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Long Island

Snowstorm snarls LIRR, car commuters 

Nassau County police reported 173 accidents from 2 p.m., after the snow started to fall, to 7 p.m.

Commuter Margie Major of Elmont purchases tickets at

Commuter Margie Major of Elmont purchases tickets at the Mineola LIRR station Thursday evening. Photo Credit: Danielle Silverman

The first snow of the season fell Thursday afternoon just in time to snarl the evening commute, blanketing roads, airport runways and Long Island Rail Road tracks.

The LIRR tweeted shortly after 10 p.m. that it was experiencing scattered systemwide delays of 10 to 15 minutes due to ongoing wintry weather conditions.

The railroad also reported on its website delays averaging 20 minutes in both directions between Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica. 

Service between Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica was briefly suspended in both directions at about 7 p.m. Westbound service between Jamaica and Penn Station was also suspended at about 5:30 p.m. and restored about an hour later, the LIRR said.

A fallen tree near Bayside also caused cancellations and delays at 4 p.m. in both directions on the Port Washington branch. 

Due to crowding at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, passengers were temporarily halted from entering, a spokesman said.

It was slow going on roads throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties. Traffic slowed to a crawl in several locations as a slushy mix of snow and rain made driving treacherous.

A spokesman for New York State Police said the storm caused dozens of crashes, many of which were still being cleared by 8 p.m.  

Nassau County police reported 173 accidents from 2 p.m., after the snow started to fall, to 7 p.m. Between 7 to 9 p.m., there were 10 storm-related crashes and two road closures, including both directions of Route 106 in Muttowntown due to ice, Nassau police said.

Between 2 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. in Suffolk, there were 260 storm-related crashes instead of the 25 or so experienced on a normal day, Suffolk police said. At least three roads were closed due to icy conditions and vehicles trapped in snow and ice, including both directions of County Road 83 in Farmingville, police said.

All westbound lanes of the Long Island Expressway were briefly closed at the Queens Midtown Tunnel due to disabled buses, the city reported.

Traffic was also slow or at a standstill leaving Long Island and in New York City. There were major delays on the Throgs Neck Bridge and the Major Deegan Expressway due to crashes and weather conditions.

The George Washington Bridge had sporadic closures in both directions and the wait time heading into New Jersey was at least three hours at one point.

Slick runways and low visibility delayed flights at both Kennedy and La Guardia airports. At Kennedy Airport, arriving flights were delayed an average of nearly four hours, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Flights arriving at La Guardia saw delays averaging about two hours, according to the FAA. 

With Ellen Yan

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