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The blizzard that wasn’t

JOHN CLARE PHOTO Rain, and not much snow, fell on the Island all day Tuesday.
JOHN CLARE PHOTO Rain, and not much snow, fell on the Island all day Tuesday.

“Thank God it wasn’t snow.”

Those were the words of Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. whose crews were, nonetheless, kept busy throughout Tuesday’s storm that he estimated dropped 2 to 3 inches of the white stuff before freezing rain turned it to slush.

Had it been all snow, Shelter Island likely would have seen 20 inches Tuesday, Mr.  Card speculated.

The road crews began by treating the roads ahead of the storm and initially clearing snow and later pushing the slush off road.

A few large tree limbs had to be cleared from Island streets, but PSEG, which has a crew on Island, reported no power outages. Most of the outages were on the South Fork with more west of Riverhead.

High tides and whipping winds resulted in some flooding of Bridge Street, where Mr. Card reported that some businesses were affected. ”It just kind of lapped at the door,” said an employee at Shelter Island Wines & Spirits. Despite waves as highway trucks went by clearing the slush, there was no flooding inside, he said.

Tuesday night the road crews were back at it, treating roads to minimize black ice.

Despite the winds, North Ferry and South Ferry were able to sustain service throughout the day Tuesday.

“We missed the blizzard, but we did not miss the ugly day,” South Ferry Chief Executive Officer Cliff Clark said.

Heights Property Owners Corporation General Manager Stella Lagudis agreed and said the only consideration weighed is the safety of passengers on North Ferry boats.

Mr. Clark noted that generally, the only people working on the Island through perilous weather are the Highway  Police and Fire  departments, Emergency Medical Service  volunteers and the two ferries.