Long Island prepares for Thursday’s snowstorm:
LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD
The Long Island Rail Road is expected to run normal service Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced.
LIRR crews will deploy de-icing equipment, including switch heaters and antifreeze trains, to prevent snow accumulation, Cuomo said in a statement. They will have access to 1 million pounds of de-icer, 12,000 third-rail heaters, 108 track switch heaters and other equipment.
“As safety is a top priority of the LIRR, staff will monitor the storm as it progresses and make any adjustments necessary,” Cuomo said.
Station waiting rooms will be open 24 hours a day through Jan. 8, according to the statement
— RACHELLE BLIDNER
PSEG Long Island representatives said the company is preparing for the storm by positioning crews and resources where the storm is expected to hit the hardest, primarily in Eastern Suffolk.
“That’s where the highest impact of the snow is going to be,” spokesman Jeffrey Weir said.
PSEG will be using in-house crews and local contractors where needed to respond to outages, and doesn’t expect to bring in crews from out of state, Weir said. Part of the preparedness for the storm involves filling trucks with fuel and moving resources to remote locations, he said.
— MARK HARRINGTON
Hempstead crews prepared the town’s beet brine and salt equipment ahead of the snowstorm, officials said.
Supervisor Laura Gillen, overseeing the town’s response for the first large weather event four days into her tenure, said in a news release municipal workers are prepared for the snow.
The town is also partnering with the Wantagh High School Key Club this winter to dig out senior citizens’ homes during storms. The pilot program is only available in Wantagh. Seniors can sign up for the free service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
— STEFANIE DAZIO
Long Beach officials said they were mostly concerned with single-digit temperatures that could lead to frozen pipes or heavy winds that could lead to loss of power.
The city has 10 salt trucks ready and 61 pieces of equipment including highway trucks and plows, City Council President Anthony Eramo said.
Eramo noted raised homes can be more susceptible to frozen pipes from cold wind blowing underneath buildings, but most residents have enclosed and heated areas such as garages protecting pipes in raised homes.
Residents can check the city’s website at longbeachny.gov/lbready for a list of emergency and nonemergency contacts.
— JOHN ASBURY
Glen Cove city vehicles are to begin spreading salt at the first sign of snow, city spokeswoman Lisa Travatello said. If temperatures drop, the mix will change to salt and sand, she said.
Twenty-six pieces of equipment will begin plowing streets once snowfall reaches three inches, Travatello said. City law requires residents to park only on the odd-numbered side of streets when there is snow over three inches, to assist in snow removal, she said. Residents also can park in the two downtown municipal garages, on their driveways or on their lawns.
The Glen Cove Senior Center will open as a warming center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, and First Presbyterian Church will be available as an evening men’s shelter. Garbage pickup is canceled for Thursday.
— DAVID OLSON
Oyster Bay crews planned to begin pre-treating town roadways with salt and sand at 11 p.m. Wednesday, town spokesman Brian Nevin said in an email.
“Additional staff will arrive in the early hours of the morning to begin plowing operations,” Nevin said.
Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said in a news release that the town has more than 290 vehicles equipped to deal with the snow on nearly 1,000 lane miles of roads.
The town postponed inaugural ceremonies, scheduled for Thursday. A new date was set for Jan. 10.
— TED PHILLIPS
North Hempstead Town officials said they have 6,000 tons of salt and will call in crews from three departments to help plow as needed.
All town buildings are to remain open during normal business hours, officials said. No warming centers are to be opened.
Garbage collection for Thursday morning is to continue; any changes to the schedule will be posted on the town’s website.
— CHRISTINE CHUNG
New Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci announced Town Hall is to remain open Thursday, but all programs and activities will be canceled.
The weekly recyclables pickup has been cancelled Lupinacce announced. Commercial pickups are still scheduled for businesses in downtown Huntington and Huntington Station that have evening curbside collection.
HART bus paratransit service was cancelled.
Town officials said they would monitor the storm and change other operations as needed.
— DEBORAH S. MORRIS
In Babylon, 120 snow plows and salt trucks will be out on the streets beginning Thursday morning to clear its roads, town spokesman Kevin Bonner said.
Once the storm has passed, town officials hope to have at least one lane clear on most primary roads by Friday morning, before moving on to clearing additional lanes, secondary roads and tertiary roads, Bonner said.
— JESSE COBURN
Islip Town officials said they have 15,000 tons of salt and an additional 10,000 yards of salt/sand mix for the approaching storm. Islip will have more than 400 snow plows on the road at the first sign of snow to clear hazards as rapidly as possible, officials said.
Department of Public Works Commissioner Tom Owens and work crews “are out there doing what they need to do, salt lines are pretty full,” Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said.
— VALERIE BAUMAN AND RACHELLE BLIDNER
Smithtown’s Highway Department began spraying the more than 470 miles of roads with its mix of brine and beet juice, Highway Supervisor Robert Murphy said.
The mixture aids in plowing and de-icing in temperatures down to negative 15 degrees, Murphy said. Salt alone loses its effectiveness at 15 to 20 degrees.
The department will have 105 employees on plows with 75 contractors on standby, Murphy said.
Highway department crews already plow New York State roads within the town, but the storm will be an early test of a new shared services model where town crews also maintain the roads of the town’s three incorporated villages — Nissequogue, Head of the Harbor and Village of the Branch.
— NICHOLAS SPANGLER
Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro said about 250 town-owned plows and other equipment would be used to clear roads Thursday, and the town had hired contractors to provide an additional 500 to 500 plows.
The storm forecast for Thursday, with temperatures expected to drop well below freezing, “presents certain kinds of specific challenges, and one of those is it’s too cold to melt that type of material,” Losquadro said Wednesday. He said crews would mostly use sand instead of salt on town roads.
Brookhaven postponed Thursday trash pickup to Saturday, and town recreation and senior centers will be closed, officials said.
In Bellport Village, “All the plows are ready to go,” Mayor Ray Fell said. “We’ll have three dump trucks, three pickup trucks and two payloaders to take the snow to a parking lot at the dock.”
Patchogue plans to have 10 village snow trucks and 10 contract trucks on the road.
— CARL MACGOWAN AND DEON J. HAMPTON
Riverhead highway crews were at work Wednesday mixing salt and sand in efforts to get their snow fleet ready ahead of Thursday’s storm, Highway Superintendent George Woodson said.
The only factors that could cause delays were possible heavy winds that forecasts said may occur during the day, Woodson said.
— JEAN-PAUL SALAMANCA
Southold Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando said the town’s crews spent Wednesday charging their snow fleet vehicles and filling barns with sand and salt deliveries.
Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell announced Wednesday that all town facilities, including recreational programs and the town’s transfer station, would be closed Thursday. Residents were advised to remove their vehicles from public roads.
The town’s Office of Emergency Management will open shelters at 9 a.m. Thursday and remain open, as needed, at the Peconic Lane Community Center at 1170 Peconic Lane and the Human Resource Center at 750 Pacific St. in Mattituck.
— JEAN-PAUL SALAMANCA
Southampton Town is to make a determination whether to declare an emergency at 5 a.m. Thursday, Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor said. He will recommend the town declare an emergency if there is more than six inches of snow as that will allow his department to plow Southampton’s 100 miles of non-town maintained roads.
“If the snow stops at a reasonable time it’s still a seven-hour feat to clear the roads,” he said.
Southampton Town offices and facilities were to close at midnight and not reopen until noon Friday.
— VERA CHINESE
Shelter Island Emergency Management Coordinator and Police Chief Jim Read said PSEG Long Island has agreed to house a staffer at a local inn overnight in case power goes out on Shelter Island and the ferries are not running.
“Our biggest concern is the wind,” Read said.
Highway department trucks are treating the roads with beet juice brine and salt. Shelter Island Town Hall will be closed until noon on Thursday, although that may change if the storm is less powerful than forecast.
— VERA CHINESE