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Long Island weather: After the storm, the chill and the cleanup continue

Long Islanders used their snowblowers and shovels to clean up Thursday morning as snowplow crews battled icy roadways. Newsday's Pat Dolan reports. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr. and Barry Sloan

Saturday will be a day to layer up, with a high temperature of 35 degrees and a wind chill of 15 to 25, the National Weather Service said.

"With nearly clear skies and near calm winds, along with the snow cover, temperatures will be well below normal," the weather service said.

Sunday, however, should have a milder daytime high of 43 degrees and it could be cloudy, the weather service said. There could be "a few rain and/or snow showers across the region on Sunday, into Sunday night," the weather service said.

There remains a slim chance of snow showers Sunday night. As if it weren't cold enough already, the wind chill is estimated at 15 to 25, the weather service said.

On Friday, as crews continued to work on snow removal, the biggest revelation appeared to be that this week's major snowstorm wasn't anywhere as major as it might have been.

Yes, Long Island and the metropolitan area saw more snowfall Wednesday and Thursday than it did in all of last winter. And, yes, it was frigid, with wind gusts — one as high as 74 mph in Suffolk — that knocked down trees and power lines, leaving more than 16,000 Long Islanders without electricity at one point, PSEG Long Island reported.

But despite about twice as many accidents as usual for a similar non-storm time frame — most of them minor — both Nassau and Suffolk police said road conditions remained surprisingly good, adding that as clouds lifted Friday and sunshine began to reemerge, slippery spots were few and far between.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said more than 50 trucks had been deployed for salting and plowing Friday. "County roads are largely clear, but I urge residents to be cautious of potential black ice while our crews continue to treat the roads," she said.

In Oyster Bay Town, Supervisor Joseph Saladino said Friday afternoon the town was still cleaning up after the storm put 10 to 12 inches of snow on the northern part of the town and 4 to 6 inches on the southern part.

"We have over a hundred pieces of snow removal equipment out on our streets and we will continue until we have it perfect, from curb to curb," Saladino said.

He asked residents to get their cars off the streets and into driveways so the crews could complete snow removal.

Officials in the Town of Hempstead said town trucks were out salting and plowing Friday. While black ice remained an invisible threat to drivers, town officials said no problems were reported and most town roads were clear.

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement that the storm dropped about 10 inches on Port Washington, Manhasset and Roslyn to the north and about 8 inches in the town’s southern end.

"The winds definitely presented a challenge and causing snowdrifts as well," Bosworth said.

Meanwhile, Town of Islip supervisor Angie Carpenter described how the storm’s assortment of precipitation made plowing the roads much tougher — though they were pretreated.

"It was more difficult than it should have been," Carpenter said Friday, referring to the mix of snow, rain and sleet the multiagency crews handled, which required them to replow some of the same stretches of the town’s 1,200 miles of roads.

In Smithtown, spokeswoman Nicole Garguilo said all roads have been cleared.

"We are focusing efforts now on removing large snow mounds along the curbs and corners which can block the view," she said.

The system’s transition from snow to rain and then back again to snow increased the amount of ice that formed on roads, Dan Losquadro, superintendent, Brookhaven Highway Department, said Friday.

With John Asbury, Keldy Ortiz and Ted Phillips

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