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Ice Causes Commuter Headaches on Long Island

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NWS forecast map.
NWS forecast map.

Icy road conditions in the wake of a winter storm are creating potentially hazardous conditions across Long Island and beyond, causing headaches for commuters.

Sleet that followed snow combined with subfreezing temperatures created black ice that coated roadways Tuesday evening overnight and potentially into Wednesday morning, according to Upton-based National Weather Service meteorologists.

“Most susceptible will be untreated surfaces…as well as bridges and overpasses,” the agency said in a special weather statement.

A forecaster added that temps will remain in the 20s through the morning commute, meaning the ice could still be an issue on untreated roads after sunup.

The Long Island Expressway had been temporarily closed for emergency salting between exits 68 and 73 Tuesday evening due to dangerous icing—although police and many local media outlets mistakenly reported that the LIE was closed between 49 and 73 at first.

The rain after the snow washed away salt at the Route 110 and LIE exchange, which had to be retreated, according to Eileen Peters, a spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Transportation.

“Slow down, a shiny road is not a good sign,” she said. “Our maintenance guys are all staying on through the night. They are monitoring the roadways.”

The Long Island Rail Road was also dealing with weather-related delays, including a broken rail Tuesday morning, and urging riders to plan for extra travel time as winter delays continued Tuesday evening.

Wednesday is forecast as mostly cloudy with highs near 36 and gusts up to 28 mph before dropping down below freezing again after sundown.

But, temperatures are expected to warm up a little toward the end of the week, hitting a high near 43 Thursday and a high near 52 on Friday, Saturday and as high as 57 Sunday. There is also a chance of showers all three days this weekend.

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