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Island braces for heavy snowfall today

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. said his crews have been preparing for the snowstorm expected to hit today.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. said his crews have been preparing for the snowstorm expected to hit today.

Shelter Island could be in line for its second snowfall of 2014, as the National Weather Service is predicting anywhere from 10 to 14 inches of snow Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday.

The NWS has issued a winter storm watch from Tuesday afternoon through late Tuesday night for Long Island, Westchester County, northern New Jersey and part of southern Connecticut.

The winter storm warning begins at noon on Tuesday and is expected to last until 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. said early Tuesday morning that his crews have been preparing for snow since Friday, when long-range forecasts were predicting a major winter storm.

There had been a number of equipment breakdowns from the last heavy storm, which struck on December 17, so the department made sure everything was repaired, ship shape and ready to roll, Mr. Card said.

What’s worrisome is the storm looks similar to the one that blitzed the Island last month, with high winds, frigid temperatures and plenty of light, fluffy snow. That combination means that when crews plow a road or street, the high winds blow the light snow right back on to the pavement.

“We’re hearing there could be 30 mile per hour winds,” Mr. Card said.

Crews will be sanding major intersections and “slopey spots, ” Mr. Card said, but actual plowing won’t take place until there are at least a couple of inches on the roads.

One thing the department can’t do is “pre- salt” roads so when the first layers of white stuff hits the pavement it melts. Mr. Card explained that the department prefers to wait to see accumulation levels before salting to protect the Island’s single source aquifer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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