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Highway crews fight the nor’easter’s heavy snow and high winds

“It gets to a point where you feel overwhelmed,” said Shelter Island Highway Department Superintendent Brian Sherman at about 2:30 p.m.

He was speaking about his crews battling the nor’easter from late morning to mid-afternoon in near white-out conditions, with powerful winds blowing a heavy snowfall in all directions.

“It’s a little better now, but two hours ago you couldn’t see,” Mr. Sherman said.

The high winds, a steady 25 to 33 mph, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), and gusting as high as 48 mph, brought down some trees and large tree limbs.

“You’re plowing and then you’re chasing trees” to remove from the roads, the superintendent said.

Large limbs came down in Montclair and West Neck, which the crews cleared out of the roads.

(Credit: Adam Bundy)

At 3;30 p.m., PSEG was reporting no power outages on the Island.

Vision was the best tool to have at hand with the snow slacking off by mid-afternoon,  Mr. Sherman said. It helped the crews — who have been out since 4:30 a.m. —  to get a handle on flooded roads, especially on West Neck Road.

“We’ve got cones out,” Mr. Sherman said. “It was a really high tide.”

The NWS has issued a coastal flood warning from 8 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. tomorrow  morning.

Light rain is in the forecast for tonight with a high temperature of about 35 degrees. The wind  will stay strong out of the northeast, with gusts as high as 50 mph, according to the NWS. 

Police Chief Jim Read said no emergencies had been reported as of 4;30 p.m., and although hide tides could present a problem, so far everything seemed to be under control.

Tonight looks like the crews can begin to win the fight of clearing roads of snow and trees and limbs. “We’ll be able get it done,” Mr. Sherman said.