Patchogue (WALK) - For the second time this week, thousands of school kids across Long Island are enjoying an unexpected snow day.
Dozens of school districts have cancelled classes, and dozens more had a two-hour delay, because of the icy storm that arrived overnight. A mushy mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain coated pavement and led to extremely icy conditions Island-wide. Dozens of accidents and spin-outs were reported on local roads and highways.
The morning began with most schools planning a delayed start, but many eventually cancelled classes because road conditions in their district were simply too treacherous for school buses.
It was a difficult morning for the Long Island Rail Road. Thousands of customers were delayed when service was suspended in both directions between Mineola and Jamaica because of a disabled train near the Bellerose station. Passengers had to be transferred to another train before service could be restored.
The situation is even worse for anyone who was supposed to fly today. All flights in and out of Long Island MacArthur Airport before lunchtime today were cancelled because of the weather, and delays were reported at other New York area airports as well.
As Long Island faced another snow storm, there was word of a shortage of road salt. Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that the state Department of Transportation would provide some 400 tons of road salt to towns in Suffolk and Nassau that were running out.
"Safety is our number one priority, and that is why the state is stepping in," said Cuomo.
The weight of the heavy, wet snow was a concern to PSEG, because ice build-up can weigh down power lines and cause them to fall, which leads to power outages. Suffolk and Nassau got through most of the early morning with no more than a handful of outages at any given time. As of around 9 AM, however, outages hit 3,000 Island-wide. The town of Oyster Bay was hardest hit, especially in and around Plainview, Bethpage, Levittown and Brookville. Other affected areas included Dix Hills and West Babylon.
PSEG reminds customers to stay away from all downed lines, in case they are still electrified, and to report them immediately. Call (800) 490-0075 to report fallen wires or power outages to PSEG.
Snowy weather is also known as heart attack weather. Doctors are reminding that too much shoveling can put a strain on your heart, especially if you're not in very good shape to begin with and don't normally get very much exercise. Experts recommend that you use your shovel to push heavy snow off your driveway, rather than lifting it, which puts too much strain on your body. They also recommend taking frequent breaks and staying hydrated.
Photo: DV Singer