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Rain, sleet predicted for New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve revelers countdown to midnight on

New Year's Eve revelers countdown to midnight on a New Year's Eve past in Times Square. Photo Credit: Newsday File, 2006 / Thomas A. Ferrara

Tuesday's frigid winds that plunged temperatures across Long Island into the single digits and knocked out power are gone. But what's ahead - rain and sleet - isn't much of a break.

Long Islanders are expected to have a wet New Year's Eve, with rain starting Thursday morning in Nassau County and around noon in Suffolk County, according to the National Weather Service.

A high-pressure system moving into the area should push temperatures up into the 40s, with rain expected to last through New Year's Day.

Those headed into the city to celebrate should expect slightly colder temperatures. There's a chance of snow before 10 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, followed by rain, sleet and snow. An accumulation of about an inch is expected on New Year's Eve. Snow also is called for on New Year's Day, probably before 8 a.m. and again after 3 p.m.

Still, that's a far cry from Tuesday's cold shoulder to Long Island, when cutting winds with gusts between 40 mph and 47 mph created windchill factors of 9 degrees or lower.

More than 17,000 Long Island homes and businesses lost electricity Tuesday, and caused at least one frustrating blaze for firefighters in North Babylon when a downed high power line ignited a parked pickup truck.

No one was injured in the truck fire, but firefighters stood helpless while the truck burned, waiting for help with the wires from LIPA workers who were answering calls throughout the Island.

As of Wednesday morning, A LIPA spokeswoman said, about 15 households were still without power. She said that by 7 p.m. Tuesday, power had been restored to all but 376 of the 17,574 customers who experienced outages.

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