Watch for slick roads, falling ice

A vehicle flipped when it lost control on

A vehicle flipped when it lost control on black ice on County Road 58 near the Long Island Expressway overpass. (Feb. 1, 2011) (Credit: James Carbone)

Drivers face another treacherous commute Wednesday, with patches of black ice and dense fog after subfreezing temperatures overnight.

The National Weather Service in Upton issued a special weather statement last night warning drivers to "remain alert to icy spots, especially on untreated roads and walkways."

It warned that falling ice from trees, structures and utility wires poses "a significant hazard."

Today, forecasters expect sunny skies with a high temperature near 28 degrees and north winds ranging from 10 to 16 mph. Thursday night will be cold but clear, with a low of around 14 and west winds between 6 and 8 mph.

Standing water from snow that melted because of the above-freezing temperatures Wednesday could refreeze and produce black ice, the service said.

Forecasters said dense fog could also develop Thursday as milder air moves over snow.

The predictions follow a day when an ice storm that let loose sleet and freezing rain turned cars and trees into ice sculptures, and roads into hockey rinks.

The storms canceled more than 1,200 flights at area airports, closed schools, knocked out power to thousands in Nassau and Suffolk, and led to dozens of fender-benders.

The Long Island Rail Road moved to a weekend schedule. LIRR officials said they expect a regular train schedule Thursday.

Under the weight of snow, rain and ice, the canopy of a Westbury gas station collapsed Wednesday, as did the roof of a house under construction in Syosset, officials said.

The Long Island Power Authority said about 18,000 customers were without power at some point during the storm, but most outages had been restored by early last night. By 6 p.m., LIPA reported 600 customers without power.

Most outages were in Nassau County, said Vanessa Baird-Streeter, a LIPA spokeswoman.

"Outages were caused by downed wires, some downed poles and tree limbs" contacting power lines, Baird-Streeter said.

LIPA has shifted crews from the East End to help restore power in Nassau, Baird-Streeter said. To report an outage, call 800-490-0075.

With Zachary R. Dowdy

and Gary Dymski

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