due to a bomb threat, and the Nassau County bomb squad was going do to a sweep of the bridge," Theofan said.
The police also closed the Long Island Rail Road bridge for several hours. It reopened at around 8 a.m., Theofan said.
Drivers were forced to use either the Loop Parkway from Point Lookout, or the Atlantic Beach Bridge.
The Long Beach police responded quickly to the impact of the threat, Theofan said, with two lieutenants coming in hours before their usual shifts to help deal with the expected traffic problems.