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Long Island snowstorm updates: Latest on weather, traffic and LIRR

Firefighters responding to a 911 call reporting a

Firefighters responding to a 911 call reporting a structure collapse on Manhasset Road in Selden on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, found that a carport had collapsed onto two cars but caused no injuries. Credit: Stringer News Service

The latest snow day is winding down, but only after it dumped snow, ice and rain on Long Island, snarling the morning commute on the roads and rails.

The storm left the region by the early afternoon, making for a much easier trip home for those who made it into the office. 

The Long Island Rail Road riders who had a rough go of it this morning shared their stories on social media and with Newsday staffers. 

There were weather-related accidents as well. A carport collapsed onto two cars in Selden, and a tree fell on a Town of Oyster Bay public safety vehicle driven by a bay constable. 

Many of Wednesday's highlights are available below.

As for Thursday, the weather is expected to be more cooperative. It will be sunny, although the temperature won't climb above the freezing mark. 

(Mobile users can access social media updates via the link above.)


Mass transit not the answer in Ronkonkoma

David Hamill spent most his morning driving cautiously from his West Hampton home to the Ronkonkoma train station, determined to make it to Manhattan for work on Wednesday.

"It's a gamble. A risk," said Hamill, 32, an attorney. "But, I'm hoping service will be restored and I can make it into work today."

Moments later, Hamill found out there was a good chance his 9:11 a.m. train to Penn Station would only go as far as Mineola.

"It was a horrendous drive and now I have to get back into my car and head home," said Hamill. "I certainly didn't want to end up stranded in Mineola, but now the train has been canceled."

Another Long Islander was even more frustrated, but took it in stride.

Rob Walker already missed his 8:31 a.m. train to Penn Station due to his dangerous commute from St. James. He was hoping to catch the 9:11 a.m. train but that was canceled the moment he set foot on it.

"It's like the third or fourth bad snowfall we've had and we're even going to get another one this weekend," said Walker, 39. "I just found out my train was canceled and my appointment was pushed off, so looks like I'm heading home."


In Jamaica, stranded LIRR riders lament 

It's probably not a good thing when, at 10:05 a.m., the LIRR sign at your track is still telling you about the 7:05 a.m. train.

But with a disabled train holding up traffic between Jamaica and Mineola Wednesday morning, a car full of commuters on the Ronkonkoma line mostly took it in stride.

They sat quietly on their stationary train at the Jamaica station, swiping on their iPads, paging through newspapers, informing co-workers in hushed tones that they would be late, listening to the incessant "now boarding" announcements, and for the most part not striking up conversations with their fellow strandees.

Medical student Christine Durso, 24, of Brooklyn, was anxiously trying to get to a job interview at Nassau University Medical Center.

"If I felt safe on the roads I would have driven," she said, estimating that what normally would have been a 50-minute trip by car will now take "three hours."

Durso thought the LIRR had done its best to keep customers updated, but lamented there wasn't much actual information to share, just that delays were continuing.

A "tired" Mack Rodriguez, 24, was ending his day, trying to get home to Westbury from work in the city, where he said he delivers Newsday.

Rodriguez said he was about ready to jump in a cab -- but was spared having to make that decision when a few minutes later the train started moving again.



The weather disrupted the lives of more than just LIRR commuters. Here are a few highlights: 


Weather sends carport into cars

Firefighters responding to a 911 call reporting a structure collapse in Selden on Wednesday found a carport that had collapsed onto two cars but no injuries.

Selden Fire Department First Assistant Chief Michael Matteo said responding volunteers at first feared the roof of the home on Manhasset Avenue had collapsed, but said they were thankful to find that wasn’t the case — and also were thankful that compromised electrical connections did not spark a structure fire.

Matteo said the incident appears to have been weather-related and said the Town of Brookhaven fire marshal, as well as the town building inspector, were notified because the damage may have compromised some of the structure.

He said the collapse not only damaged two vehicles but also damaged the facade and fascia and downed electrical lines.

About 20 members of the Selden Fire Department, along with five pieces of apparatus, responded to the call, which was received at 8:16 a.m.

Matteo said volunteers secured the scene, averting “any electrical hazards.”


Tree falls on bay constable's vehicle

A tree fell on a Town of Oyster Bay public safety vehicle driven by a bay constable at about 1:40 p.m. on Oyster Bay Road and Ayers Road in Locust Valley, Nassau police said. The bay constable was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.



Cuomo makes salt delivery easier

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency for all of New York Wednesday, allowing officials to expedite the delivery of salt and crews to help clear roads of ice and snow during the storm hitting the Northeast.

Cuomo said the main benefit of the emergency declaration is to allow him to waive weight regulations and some contract requirements to speed up salt delivery – especially for Long Island and New York City, which he said are short on road salt.





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