LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — High winds and flooding are cause for concern on Long Island as a powerful nor’easter blanketed the region in snow on Monday.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the South Shore was experiencing whiteout conditions.
The wind was whipping and the waves were not subsiding at the Long Beach boardwalk. Main streets were treacherous, winds were howling and residents were hopeful to get through the storm unscathed.
“Miserable. Weather is miserable out here,” one person said.
“It’s tough, with the wind in your face. It’s pretty rough,” said another.
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“We had such a great 2020. This is a great way to kick off 2021. Shoveling,” said Frank Schroeder of Rockville Centre.
Residents kept trying to stay ahead of piling heavy snow.
“I gotta get out here and shovel before it gets even heavier to shovel,” Dawn Laboccetta said.
“It probably hasn’t been turned on for two years because of lack of snow last year, but it’s going pretty good,” Steve Smith said of his snowblower.
In Floral Park, the owners of a liquor store said they were staying open Monday, but might close early.
“We both live fairly near, so it’s not hard to get there. And we wanted to be here in case our customers needed something,” said Rex Whicker, co-owner of Le Chat Noir Wine & Spirits. “We really had nothing better to do anyway.”
“We’re open ordinarily until 8 o’clock. We might close early tonight,” co-owner John Kouri said.
CBS2 traveled on parkways and side streets, where plow drivers were trying to keep up with the snowfall, and drivers were spinning out and getting stuck.
“There’s ice beneath the snow. We have to leave that space cushion between our vehicle and the vehicle in front of us in the event of a sudden stop,” said AAA Northeast’s Michael Scanlon.
The conditions were causing a dangerous situation on roads across Nassau County. Visibility was near zero in Plainview, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Even seasoned plow drivers said ferocious winds kept blowing snow drifts back onto just-cleared roads.
“It is brutal outside. The road is really bad even with a plow. It’s till going sideways. Stay off the road. Be safe,” Earl Grant said.
PHOTO GALLERY: Nor’easter Brings Heavy Snowfall To Tri-State
“The second you do a pass, you’re back at it again,” plow driver James Senken added.
Police responded to dozens of crashes and spinouts, but it appeared that most drivers were taking heed of warnings and staying home.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer rode from Manhattan to Floral Park and saw some people shoveling their cars out on the Long Island Expressway after getting stuck on the side. There was a spinout or two, but none appeared serious.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it’s possible the state will close the LIE and shut down the Long Island Railroad at some point Monday.
Meanwhile, those shoveling were facing a two-day task.
“This is a multi-day storm, not 24 hours. Stay off the roads an let them do their job,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.
The timing and location of the changeover from snow to rain along the coast remains uncertain. Until then, plan for the worst to stay safe, according to Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin.
“The expectations of this storm is now to sit on us for hours,” Clavin said. “We’ve already probably accumulated anywhere from five to six inches. We have an estimate now of another 14 inches on top of this. So, this is going to be a prolonged battle that residents are facing.”
A full moon and high tides will likely cause flooding in low-lying areas. The next cycle is expected to bring a storm surge of two to four feet.
“When you have a combination of heavy snow and winds, that can cause outages. So, we just have to be careful for that,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. “The other thing that can come with winds is, we are an island. We could have coastal flooding as the tide comes in.”
Officials also said while COVID vaccine centers are closed, they will reach out to people to rescheduled appointments.
CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan, Carolyn Gusoff and Alice Gainer contributed to this report.
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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WCT staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)