‘Dangerous’ Travel Conditions as Sleet, Freezing Rain Falls on LI

A winter storm warning is in effect for all of Long Island until 6 p.m. (Photo credit: National Weather Service)
A winter storm warning is in effect for all of Long Island until 6 p.m. (Photo credit: National Weather Service)

For the second time this week, a winter storm rolled into Long Island just in time for the morning commute, creating “very slippery and dangerous travel conditions,” according to the Upton-based National Weather Service.

All of Long Island is currently under a winter storm warning until 6 p.m. Wednesday, the agency said.

Moderate to heavy snowfall started early Wednesday morning and transitioned to sleet and freezing rain around 6:30 a.m. in some areas.

The wintry mix could be deceiving, the weather service warned, announcing on its Facebook page that “even if the snow has changed to what my look like rain, it will be freezing creating any icy glace on all surfaces.”

Forecasters predicted up to 5 inches of snow depending where on Long Island you live. Some roads may also see about a quarter of an inch of ice, meteorologists said.

“This will make travel dangerous,” the NWS said. “Only travel in an emergency.”

The New York State Department of Transportation noted on its website that all roads are experiencing icy conditions.

According to its website, an accident on the Long Island Expressway westbound at exit 56 forced the closure of the right lane. It was still closed as of 7:30 a.m.

It may be a extended commute for some Long Island Rail Road riders due to a train with equipment trouble east of Bellrose, causing delays on four branches: Hempstead, Montuak, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma. It’s not clear if the issue had anything to do with the weather.

The LIRR warned Wednesday that temporary service suspensions are possible due to icing conditions.

There is also a concern that heavy snow from Monday’s storm along with additional accumulation Wednesday could down trees and power lines, possibly knocking out power in some areas.

As of 7:30 a.m., PSEG Long Island’s website reported 370 customers in the dark.

The storm is also affecting air travelers, with Long Island MacArthur Airport announcing that two airlines—Southwest Airlines and USAirways Express—cancelled flights until the early evening.

New York State announced Tuesday that it would deliver 400 tons of salt to local municipalities running low due to a number of significant storms that have hit LI since early January.

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