LIPA Battles Outages as Storm Continues to Drench LI

Long Island Weather
Coastal storm continues to pound LI with rain and whipping winds.
Coastal storm continues to pound LI with rain and whipping winds.

The coastal storm that drenched much of Long Island overnight will continue to impact the region Wednesday as travelers prepare to leave town for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Forecasters are calling for more rain and windy conditions throughout the morning Wednesday before tapering off in the afternoon. The National Weather Service cautioned that rain could be heavy at times and could potentially cause flooding in certain areas. A flood watch is in effect until 4 p.m.

The National Weather Service, which called for 2 to 4 inches of rain before the storm hit, reported 2.5 inches of rain in Floral Park and 1.61 inches at MacArthur Airport in Islip.

Wind will continue to be a factor with gusts approaching 26 mph. The NWS measured overnight wind gusts of more than 45 mph across the Island.

The unusually mild conditions that many Long Islanders woke up to Wednesday morning will drop once a cold front moves across the area, the NWS said. Temperatures should fall to 46 degrees by the afternoon before plummeting to freezing temperatures by the evening. Wind could pick up again overnight with gusts as high as 43 mph.

The storm knocked out power to as many as 9,000 Long Island Power Authority customers overnight but that number had dropped to 4,820 as of 9:48 a.m., according to utility’s website.

LIPA released a statement saying it is experiencing “widespread power outages across Long Island,” due to high winds and heavy rain.

“Restoration crews are assessing damage and restoring power as quickly as possible,” LIPA said.

The New York State Department of Transportation was not reporting any major delays or traffic accidents by the morning.

But both John F. Kennedy and La Guardia airports were reporting weather-related delays Wednesday morning.

The powerful storm has already frustrated thousands of travelers across the country celebrating Thanksgiving away from home. AAA estimated that 43 million Americans will travel during the holiday, with 39 million traveling by car.

Thousands of flights have either been cancelled or delayed with many parts of the country experiencing heavy rain, snow or icy conditions.

The storm should clear out by Wednesday evening, making way for clear skies on Thursday.